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Early Learning Centre

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      17.03.2013 21:30

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      I get more excited then my kids when visiting the Early Learning centre...

      Since by son was born a couple of years ago, the Early Learning Centre has become a firm favourite in our house. One of the first times I went into the store and thought how much my son would love the different toys, and what educational value they had to them. Most of the toys have a sign to help parents identify what areas the toy would help develop i.e. Hand to Eye Co-ordination, Communication Skills etc. I have bought a variety of items, from books and CD to pretend play (doctors set, tea sets etc.) and arts and crafts - all of which have been well enjoyed by my son. Early Learning Centre often have offers where you can get a percentage of the store or a certain range of items in the store i.e. all outdoor toys etc., therefore I have often picked up bargains and I would recommend signing up to their website so they can email offers to you. They also sell their toys in Debenhams and Amazon for the same price and of course have an excellent website (www.elc.co.uk) - Delivery charges apply if you spend under £50.

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      21.05.2010 08:04
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      Good quality toys and excellent value for money at sale time

      Since my grandson was born I have been going to Early learning centre to find some nice toys for him to learn and play with as they have a large selection of good quality toys for both boys and girls, and they especially have nice ones for pre school age and the age ranges from birth to around 8 years old.

      We found the shop inside Mothercare and although it was situated in one corner it had a large variety of items on display and it is very hard to choose once you are inside, as there is such a large variety.

      I was looking for a lawnmower and they did not have any in the store as it was Christmas time during their sale time and they offered me a BBQ stand for half the original price and I paid only £10, which was extremely good value.

      They stock building blocks, sandpits, dolls houses, cars, trains and lots more and they are all very good quality and will last for years if taken care of and my grandson plays with it in the garden now it is the nice weather and has fun.

      They sell lots of role play outfits and accessories, which is good for the child to grow and learn and they also sell lots of construction items, books and puzzles to help a child's mind learn more and give them fun at the same time.

      I love the outdoor toys as I think in the summer a child loves to be outdoors and play in the garden and I am trying to build up a collection for my home for when my grandson comes to visit or stay and he will not get bored and we can have fun in the garden.

      The prices can tend to be a little expensive with some items but considering the very good quality, I think they are good prices and especially to buy at sale time as it can save you a lot of money and it is a good idea to buy at these times and keep them for Christmas or birthdays as it makes sense and to save even more pennies and then you do not have to trail the shops during the busy times.


      These stores can be found in most Cities and Towns and sometimes are situated in the Mothercare stores and I highly recommend anyone to take a look inside and especially at sale time and bag a bargain for a very good quality range of products for children.


      I give it 5 stars.

      Thank you for reading my review.

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        14.03.2010 18:32
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        quality learning products.

        My wife and I love this shop as we became grandparents a year ago for the first time and we were delighted to be able to go to the toy shops and buy our grandson some good quality learning toys for him.
        We used to pass this shop because we did not have any younger child to buy for so when our daughter was pregnant we started to take a look here and we found some very nice things for our unborn grandchild.

        At the time we did not know if she was going to have a boy or girl so we just bought the rattle and baby items which can be for any sex of a baby and then when the baby was born we then went to buy what he needed.

        We found this store inside Mothercare shop and it mean't that we could buy the baby clothes and accessories and the toys at the same time in one place which was very handy and then we just had to park the car outside and our items were easy to carry back to our transport.

        This shop is not always the cheapest but the quality is what you are paying for and the quality is exceptionally good and lasting, they sell outdoor toys and tool sets, prams, dolls houses, and everything you could ever want for the developing child.

        I always go to this store in the sale times, especially after christmas as they do absolutley good bargains and most of them are at half price, it is only the beginning of the second year we have been using this store but in that time, I have been able to buy my grandson some lovely easy to learn products that keep him amused while he is learning at the same time.

        The staff are always helpful and pleasant and on many occasions when my daughter has mentioned something my grandson likes, as all children like something that is their favourite, and when she tells me what he is into at that time, and I am looking for this product, the staff in these shops help me to choose the correct one for him and sometimes their advice is very good as they have alot of knowledge in what products they have in store and also they have a catalogue to look in if they cannot find it and on one occasion they called a different store to check if the item I wanted was there for me as they did not have it in stock there.

        I rate this a 5 star.

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          14.03.2010 11:16
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          great place to visit for educaitonal toys and games for your little one

          The Early Learning Centre sells toys for children from birth to about 6 years old.

