Bradninch and District Playgroup was formed in 1972 by a local group of mothers who felt such a group would benefit their children. Initially two sessions a week were held at a weekly cost of 25p for the first child and 20p for all other children of the family. The Supervisor was paid £1 per session! The group started with about ten children and met in the downstairs room of the Guildhall, then called the Reading Room. Equipment was minimal and the group used trestle tables and jam jars for paint pots. Fund raising started in earnest with a Pippa Dee Party and a coffee morning which raised £2.05 with £1.50 donations.
In January 1976 an extra session was set up to meet the growing numbers of children in the town. In May 1997 the Playgroup celebrated its 25th anniversary and was granted the right to use its new title of the Duchy Pre-School & Playgroup by HRH Prince Charles' Duchy Office.
In 2001 we were awarded a Community Fund Lottery Grant for over £22,000. This allowed us to relocate to the Baptist School Rooms in Millway, thus providing better, permanent facilities for the children. These facilities include wheelchair access and a disabled toilet in line with our equal opportunities and inclusion policies.
In May 2006 we were awarded "accreditation" status by the Pre-School Learning Alliance. This is a quality assurance scheme which ensures the setting is running the highest quality service for the children and parents. The scheme has the "Investors in Children" quality mark and the standards the group has to achieve and sustain are much higher than those required by Ofsted.
In April 2011 we registered with Ofsted to allow us to take children from age two and a half years.