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Hatching Dragons

Canada Water Daycare Centers

Our nursery offers both kindergarten preschool and daycare for babies, and is on the grounds of a beautiful nature reserve on the banks of the Thames...

Hatching Dragons Canada Water Nature Reserve-2
If you want an early years education that sees your child spend as much time outdoors in and amongst nature as possible, then we're the nursery and kindergarten for you. On site nature reserve and ponds for forest school folk...
Multicultural education

Diversity at its Heart

We believe that diversity, inclusivity and equality are the principals by which any modern society should be measured. But to really bring it home, we need to be able to educate ourselves to think and feel through the eyes of the "other". We celebrate cultures and traditions from all over the world, working with globally travelled families as much as local families who all share a desire for their children to become global citizens of the future

Multicultural Childcare

Quick Enquiry Form

To register your interest for a call back, fill out the form below, or book in a time online with one of the team to talk through your needs....

Get in Touch

Teacher and pupils looking at tablet computer at the elementary school

Online Tours

We appreciate that our community is busy - sometimes it's impossible to get out of work to come and see the school, at least for that first inspection. But don't worry, we've got you covered. You can book in for a virtual / online tour from the comfort of your own desk, to get that first impression of the school in action before having to bug your boss for the time off to come and meet us in person. Just book in below...

Cultural Capital

Amazing Excursions

We don't just satisfy ourselves with trips to the park. We aim to take our children on excursions no other nursery can provide. From the historic Greenwich Palace, to learning about the stars at the Royal Observatory, from learning about trains at the Brunel Museum, to farming at Surrey Docks Farm. We've got something for everyone, and much more than most other nursery schools have to offer

Forest School

Nursery for Nature Lovers

Our Canada Water nursery and preschool isn't your average spot —it's nestled in a former dry dock and museum right on the banks of the mighty river Thames. Picture this: expansive playgrounds, our very own on-site nature reserve, and the cherry on top —direct access to our forest school adventures. Yes, we are talking bugs, beasties, and all things that grow, giving our children a front-row seat to Mother Nature's classroom.

Preschool chinese circle time-3
Bilingual Education

Learning Modern Languages

Our intercultural education programme  would not deliver without a focus on second language acquisition. We have specialist language teachers in the team to focus on developing fluencies in languages that matter to the future and demonstrating all of the cognitive benefits that immersion can offer

Multicultural Education

Global Citizenship

We've developed a proprietary multinational curriculum that investigates 12 regions of the world, spending time to interrogate the people, the places, the animals, objects and cultural activities ( arts, literature, food, dance, you name it) of a particular country within that region. Ultimately, we want our children to graduate excited by the world, the people and cultures within it and primed with a belief that differences are to be celebrated

tax free childcare-1
Free Childcare

Tax Free Childcare

The government's universal benefit that is not curtailed by the age of your child is tax free childcare. It means that for every £1 you invest into your government managed tax free childcare account, the state will contribute another 20p up to a maximum of £2000 a year. Eligibility criteria apply and you cannot use it with the workplace nursery scheme, which would otherwise provide you with a much more substantial saving in tax.

Free Childcare

30 Hours Free Childcare

Currently a subsidy only offered to 3-4 yr old children and only for the term after they turn three, the 30 hours free childcare offer is available to working families where both parents are earning more than £167 a week but do not earn, individually, more than £100k p.a. each. The good news is that the (current) government is offering 30 hours free childcare to 2 year olds from this September (2024) and for 9 month old babies from September 2025

Hatching Dragons City

Frequently Answered Questions

You'll find all of our policies and procedures on the knowledge base under our customer portal on the website, which, along with our terms and conditions, form the basis of our care. Parents are advised to read through them in detail to understand what it is we do, but below you'll find a hit list of the top 10 questions we get asked....

Opening & Closing Times

We're open 07:30 until 18:30 Monday to Friday, 51 weeks a year, closing for the days between Christmas and New Years and for 3 inset days on the first Monday of each term (January for Spring; April for the Summer term post Easter holidays; September for the Autumn / winter term post summer holidays). We do not close for holidays over the summer or easter and do not offer refunds for these periods that you might take off as our staff will be working irrespective. Think about a gym membership. It's the same kind of thing - a monthly payment to allow us to exercise young minds!