          When my daughter was little, we spent a lot of time in this shop! She loved it and called it THE toy shop.

          The shop itself is well organised and the labels on the shelves help you to find what you are looking for really easily. They have sections for specific ages and activity types. I have always found the staff to be friendly and helpful and they also know the products really well.

          The toys are of a brilliant quality. They need to be robust because of the ages of the children who will be using them and they certainly fit the purpose and last.

          You can get toys for very young children which will help to develop their learning - rattles, cause and effect toys, different textures and patterns. As your child gets older, there are lots of role play type toys from dressing up clothes to dolls and figures. I particularly like the Happyland range of toys for 18 months plus and have just passed on my daughter's toys to my nephew who is loving them as well. The 'play house' toys are great - kitchens and equipment that the children can really get to grips with and have their own mini house at home!

          The art section has some great stuff for crafty activities, although these tend to be quite expensive compared with other places you can buy these. They have their own range of play dough type equipment and this is good and long lasting.

          Early Learning Centre also do a range of outdoor toys that you can order in store to be delivered. Climbing frames, swings and trampolines can all be purchased from here and delivered to your home. Again, they are quite expensive, but worth it for the quality of the equipment you receive. They also stock a range of smaller outdoor toys and sports equipment which is useful - you can have your own mini sports day in your garden quite easily!

          The shop also stocks books and CDs, but there aren't many of these. They supply resources if your child is learning through the Jolly Phonics scheme at school. They also supply Leapfrog toys which help with reading and early maths skills.

          I am quite sad that my daughter is now too old to buy things from this shop, but we are both enjoying visiting it to buy things for my nephew.

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          24.02.2010 23:07
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          toy shop for young children

          The Early Learning Centre (also known to my daughter as 'the green shop') is now the only toyshop in our town so we are frequent visitors.

          Early Learning Centre is a British chain of shops which sells toys and books for children from birth and the younger child. They were set up in 1974 as a mail order company but they have now grown to have over 200 shops in the UK and 80 in other countries. It is now owned by Mothercare and their products can be found not only in their own stores but also in Mothercare, Boots and Debenhams.

          So what do they sell? They sell a massive range of things for young children. They start from birth with things such as teethers, rattles comforters etc and toys progress with your child so that they can move onto baby walkers, first toy vehicles, shape sorters and the like. Around 80% of their products are own branded so you won't find too many of the famous brands in here. They seem to stock things such as the Leapfrog brand and other educational type toys. They do have a larger selection of toys included more well known ones around Christmas time.

          As your child grows they will have a toy suitable for their age! They have a very large selection of imaginative play toys and figures called 'Happyland' These are little figures and buidings suitable from about 18 months and are very popular. Many are unisex but they have brought out a pink version of many of their toys. They also have a range of dolls houses etc for when your child is a bit older.

          They stock a range of garages and similar things - again there is generally a more unisex and a pink version available in most of these. The ones for young children are sturdy and chunky, perfect for little ones and as they get older they become more lifelike and realistic.

          My daughter (and myself) love their range of roleplay and dressing up stuff. There are outfits for all things from fairies to doctors, vets and pirates. Something for everyone here. They also have a great range of 'house' toys such as mitchens, play food, iron and ironing boards and cash registers.

          Early Learning centre do stock a wide range of wooden railway - both their own brand and also the ever popular Learning Curve Thomas the Tank stuff.

          There is a really wide range of arts and crafts kits in here - usually everything you need is in the kit so they are nice and easy! They also sell seperates and extras if you only want to purchase a couple of bits.

          A good selection of games and puzzles is also available. The majority of these are own branded but very similar to some of the more popular and well known games. What I do like is that they make games from about 18 months as most companies only make them from 3 years

          There is a great range of musical type toys from pianos, guitars and microphones and other instruments.

          At the moment they have their summer stuff coming in so climbing frames, ball pits, trampolines and bats and balls are all there.

          So what is their stuff like? All of the products that we have purchased from the Early Learning Centre have been of a really high quality, well made and durable but most of all safe and suitable for the recommended age although I do think that some of them are quite expensive. I think that the price is a reflection of the quality though and their service so I don't mind paying the extra as I know it will last.

          All of their toys have an age guide and it also tells you how educational the toy is and what areas it will develop such as creativity, imagination, counting etc.

