London’s top nursery and preschools

For many children, the long journey that is education does not only start when they enter school. It begins at home, and for many children some time between 5 months and 3 years, it continues in nurseries or pre-schools. The best of these can offer an enjoyable and smooth transition from toddlerhood to the Reception classes at primary school.

Many of the prep schools featured London Pre-Prep have a nursery class for 3 to 4 year-olds attached to them – I will not go into details on these again, but you can find a list of top schools that start at the nursery level at the end of this article. Instead, I want highlight several of the most popular pre-school choices in Central London that I have often heard recommended by other parents. If your child is attending a warm and loving nursery that you do not see listed here, please feel free to share this information with other parents by leaving a comment below. The nurseries below are all oversubscribed, so make sure you also read our advice on “getting a place at a top nursery school!”

    • Broadhurst School (Hampstead): a small pre-preparatory school for children aged 2 to 5. The youngest children attend 3 hours per day, the older children 6 hours per day. This nursery is known to provide children with excellent preparation for the tough North London 4+ and 5+ assessments at top prep schools, but don’t expect too much free play or outdoor learning here!
    • Castle Kindergarten (Wimbledon): “outstanding” nursery school for children from 2 – 5 years with strong links to local pre-preps and prep schools like Squirrels, Rowans and Rokeby. High staff ratio and rich curriculum, perfect and gentle introduction to nursery school to get children ready for prep schools.
    • Chelsea Pre-Prep and Nursery (Chelsea): is an outstanding rated pre-school offering early education for children aged 2.5 to 6. It is located in St Andrew’s Church Hall in a small side street running parallel to King’s Road.  The impressive list of fun activities offered to children includes Chelsea Ballet School and Little Kickers sports lessons, music and drama, French and animal care
    • Hopes and Dreams Montessori Nursery School (Angel) – a lovely and oversubscribed Montessori School near Angel tube station in East London. It has an outstanding Ofsted rating and offers a varied curriculum with excursions, Spanish, French and ballet and sports. There is even a small garden for children to play. The late opening till 7pm proves popular with working parents.
    • Ladybird Nursery School (South Kensington): one of the longest established private nursery schools so popular that quite a few parents of children at the nursery attended themselves in the old times. Very focused on happy children without unnecessary pressure, explicitly not academic, although children learn lots in drama, music and garden activities. Very lucky to have access to a beautiful private square with playground. Very oversubscribed!
    • Little Sweethearts Montessori (Maidavale) – long established accredited Montessori nursery located in a church hall near Warwick Avenue. Children from 2 – 5 learn and play in small age groups. Wide range of Montessori and other learning materials and high staff ratio. Children move on to schools in nearby Notting Hill or Hampstead (Pembridge Hall, The Hall, Arnold House, ASL…)
    • Marmalade Cat (Battersea) – this Montessori nursery school in Battersea is getting raving reviews from parents, children are happy and nurtured while also getting prepared for tough 4+ assessments in the area. Great choice if you are aiming for Thomas’s Battersea.
    • the Minors Nursery School and Rolfe’s Nursery School (Notting Hill) – these are both part of the Alpha Plus Group and are a popular choice for parents who like to see their children to continue on to Pembridge Hall and Wetherby
    • Miss Daisy’s is a group of three lovely and hence very popular nursery schools in Chelsea, Knightsbridge and Belgravia. The busy programme includes football, music, French and plenty of outdoor play, but the curriculum also ensures excellent preparation for future schools. Founder Miss Daisy is passionate about phonics and has launched her own reading app called hip hop hen. Many children move on to Garden House and Knightsbridge School, as well as Francis Holland and other prep schools in Chelsea / Belgravia / South Kensington.
    • Pippa Pop-ins – another very popular and well regarded group of nurseries with three sites in Fulham. It prides itself in being structured and preparing children well for assessments while offering lots of free play and outdoor excursions. They offer morning and afternoon as well as full day sessions. Thomas’s Fulham and Fulham Prep are very popular destinations for children from this nursery.
    • Ready, Steady, Go – group of nursery schools in St John’s Wood, Primrose Hill and Camden, excellent word of mouth from parents in the area, excellent mix of free play, outdoors and formal learning. Great choice if you are aiming for the likes of Arnold House, the Hall or Trevor-Roberts School. Rated outstanding.
    • Ringrose Kindergarten Chelsea – an academically oriented kindergarten for children aged 2 1/2 to 5. Located in the St Luke’s Church Hall in Chelsea. Describe themselves very much as a “school” rather than a “playgroup”.
    • Roche School nurseries (Fulham, Putney, Wandsworth) – rated outstanding across the board, with enviable outdoor space, highly qualified staff and the perfect mix of free play and structured learning.
    • Strawberry Fields Nursery (Notting Hill) – Notting Hill parents tend to rate this nursery very highly and it has a glowing Ofsted review. It is very popular so do make sure to visit the nursery in person and register early. It doesn’t help your chances that it has become many a celebrity’s nursery of choice in recent years.
    • Tadpoles Nursery (Chelsea): a popular nursery located on the grounds of community primary school Park Walk. Its founder Claire Dimpfl was inspired by Maria Montessori’s methods when she opened Tadpoles in 1993. The vegetable garden and pond give the children the opportunity to connect with nature, and Upper Nursery children are taught swimming once a week. Recent Ofsted report only “Good” (previously outstanding), but still very positive. It’s the more informal and relaxed nursery in style compared to other more formal “shake hands and say please and thank you” style nurseries nearby
    • Young England Kindergarten (Pimlico) – one of the original nursery schools in London founded in the 1960s and for decades run by the very experienced and dedicated Miss Kay (now joined by her son Henry), this nursery’s motto is “where learning is serious fun!”. Free access to stunning St George’s Square in Pimlico is a big advantage here, as is the busy programme of Ballet, Music, Little Kickers, Gardening and French (to name but a few).