What ages do you look after?

We can care for your children as young as 6 months. We could go younger but always felt that those first 6 months are so important for parents to bond with their child, we really encourage parents to take the parental leave they can to experience that wonderful time. Because it is so precious, and so important, developmentally, for the child, and emotionally for you as new parents to get that time. So our policy is 6 months onwards, all the way through to Reception at the age of five. Your pattern of care will remain consistent until you a) submit a change of hours form or b) a termination form, which will then see your contracted hours of childcare change one month from the date of that submission.

Do I have to attend full time?

No - one of the reasons why Hatching Dragons came into being was because we wanted to make childcare easier and more flexible for parents. You can opt to do term time only, but we will still charge you a monthly (pro rated) equivalent direct debit (albeit for a smaller, pro rated amount) so we can keep things consistent with our payment policies. It will mean, however, that you will have to pay the holiday camp rates for any childcare that you need during half terms or holidays.

What's our Settling In approach 👶

Considering that a relaxed and gradual approach works wonders for children settling into nursery life, we decided to make it a team effort between parents and teachers.

We keep it simple with a step-by-step settling-in process - we offer 3 to 5 free two hour sessions at either 0930-1130, or 1430-1630 for your child to settle into our school and build their relationships with their key worker team and their friends in the room. On the first session, it's typical that we'll run through your registration details so we're clear on dietary, medical and allergy information, your routine and soothing strategies, and by the second, we'll be inviting you to step away so that they can bond with their key worker a little more. By the third session you'll be invited to have a cuppa with the manager and after that, we're normally away...Easy peasy, right?

What do I need to bring?

All of our onboarding instructions will be automatically issued to you when you've signed your contract and paid your deposit, but you can find a copy of your onboarding pack below, to get a sense of what you'll need on the day

What schools can they move on to?

We have plenty of schools in our area that our families move on to but it really depends on whether the family is resident (and so can select some of the amazing publicly funding primary schools near Peter Hills Primary, Redriff, Alfred Salter , Albion primary, Rotherhithe primary and the Seven Mills over the river

What Ofsted Inspection did we get? ✅

We don't think we're just Good. We think we're Great! Check out our latest Ofsted report right here! Dive into the great feedback we snagged from the inspectors who were seriously wowed by the cosy and nurturing space we've crafted for your little ones. They gave big shoutouts to our incredible team, top-of-the-line facilities, and activities that turn learning into a total blast!

What languages do you teach? ✨

We're language nuts at Hatching Dragons. Our multilingual team can speak Bengali, Arabic, Russian, Chinese, French and Spanish. But each school focuses on a specific language and at the City of London nursery we focus on Mandarin Chinese.

Each age group will have at least one dedicated session a day, even if they also benefit from at least 50% of the team being Chinese in the school. And those sessions are led by the lead Chinese teacher for the school to engage the children in fun, immersive activities that aim to deliver second language acquisition in the context of our thematic / educational focus for the month. It could be music and rhyme. It could be story telling or Drama. But we have dedicated language lists that focus on our theme of the month and our teachers focus on leveraging all media and materials to deliver that language to our children....

What pedagogy do you follow? 💖

We strongly believe that education should be a dynamic blend, shaped both by the child's interests and autonomy, fostering their individuality, and by adult guidance to introduce new materials, building their knowledge, understanding, and skills.

Our inspiration stems from weaving together the finest pedagogical frameworks globally. We dip into Montessori and take a stroll through High Scope; we explore Reggio alongside Steiner, Te Whariki, and those from East Asia. Recognizing that no single culture holds the exclusive key to education, we draw on the best from each to craft a curriculum that brings out the best for everyone.

What qualifications do you teachers have? 🍎

We believe that diverse teams deliver dynamism and progression. It's one of the reasons we felt that education needed to draw on the best of what the world has to offer - just as we believe that with diverse sets of people, organisations can engineer the best ideas and ways of working.