          However they do have small items ranging form a couple of quid up to a couple of hundred so there is something for everyone in there.

          Most of their stores are quite small in my experience (they do have a website also) and some are quite cramped but I am focusing on my local Kettering branch. This is one of the larger stores - Whenever I have been in it is always clean. There are usually some toys scattered about the store so kids can try before they buy. Despite us having one at home my daughter immediately goes to the piano in there and tinkles the old ivories (even if they are plastic imitation ones!)

          Our local store does have a play day on a Tuesday where they have even more toys out and you can just go along and have a play. A great marketing ploy as we have bought many items this way but its great to see if your child actually likes something before making a purchase.

          While the toys scattered about can be a good thing it does make the shop not very buggy friendly. I have also tripped over stuff and stood on things in there.

          The staff in our store are always helpful and friendly and the customer service I have received in there has always been great. We have had duplicate and unsuitable gifts from there which they have exchanged no questions asked. We waited several months for a certain item to come back in stock and when it did they gave us 20% off for waiting! Nice :o). They have also been very good when returning faulty items and have replaced them straight away (we have only had 2 faulty ones so not too bad!)

          They also have a birthday club which you can join - add your childs birthday and they will send you a 20% discount voucher around that time and also a CD or small game suitable for your childs age with party suggestions. THey always have a stand of catalogues and 'Your Family' magazines at the entrance -they are free and the magazine is well worth picking up as it has some really good articles in.

          The only critism of the shop is that they have less toys suitable for older children and their prooducts are only good for up to around 8 years old.

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          24.02.2010 11:11
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          Every kid should visit ELC at least once!

          ELC is a really special shop. The first time I went there was when my son, now 9, was 2, and they had a special offer on at the time where you could get a free toy worth £5 every Tuesday. It was a clever marketing ploy, because I have spent a lot of money in there since!
          What I really like about ELC is the type of toys they sell. There are no violent toys, like guns.and no tat. Everything is really high quality.
          Shopping in ELC is lovely because they always have lots of products on display for the kids to play with. There is usually a brio railway table, with wooden engines, as well as various remote controlled toys dotted around. My kids always head for the keyboard, which has a microphone attatched, to "entertain" the customers.
          ELC sells many different types of toy, from baby, to art, to music, as well as figures for imaginary play.This makes it the perfect shop to look for gifts, as you know it will always be good quality.
          One of my favourite product ranges are the plastic animals. These are relatively cheap,ranging from £1 for a baby animal to £4 for a larger animal or dinosaur. They are good pocket money toys and last well. Kids absolutely love playing with them.
          ELC also do a pocket money range of cheaper toys, which are usually on display by the tills, so not everything is expensive, as some may expect.
          The staff are always welcoming and helpful and nothing is enough trouble for them.
          Now my kids are getting older, my youngest is nearly 5, we go to ELC less often. This makes me quite sad because it has always been one of the shops we never miss when we go out.

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          16.01.2010 00:20
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          A very good toy shop, with stimulating toys for young minds.

          The Early Learning Centre has a really great range of toys for young children. It's a well-known brand, and lives up to its good name. We bought a lot of toys for our young twins and as gifts for our friends' children in this store.

          The toys they sell tend to keep children interested and they really enjoy playing with the toys we have bought them from here. The prices vary quite a lot, mainly depending on the size and complexity of the toy, although there is nothing ridiculously expensive in store.

          Despite the excellent range of toys, and regular offers and updates in the post (we signed up for these in store, and typically get occasional gifts like a CD of nursery rhymes or soothing music), the layout of the stores lets them down a bit. The stores nearest to my home (St. Ann's Square and Ashton-under-Lyne, both in Manchester) are very small and the displays are really packed in. There is loads of stuff on display (this is good, and why I go there in the first place), but no room for a double buggy, especially given they put things like tents and playmats on display on the floor, and my children will grab anything they can off the shelves as it's impossible to keep a 'safe' distance from them.

          On the whole, it's a good store with great products, but is far less stressful if I don''t take my children with me.

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          30.11.2009 22:39
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          Great small store with everything you need and the staff are brilliant a* in customer service!