Then there are the hidden gems that you need to find yourself. There are a few nurseries that have been highly recommended to me by readers of this blog that they begged me not to publish so they don’t become as oversubscribed as the names above. So make sure you do your own research and talk to lots of other parents!

While these are great pre-schools, as they generally run from around 9am to 3pm, they may not be the best option for working parents looking for full day care. Full-time nurseries that also offer a varied pre-school curriculum and extracurricular activities are:

  • Bright Horizons – a large chain of nurseries across the UK (and the US, for that matter) that owns several daycare nurseries with an outstanding rating across London. Readers have recommended the branches in Regents Park and near London Bridge, but there are many more across London that you can search here.
  • Little Unicorn Nursery is a group of nurseries located in Canary Wharf and is hence very popular with City professionals.

Prep schools that have nursery class are:

100 comments… add one

  • Julia August 22, 2012, 11:47 PM

    My daughter goes to Busy Bees ( Wandsworth bridge) and I have been very impressed by nursery. The staff are really friendly and caring and it is a real pleasure picking up and dropping my daughter off there. They have a lot of activities, french lessons every week . Also very impressive menu all prepared in house. I would really recommend it to everyone.

    Reply
    • HBRS October 12, 2012, 12:01 PM

      I called to enquire about registration for my newborn and found the registrar at Thomas’ Kensington extremely rude without any apparent reason. Definitely not what I expected from such a reputable institution!

      Reply
  • Sam April 25, 2013, 8:50 AM

    Hi there – in terms of registering your child for nurseries and schools. Is it generally earlier the better. ie can you put your child on before birth. Our daughter is now 7m old and wondering if we have left it too late for nurser/school registration.

    Thanks

    Reply
    • London Preprep April 28, 2013, 7:19 AM

      HI Sam – that depends a bit on when you want her to start. If you go back to work at 7 months then obviously putting their name down at 7m it’s too late- but if you have a year or two more that’s fine with most nurseries. But with very popular one is to get their name down straight after birth. Some nurseries do have an “unborn waiting list” and then you phone after birth to move them to the proper waiting list. It depends on the nursery.

      Reply
  • Peejay April 28, 2013, 11:03 PM

    Hi , I’m interested on your opinion of Asquith Day Nurseries especially the one in Hendon,NW4 (Hendon Day Nursery). Do the nurseries serve as a proper foundation for entry into pre-prep schools at 3+. My 19month old son is registered with Grimsdell (Mill Hill School foundation) 3+ and Arnold House 5+, and I am trying to be cautious to ensure he gets a well grounded foundation before being assessed at 3+. Do you recommend any other nurseries in North London?

    Reply
    • London Preprep May 1, 2013, 6:38 PM

      Hi – I do not know specifically about this nursery. Try asking on the mumsnet forum! The North London nursery best known for 4+/5+ preparation is Broadhurst but it requires very early registration!

      Reply
  • Renju May 17, 2013, 12:26 PM

    Hi could anyone suggest me gud primary schools at Ilford or nearby areas?im new to London . Thank you

    Reply
  • Rhi May 21, 2013, 10:27 PM

    Hi, I’m curious…you’ve mentioned Mulberry House, Broadhurst, St Johns Wood per-prep in the north London nursery/ pre-prep context. Any opinion on Hampstead Hill School? That’s from 2-7 as well.

    Reply
    • London Preprep September 3, 2013, 9:34 PM

      Hi Rhi – it’s supposed to be brilliant! You need to sign up early as well!

      Reply
  • angy May 24, 2013, 5:52 PM

    Hi, could someone recommend a good nursery or pre-prep in brixton or south west london.

