Danielle’s commitment to child led play

I can’t recommend the Secret Garden Play Cafe highly enough! We are so lucky to have this cafe just a short walk from my house. Danielle offers a fantastic choice of drinks, meals and snacks in a warm, fun environment. The kids’ toys are fab, and I know Danielle has gone to huge efforts to provide a great range of activities for kids to enjoy, such as soft play, baby massage, and arts and crafts.

I’ve been a childcare professional for over 15 years with Level 2 and Level 3 NVQs in childcare. I always knew I wanted to work with children and I’ve found it to be a really rewarding career. As a nanny, I gained hands on experience caring for children and focusing on their day to day development.

When my last nanny job ended I knew I wanted to set up a business working with children and to provide an environment for truly child led play. I’m a firm believer in letting children explore for themselves. The brain grows from 25% to 80% of its full size in the first two years of a child’s life and movement is key to stimulating this growth – it’s why a child never keeps still! A child will explore using all their senses –the more senses involved the more they learn. The more you can stand back and let them explore, the more they will develop an understanding of the world and of their own capabilities. And that’s why I have created The Secret Garden - a great fun place to play and where they can explore using all their senses.

But I also wanted to provide a little oasis for parents and carers where they can relax whilst their little ones play safely. That’s why I have a minimum £3 spend in the café – so I can provide a café with good coffee and delicious, healthy food for children and grown ups alike.