          I love ELC!
          All the stores are set out so you walk in and fall in love with everything there! The products are such great quality and usually one of a kind(that arent availble in other shops) but the prices can be expensive but you do pay for quality.
          Anyway my store here in Blackpool is a small store and packed to the brim full of toys and can be tricky to get around but the staff in there make up for it.
          I went in in October half term to do a big christmas shop with vouchers. I also needed to order something for home delivery so I was a bit of a pain in the bum. There were 2 girls serving customers and both were lovely just what you need when your feeling a tad stressed out.
          I was using vouchers to pay for £170 worth of stuff and also a 10% off voucher and doing a home delivery order. The ladies were so helpful and did not seem annoyed at all this they got on with it as quickly as possible and made my day. It took them 2 orders to put everything through as home delivery ones have to be done seperate but they allowed me to use my voucher on both payments which I was very happy about as they could have told me no like many other stores probably would have!
          I will happily go back in there and spend money as they make you feel welcome and wanted!
          PLease visit if your in Blackpool

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          18.11.2009 10:06
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          Well worth a visit

          The early learning centre is one of the few high streets stored dedicated to young children's toys. The ELC also have an online store. There range is from birth to about seven years of age dependant upon the child.

          The store itself is well laid out and what I love about this store is that they have plenty of toys out for the children to try. I am sure that this may also be a ploy for the greatest marketing technique ever ,pester power but it does give you chance to look without having everything you pick up grabbed out of your hands. My store used to do play morning where they had more toys out than usual but there is still plenty to play with in store.

          The ranges are baby and toddler toys, outdoor toys Dolls and Doll's Houses, Dressing Up and Role Play, Action Figures and Play sets, Cars/Trains and construction, learning and Books, Art and creativity and Music, Puzzles and games.

          The outdoor toys that are in store are limited and even more during the winter for obvious reasons.

          As I have a boy most of my experience is in the boy's type of toys. I have bought toys for my son since he was a baby. I do find that once the children pass the baby stage the toys do appear to be extremely divided between the genders. The girls toys do seem very girly and the boys are very much boy themed. A lot of the toys are pirate, rockets and transport. These toys do seem to be about stimulating the imagination

          The thing that I do really like about the toys is they are designed for fun but this shop is the one that does put educational development in their toys.

          I have been in this store today to purchase some craft items for friends children's Christmas present and bought some craft items to add onto my son's handmade Christmas cards and the price for the items I spent were pretty comparative to all other high street shops.

          The toys I do find can be on the more pricey side but this is one store where you do really get a quality item that does last.

          The staff I have found to be extraordinarily helpful and friendly.

          Returning items.

          I have only had the need to return and item once which was a toddler laptop that had stopped working and despite not having a receipt was replaces with no issue.


          The website

          The website is very easy to navigate and does have a range of exclusive toys. Strangely some of the exclusive toys tend to be more general toys rather than ELC own brand. .Delivery from this site is £4.95 for standard delivery and £7.95 for next day delivery. It is also free for orders over £100

          Birthday club

          You can join the birthday club either online or for 0 to 6 year olds and you will receive a big birthday pack and a 20% off voucher.

          Spare parts

          I have found that the website does have a stock of spare parts for many items and if your item is listed then ELC will send it out to you free of charge which is a unique service. I have emailed other companies before looking for spare parts for toys and have never had any success.


          Availability

          ELC toys are also available in Mothercare and I noticed a few in
          Debenhams today for the first time

          For more information see www.elc.co.uk

          This is a store well worth dropping in if looking for a gift for a little one.

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            09.11.2009 15:44
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            A must for toys you want to last and last, but with a bit of a high price tag

            Early Learning Centre is a name that every parent knows. They are "the" toy shop on nearly every high street and they have a fantastic reputation which they have definitely earned.

            When you enter an Early Learning Centre store the first thing you notice is the range of the toys. Every square inch is filled with delights of every colour, shape and size imaginable.

            The age range of toys is newborn through to six plus and caters for boys and girls alike.

            The baby toys are generally gender neutral and are usually more pastel colours, especially the toys designed for newborns.

            Toddler toys tend to come in bold, primary colours. As you get to around 18 months to 2 years, the toys tend to have more gender specific toys such as role play equipment like irons, microwaves etc, and cars, dumper trucks for the boys. Not to say, however, that these toys won't work for both genders - my son loves to play with his vacuum cleaner and his toy kitchen!

            The toys then range into dolls and Thomas the Tank Engine for the older children. They cater for dressing up and this includes a vast range such as firemen, princesses and policemen. Early Learning Centre also stock a wide range of arts and crafts materials and a selection of books.

