The Donkey Field Pre-School first opened its doors in Crawley Down Village on 26th February 2001 to fulfil a need within the local community for provision for the under 5s, following the closure of Burleigh Acorns Playgroup in June 2000.
The setting up of the pre-school was the work of a small committee of people from Crawley Down, known as "The Steering Committee". They worked closely with what was then The Burleigh Infant School, the pre-school Learning Alliance and West Sussex Early Years Partnership Team.
The pre-school expanded rapidly and a huge demand for places has resulted in increased staffing levels and opening to 10 sessions a week.
The naming of the pre-school may seem curious. Before the 2006 merger of the local infant and junior schools, Burleigh Infant School occupied the site on Hophurst Drive and The Donkey Field Pre-School was housed in a temporary classroom in the school grounds. Many years before the Burleigh Infant School was built, the area was grazing land and was home to a donkey – hence "The Donkey Field Pre-School". When Burleigh Infant School merged with Crawley Down Junior School in 2006 to form the Crawley Down C of E School, The Donkey Field Pre-School was offered the use of the community room (The Burleigh Room) within the new school building. We have been in The Burleigh Room since September 2007 with our own entrance/exit separate to the school and our own enclosed garden for the children to play in.
Every January we hold our AGM where a new Management Committee is elected, comprising of parents/guardians/grandparents of a current pupil of the pre-school or parents/guardians/grandparents of a pupil who left the pre-school within the last five years. Full details of the Management Committee members are listed on page 13. Although we share the same site, we are independent to Crawley Down Village C of E School.