All our teachers have Paediatric First Aid and hold some of the highest qualifications in early years teaching from some of the best educational institutes in the world. We have graduates from the Institute of Education at UCL; we have people from Maria Montessori Institute and more.

What's the food on offer? 🍐

Our catering team have devised our approach to food and infant nutrition in line with the guidance set out by the British Nutritional Foundation with specific reference to the Government's Eatwell Guide on delivering a healthy, balanced diet for infants, toddlers and preschoolers.

We take the health and safety of your children very seriously, which is why we use management systems to secure weekly reports on children's attendance and their dietary and allergy needs, direct to our in-house catering teams. All of our chefs are qualified in the culinary arts, have advanced food hygiene training and follow the procedures outlined in the Safer Food Better Business guidance from the Food Standards Agency, so you can rest assured that your children's nutrition is in the best possible hands.

Fees, schedules and funding 🌝

Life's a whirlwind, and we get it – you need flexibility. No stress, we're not all about those rigid full-time commitments. It's all about what works for you!

Whether you're up for a single morning or afternoon sesh, or you're diving into the full 5-day experience (depending on availability), it's totally your call. But here's the inside scoop: for the ultimate language adventure, we suggest aiming for at least 5 half days. That's when you'll see your little language maestro really shine.

And hold onto your hats because we have some limited funded spots up for grabs! Curious? Click below to book a call with our team. They can help tailor things just for you! 

Here are some extra resources for parents 🧐

It's not just about what we do for the little ones; let's not overlook the daily hurdles faced by the most crucial people in their world – parents. Parenting is a challenging journey, and the demands are on the rise, often leading some to decide against having children altogether.

We believe it's not fair, and we're here to be more than just a service. We aim to support our working families in being the best parents they can be while excelling in their careers and personal lives. Our goal is to ease the challenges of parenting, making the journey smoother for our amazing parents.

Book a call with the Head of School


Lingwen is the School Vice Principal at our Canada Water nursery school, bringing an abundance of expertise with her qualifications in early years education and leadership and management. She started out as our Baby Room Lead, before progressing to Third in Charge and now manager of the school
Lingwen Huang
Words from our manager

"I've progressed my practice with both the level 3 and level 5 in management and leadership to offer the best for our families. I was drawn to HD's commitment to cultural education - showcasing the best of my culture helps me build bridges with the world"


Nursery Head

Our Promise to You

Child-Centred Childcare

We make our days as action-packed as possible and believe that nurseries should not be closed shops. We want our children to know and understand the community they are in, the wonderful cultural experiences they can have in the wider community and the learning they can achieve within the school. This is all delivered by a fully qualified and caring team.

Best Babycare

Nurturing Nursery Nurses

Baby room nursery nursers who enjoy advanced baby training from the NDNA outside of their qualifications in early years and paediatric first aid for expertise in pre-2 care

Enabling Environments

Child-Led learning

Child-led learning in an enabling environment that is replete with resources to stimulate young minds, maximise creativity and autonomy and develop their natural interests and concentration

Family Festivals

Cultural Learning

End of month family festivals and community parties to help our children understand that they are part of a community, to build their sense of self and to celebrate what they've learnt

Language Learning

Bilingual Immersion

Bilingual immersion and dedicated sessions in circle time, music, literacy and understanding the world for second language acquisition

nature reserve forest school
Outdoor Excursions

Extraordinary Outings

Our Canada Water preschool benefits from its own, onsite nature reserve, replete with ponds, grow beds and creepy crawlies for maximum outdoors learning and nearby the Cutty Sark, Canary Wharf, Southwark Cathedral and the Brunel Museum!

Best of bilingual preschool and nursery

Our Fully Qualified Teaching Team

At the heart of all that we do are our teachers - happy staff create happy children, who create happy families. Read on to find out how...
CIT - Baby Room - Circle Time
Staff Testimonial

“I am happy that, as a Room Leader, I am granted autonomy to make decisions as part of the wider management training programme so that I can progress with my skill set and career.”


Baby Room Lead

Be the best parent you can be

Hatching Dragons Blog

We keep our community up to date with activities and the best of early years methodologies and parenting tips to keep you up to date with how to be the best parent you can be...