Getting Ready to Learn

Pre-school and Parents working in partnership


Chirpy Chicks Playgroup has been providing a playgroup service in the rural village of Greyabbey in various forms for over three decades. In recent years under new management we have moved to encompass pre-school status and our intake of children has expanded to include villages the length and breadth of the Ards Peninsula from Portaferry to Millisle. We are based in the community run village hall in Greyabbey situated on the main road to the nearby town of Newtownards. This makes us ideally placed for parents and carers leaving children to playgroup on their way to work or elsewhere during our morning sessions. The hall has lots of space and kitchen facilities for snack time and also benefits from large green spaces and a secure tennis court for outdoor play.

Philosophy & Mission

Chirpy Chicks Pre-school Playgroup seeks to empower children to take on the world with curiosity, confidence, and positivity.

As well as providing a pre-school curriculum to start children on their journey into education we aspire to more. We will strive to meet our mission statement by focusing on three themes;

Understanding the world
We will give children the opportunity to learn about the environment and how nature works. They will learn to understand people’s role in shaping the climate and experience wildlife in its many forms.

Understanding ourselves
We will guide children to a complete understanding of their emotions and how they affect their decisions. With fun and happiness as the core of everything we do at playgroup, we will present and help children understand the full spectrum of how they can feel through role play and interactive learning.

Understanding our health and wellbeing
We will promote good health through healthy eating and drinking, and give an understanding of the importance and enjoyment of exercise.

Chirpy Chicks will achieve these goals through both the regular elements found in the pre-school curriculum and also through focused special educational events, from trips out to specialist educators coming in to share their knowledge, all with fun at the heart of every activity.


  • We will endeavour to provide a happy and relaxed atmosphere where children can have fun, make friends and learn.
  • We will provide an environment of positivity where children can develop socially, emotionally and intellectually within the context of play, both independently and with others.
  • We will strive to instil independence, self-confidence and a love of playing and learning to help make the transition to school as smooth and enjoyable as possible.
  • We will consistently make sure that we provide resources to fit our needs and ensure plentiful opportunities for imaginative and stimulating play.
  • We will establish a close working relationship with parents/carers and within the local community, and continually seek to develop and refine how we best achieve this.
  • We will ensure equality of access regardless of social or economic background.
  • We will develop our staff team, resources and methods making changes as required to ensure we progress successfully into the future.

Helping Your Child Explore, Grow, & Learn

The entire team at Chirpy Chicks want each and every day to be a fun and rewarding learning experience for the children in our care. By the end of their pre-school year they should be moving up to P1 filled with confidence and a love of learning. We work closely in partnership with all primary schools in our local area to ensure we are guiding the children’s education to flow into the systems they have in place as they transition into more formal schooling. The routines and activities they will be engaging in with new classmates will be second nature allowing them a head start into new adventures in primary school. If you have any questions about how an early years education could benefit your child please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Who We Are

Nick Moore – Owner

Chirpy Chicks is owned and operated by Nick Moore. Nick has 30 years experience working in science education from primary school to degree level as well as science research, and is active in supporting rural communities across Northern Ireland as Vice-Chairman of the board of directors of the local rural community support organisation, County Down Rural Community Network, and is also a director of the regional rural policy organisation the Rural Community Network.

Wilma Johnston – Pre-school Leader

Wilma is Chirpy’s Pre-school Leader. Wilma has previously worked in a pre-school centre of excellence and brings the experience and knowledge her 18 years of teaching pre-schoolers to enrich our Chirpy Chicks. Alongside this working experience Wilma has volunteered with children through youth groups and church activities for many years.

Heidi Williams – Deputy Pre-school Leader

Heidi is our Deputy Pre-school Leader. She has worked in childcare and education for several years and puts her experience to good use in shaping the learning journey of our Chirpy Chicks and Happy Hatchlings.

Donna Rea – Pre-school Coordinator

Donna brings over a decade of childcare experience from her own childminding enterprise to our pre-school.

Karen Shaw – Pre-school Coordinator

Karen has previously worked in Millisle Nursery with pre-school aged children and as a classroom assistant with P5 in Millisle Primary School.

Jacqui Taggart – Trainee Pre-school Coordinator

Jacqui is joining the fun as a Trainee Pre-school Coordinator for our 2022-2023 term


All staff at Chirpy Chicks are fully qualified to the appropriate standards laid out by the Health Care Trusts. As well as qualifications in child care learning and development, continuing professional development encouraged by the director adds to the impressive knowledge the team already bring to the pre-school. Staff also maintain up to date training in paediatric first aid, child protection (safeguarding), managing challenging behaviour, and working with children with additional needs. Every member of the team is ready to talk to parents about any subject relating to the care and development of their child at any time. Should you have any concerns or queries never hesitate to ask as we’re here to help and support the whole family.