            If you join the Birthday Club through their website, around your child's birthday each year you get a voucher which entitles you to 20% off any orders which is fab, and you get ideas sent to you via email of what your child might like from their stock.

            I would say that the prices that ELC charge are on the high side. However, they are built to last, and if you do find any fault with their toys they will gladly exchange it without quibble, no matter how old the toy is.

            In my opinion this is a fantastic toy shop, and my children love to just wander around in their stores even if they know they aren't buying anything, just to look at the delights on their shelves.

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              10.10.2009 19:26
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              I've just visited this store today for the millionth time with my daughter, and looking around realised how much money I must have actually spent in here over the last five years on my little princess. It seems that since her conception, ELC has been part of my life and we both really do love it.

              ~ About The Early Learning Centre ~

              Early learning Centre (or ELC) is a Uk toyshop catering for children aged from Birth to around eight years old. They sell a wide range of both their own and brand name toys in stores, which can be found in most cities and towns, and online.

              The toys are split up into several categories: Baby and Toddler, Outdoor, Dolls and Doll's Houses, Dressing Up and Role Play, Action Figures and Play sets, Cars/Trains and construction, learning and Books, Art and creativity and finally Music, Puzzles and games.

              I can't remember shopping here much for my son, who is now 13, although I do remember looking at car seats in one shop, way back when he needed such a thing. When I was expecting my daughter over 5 years ago I realised they no longer stock baby equipment, however I fell in love with their toys and have bought many a thing in there since. They are more expensive than other manufacturers, however I firmly believe in ELC you get the quality you pay for and not only does your child get a great toy with lots of learning potential, but you also get a toy that will last long beyond necessary.

              ~ The Shops ~

              As mentioned above the shops can now be found in most towns and cities and vary in size. I usually shop in the Carlisle or Metro centre stores which are both a good size and seem to stock a full range (although some large outdoor toys can only be ordered from stores for delivery).

              The shops are bright and colourful, although can be a little over filled at times, I remember once knocking down a stack of happy land toys that had been displayed in the middle of the floor by ramming my buggy into it (accidently!). The store does get very busy and crowded at Christmas too and can be a nightmare, full of stressed parents and over excited kids.

              It's easy to distinguish between the different sections and find age appropriate toys, and most toys have a display model set up so you can see what the toy is actually like. This has plus's and negatives however! On the plus side you can examine the toy and there are no nasty surprises or disappointments when it's home and removed from the box. The negative of course is that taking children in here can be horrendous as they fight over the display toys and refuse to leave!

              I have always found the staff in the ELC stores I have visited to be friendly and helpful. On one occasion I bought play sand and then realised it was too heavy to carry. The sales assistant very helpfully offered to keep it behind for me until I got a car round to pick it up; it wasn't a problem at all. I have also had to return an item and again it was done without any problem at all. My only criticism would be that at peak times there often isn't enough staff and they are busy on the till with no one available on the floor to offer assistance. There also is only one pay point which can have huge queue again at Christmas and maybe a temporary pay point would be a good idea then to keep the customers moving quickly.

              ~ Online ~

              I like going into an ELC shop as you can really look at the products on offer. My daughter also loves going in and it can be a good way of passing a half hour if we miss the bus. However I now prefer making most purchases online, for several reasons.

              Firstly, and most importantly, the site is easy and stress free to use. Much like the store itself the toys are sectioned well and it is easy to find what you are looking for. It has good clear product photographs and descriptions, and there are some useful customer reviews to consider too. I can do my shopping at anytime of day without the histrionics a trip to the store can result in from my daughter and it's delivered straight to my door, so no bulky boxes to cart home.

              Another good reason to shop online is that more often than not you can find discount codes for use in the online store, usually for 20%. At Christmas this can be a huge saving when I have been making large purchases.

              Lastly, it can be the case that the store has sold out of the most popular toys and you are more likely to be able to buy these online. A couple of years ago I could not get hold of the Bluebell Boot my daughter had asked for, in the store itself but easily picked it up online AND got a 20% discount.

              Standard delivery costs £4.95 with orders over £100 free. Occasionally ELC run a promotion with free delivery on over £60 etc. You can opt for express delivery in 2 days for £7.95, and standard takes 4 working days. I actually received my standard delivery within 2 days so was very impressed with this, however I think that free delivery should be offered on orders over £50 and not just through occasional promotions.

