Lantern was started in 1989 by Redland Parish Church, with the aim of providing a first-class pre-school education within the context of the Christian faith, for children in the local community aged between two and a half and five years. From September 2019 Lantern will be led by Becky Meacham, with a dedicated team of staff members and volunteers. Since 2016 Lantern has been meeting in the newly rebuilt church halls complex. 

Our Premises

Lantern meets in the rear section of the church halls, which are light and airy and have access to an enclosed garden in which the children can play throughout most of the morning. The preschool room, outdoor space and play equipment were specially designed and selected around Lantern’s requirements. New play equipment specifically for our age groups was purchased for both inside and out following the halls' refurbishment. All equipment is regularly inspected to ensure that it is in a good and safe condition. Lantern has its own dedicated gated entrance, and own toilet facilities, and all areas of the building and garden that we use are accessible to wheelchairs.

Opening Hours

Monday to Friday from 9.00am - 3.00pm, term time only.

The sessions available are:

All day session - 9.00am - 3.00pm

Morning session - 9.00am - 12.00pm

Afternoon session - 12.00pm - 3.00pm

Educational Policy

Lantern’s aim is to provide a warm, and caring environment in which children are safe to explore, learn and discover through play.

We make available a rich variety of activities that encourage imaginative play, creative skills and constructive abilities. We foster independence and social awareness, alongside British values, and whilst highlighting the Christian foundation on which the preschool operates, we are keen to ensure an understanding and appreciation of other faiths and traditions. In addition to free play each morning there is a time of directed activity within a small group, and the whole group meets for ‘Circle Time.’  This provides opportunities for story-telling, singing and news sharing.

Our emphasis is on learning through doing and we endeavour to create a good balance of adult led and child-initiated activities. Each child is assigned a key worker, they and/or the manager will do a home visit before the child starts Lantern. They key worker will carefully observe and record the child’s development in their Learning Journals and the Lantern team plan small key group activities too. Becky, the Manager and Curriculum Lead, will act as an additional key worker to all the children and their families and oversee all the children’s progress, whilst also being another point of contact to families. The team have weekly staff meetings and regularly evaluate and review practice to ensure that activities planned will support, develop and extend future learning. We follow the Early Years Foundation Stage, and are alert to the requirements of the National Curriculum, so that the children are well prepared for their entry into school. For children with additional needs, please see details of our SEND Offer.

We arrange visits from people of interest and day trips throughout the academic year. Previous visits have included the police and the fire service, as well as a doctor, a nurse and a postman, day trips have included farms, local allotments and Bristol Zoo. We also hold a service at the end of each full term to which families and friends are invited – these are brief and colourful opportunities to celebrate Christmas or Easter, or to say farewell to those who are leaving to go on to primary school.

Lantern is registered and inspected by Ofsted. You can find out more about our latest inspection by visiting the Ofsted website.

In addition, Lantern has been awarded the Bristol Standard, a national award for excellence.

For details about our other policies, please visit our Policies page.



Childcare Costs & Fees

All three and four-year olds in England are entitled to 570 hours per year of free childcare. Lantern offers this as 15 - 30 hours per week, term time only (38 weeks per year). Children become eligible from 1 January, 1 April or 1 September following their third birthday. This is known as Universal Hours.

Families in which both parents are working and each earning more than £120 per week, or in single parent families where the parent is working and earning this amount, may be entitled to claim Extended Hours, also known as the 30 hours entitlement.
The number of grant-funded hours offered by Lantern can only be amended before 1 September, 1 January or 1 April each year, with any interim changes being charged at the hourly rate and invoiced accordingly.

Any hours not covered by the Universal or Extended Hours entitlement will be charged at the hourly rate of £6.00, which will be invoiced termly.

For more information on the Universal or Extended Hours entitlement, please visit the Childcare Choices website.