              ~ The products ~

              While ELC products can be, or rather ARE on the high side, I truly believe they are worth it for the quality and longevity of them. I have bought most of my daughter's toys from ELC over the last few years and there is only one occasion when I wasn't happy with the item. I was offered a refund immediately and since haven't had any other reason to complain.

              I think that ELC have a very good range of both entertaining AND educational toys. They are bright and colourful, sturdy and attractive to children. I have mainly shopped in the girl's section and there is always a fantastic choice.

              ELC have a fantastic range of educational/getting ready for school games, puzzles and toys. My daughter has started reception class recently and is being taught using the Jolly Phonics range, which is not only stocked in ELC but also have joined with ELC to produce other games and puzzles to enhance the series. I have been in today and bought a few items from this range and my initial impression is that they are very good.

              I do have one complaint however, and that is how quite often, despite the high price tag, the toy won't come with all the items necessary and they have to be bought separately. The dolls house is one such example, costing a hefty £100 without any furniture. For this reason there are some items I have avoided as I think they are too expensive. ELC is also not a good pocket money shop, with very little priced under £5 so is also one to avoid if your little one has a few pennies they would like to spend as they are unlikely to find anything here.

              On the plus side, the toys really do last a long time and can easily be passed on to younger siblings or other family meaning the toy holds a lot of enjoyment! They also hold their re-sale value very well and it is easy to get 2/3 of your initial expense back when selling them on Ebay.

              I do find that the age range given on a toy can be a little on the high side. I allowed my daughter some 3+ toys at age 2 and couldn't really figure out why they were advised for older children. I also think it's unlikely that the toys will appeal to it's upper age range and think that babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers will enjoy the toys here the most.

              ELC do stock some branded toys, although I would recommend shopping around for these, as I believe you could get them cheaper elsewhere.

              ~ Conclusion ~

              For me, ELC cannot be beaten for quality and range. As my daughter reaches 5 she is asking for things like Barbie's and a DS for Christmas and I'm sad that it's probably not long before I say farewell to ELC.

              While I can think of a couple of very small negatives, on the whole shopping at ELC both online and in store has been a very positive experience. It's a big thumbs up and a huge recommendation from me.

              www.elc.co.uk

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                13.09.2009 21:17
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                Nice shop for childrens toy shopping

                I have visited this store ever since I was born so that shows how long it has been going. I loved this store when I was a child and my grandparents loved it because they were able to get me educational toys.

                I recently visited this store for presants for my daughters second birthday. As I walked past the window of the shop I saw the most beautiful dolls house I have ever seen it came with furniture for the whole house for £75 this was a good deal to me usually you would pay that for the house alone and at less quality than this one.

                As I browsed around the shop their was too much for me to choose from. There were dolls and outfits then kitchen and cleaning apperatus for childrens toys, then it moved on to a music section which ranged from woden ones to a plasic guitar and a pink plastic keyboard with a chair, my eyes lit up when I saw it for £45. Unfortunatley it wasn't my money that I was spending so I had to keep walking. It then moved onto a creative corner that had moonsand and colouring books and crayons. Then moved round to boys action figures and childrens reading and learning books that were for all ages. Then last but not least the baby section that contained push along woden bikes, mobiles, playmats and much more. In the middle of the shop they had assembled the kitchen units and baby dolls cot beds and cots.

                I finally invested in a mop set and a vacum for my daughter as a presant from my grandmother due to she loves to help me around the house these cost £24 together which was good value for her and I am sure she will get alot of fun out of them. I am definatley returning to the store for chrismas presants to invest in the washing machine, iron and ironing board.

                Many years ago I would have said that they were overpriced but looking now the toys are good quality and worth the money. The age range of the store is from birth to 8 years old but they do make things for children older but there is not a huge range for the older children. This shop does pride themselves on providing learning apperatus for children and they definatley do this due to children learn from their parents actions and through creative play and music, this shop provides all these types of toys.

                When we paid the woman behind the counter asked me if I would like to join the shops club. I pulled a face at this thinking that it would cost me something or I would recieve unwanted junk mail but I was assured that this wouldn't happen. This club sends you updates on the toys that they provide and up until your child is 6 the club will send out a birthday card and a small presant to them on their birthday and they will also send out 20% off vouchers every so many months I can't pass up a freebee so I signed up and I am waiting to see how well this club is.

                This shop is brilliant for learning toys to help your childrens development and hold good quality toys the staff are polite and helpful and you will always find something at a bargin. I would reccommend any parent to take a look at this shop and see for themselves.

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                10.09.2009 12:25
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                excellent place to go for quality toys

                I wrote this review on another review site which is called Qype, I really love this shop,it has such a great selection of toys for children from the ages of birth-8 years.I have visited this shop quite alot lately as i have just had a child and we bought alot of his christmas presents here.

                They have a large range of stuff for babies from birth, which include mats, rattles, soft toys,bouncers and much more.
                I wasnt aware they would have a large selection for newborn babies, but they had a good selection,and the stuff in here is very good quality.

                They also have a section in the shop of books for young children.
                There is a offer on at the minute that if you spent in the store or online,phone you get 20% off whatever you purchase.
                The staff are always lovely and really chatty which makes you feel more welcome.

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                09.06.2009 21:27
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                Good friendly website, easy to use

                Background to Early Learning Centre:
                The first stores were open in the 1970's and they now how 215 stores nationwide. They sell toys from famous brand such as Vtech, Fisher Price, playmobil, leapfrog and many more. They also have their own brands such as Blossom Farm and Happyland. ELC work closely with Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents and work hard to make sure all toys are child safe and meet all the required standards..

                Website
                The ELC website is easy to use and set out very well. It shows pictures of every product it has available and anything you can find in the store you can find online. It is colourful and searching for toys is easy using the toy category i.e. Baby/Toddler, Outdoor Toys, Constructions Toys, Action Figures & Play sets or using the search button and typing in a keyword if you know what toy you want.
                The offers are easy to find as they are nearly always displayed on the home screen. The prices of the toys are displayed clearly and there are also reviews from previous buyers of each purchase with a rating.
                Promotional codes are offered regularly, either by joining their Big Birthday Club or by searching the promotional code websites around, it is easy to type these in at the checkout but be aware any toys already classed as being reduced or part of a special will not allow the code to be applied. The basket will hold items that you have previously put in for your next visit.
                Help is easy to find on the website and you can email, call or write to them.

                Delivery
                Delivery is a standard price of £4.95 or there are special offers where if you spend over a certain amount (£60, £100) the delivery is free. Express delivery is also available to the UK but this is at a higher cost of £7.95 and is dependant on the size of the item you have purchased. Most items are delivered within 4days via courier service and signature is required upon delivery.
                ELC offer a great returns service, quoted as being "No Quibble". They will refund or exchange the item happily with no limit to time. They will accept returns in-store too or they will arrange a courier to collect it.

                Problems
                The only problems I have encountered using this service was we had 1 box delivered and it was in appalling condition when it got to us. It was something that had happened at the ELC warehouse, as the outer packaging was not damaged. I sent a letter to the Customer Service department and enclosed pictures. They were most helpful, the return letter was very apologetic and I received a £25 gift card to discourage any bad feelings.

                Advantages:
                Colourful website, easy to search for toys, useful to have previous buyers reviews and ratings on show, excellent customer service

                Disadvantages:
                No sales section and you will not get any promotional code applied to toys classed as being on specials or a reduced price.

                All in all a good website to use, online shopping experiences are always made that much better when they have a friendly customer service team to back them up.

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                21.05.2009 20:57
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                Great shop, great toys, think about deliveries and your website

                I have used this website often, the store offers great value toys, in compliance with safety standards. The toys available cover a range of prices and types of toys, which vary depending on the season - for instance summer range will have more outdoor toys, the winter range will have more dressing up.

                The selection on line aligns with the range in the catalogue - I have found it easier to view the complete ranges in the catalogue and then go online to order. The ELC do offer 20% off vouchers if you sign up with them, for use online and in store, and it is well worth considering what you wish to buy and bulking it together to get the benefit from this.

                Deliveries to home are good in the sense that they come in anonymous brown boxes handy for keeping hidden the fact they may contain a present, however despite being told it may take 4 days to despatch, knowing which day the delivery will turn up is the key. Also as I work I have missed deliveries, the driver has then just placed the boxes over my locked gate - they are secure there but in the open and the boxes are not waterproof - I have been lucky to have not had anything damaged.

                If deliveries could be either time allocated or to store this would be a great advantage, or even delivered to a work address.

                Toys in store I would say are predominantly more suitable for children from birth to 6 years.

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