    Reply
  • Manish June 21, 2013, 3:40 PM

    Talking of good nurseries, My daughter attended the Little Unicorn Nursey at Bank Street in Canary Wharf, since she turned two. It was an absolute pleasure to see my daughter blossom there. Very positive developmental changes we saw, excellent caring staff that we interacted with. often heard other parents saying that its a very homely setting. Our full points to them.

    Have also heard of Muddy Boots Nursery inside the mudchute park,Isle of Dogs. Did visit them, quite impressive setting, and an equally impressive OFSTED rating.however they are usually having a huge waitlist.

    Reply
    • London Preprep June 21, 2013, 4:44 PM

      Manish – thanks so much for your comment! In fact, I also have friends with two kids at Little Unicorn and they also love it! Sounds like a great place!

      Reply
  • Sam July 29, 2013, 1:32 PM

    Hi There – I have noticed when reviewing prep school exit results that there does not seem to be many leaving to go to grammar schools. The majority are continuing onto other independent schools. I have also read the prep work required for entry to Tiffin for instance is sigifnicantly more challenging than gaining entry to an independent at 11+ and therefore tutoring is more likely to yield better results than being at a prep school. Is there any weight to this argument or will your child still stand a better chance of gaining entry to selective grammar schools if they are at a prep school without tutoring?

    Reply
  • Liz August 4, 2013, 11:56 PM

    Hi, I’m looking for a good nursery and pre prep school for my daughter in the e14 or se1 area. Can you recommend any?

    Reply
  • Andrea August 5, 2013, 8:50 PM

    Hi there!
    We are a British-Brazilian family moving over to London early next year.
    We have started emailing some nurseries, but as we are not there yet, scheduling a visit is not feasible until around November.
    We found a nursery called The Square School in Notting Hill – any reviews on that one? They have an outstanding Ofsted report.
    Thanks for the site, the advice has been so good especially for us with no idea of how the system operates there (we lived in London before but without kids – very different reality!!)
    Thanks!!

    Reply
    • Thais October 3, 2013, 3:12 PM

      I am in the exact same situation here Andrea, Italian-Brazilian family moving to London with a 2.5 year old. We have been living in São Paulo for the past 2 years but we were in London before that. I narrowed down to 2 neighborhoods I would like to live and now focusing on the nurseries in that area. I started looking at pre prep but even though we can narrow down to some I think it takes time and we have to be there to visit. Keep us posted!

      Reply
  • Meredith August 31, 2013, 3:09 PM

    My daughter (2) goes to Bright Horizons in Regents Park, and we have been extremely pleased with them. And she loves it, as well. They offer 8:00-18:00 M-F, plus half day too.

    Reply
  • Bukie September 21, 2013, 2:57 PM

    Does anyone have any thoughts about eaton house the vale nursery school.

    Reply
  • Lucy September 30, 2013, 6:19 PM

    Does anyone have any recommendations for good nurseries around Canary Wharf or London Bridge?

    Reply
  • Bikram Dasgupta October 20, 2013, 12:56 PM

    We are very keen to tieup/collaborate with a branded pre/prep school in United Kingdom.Kindly help us, in identifying a branded Pre/Prep School of repute to talk/discuss, collaboration.
    Thanks,
    Warm Regards,
    Bikram Dasgupta

    Reply
  • Ginny November 18, 2013, 1:54 AM

    We just found out that we are moving to London (South Kensington) at the beginning of the year. Do we have any hope of getting our 2 year old into a nursery? Thank you!

    Reply
  • Vanessa November 22, 2013, 2:25 PM

    I live in Haringey but I am willing to travel for my son to go to a good nursery. Do you happen to know the closest nursery to Haringey?
    Thank you!!

    Reply
    • London Preprep November 30, 2013, 12:03 PM

      Hi Vanessa – check out the Active Learning nurseries? Fortis Green nursery is highly rated and there are the Montessori Children’s House as well. Lots of options.

      Reply
      • Vanessa September 23, 2014, 3:53 PM

        Thank you for your advice. My son is attending Montissori Nursery. I am looking to move to Walthamstow. Do you know nurseries on their own or nurseries that are part of a primary school unit that are good, I would be very grateful. I’m not sure whether to transfer my son once we move or to still continue at the nursery he is now.
        Thank you.

  • Lu January 10, 2014, 6:39 PM

    Hello

    I am a Chinese mom of one-year-and-half boy and moving to work in London. Recently I have been doing reseach on nurseries for my little one. But I read an article reporting that nurseries create anti-social, upset toddlers, and come across “Too Much Too Soon” campaign emphasing the importance of play and games at early age. So may I ask the top nurseries in your list, are they good because of academic aspects?

    Ideally I would like my baby to go to a nursery where he can be happy, have fun and healthy organic food. Maybe that is what every mum wants.

    Regards

    Lu

    Reply
    • London Preprep January 10, 2014, 10:18 PM

      Dear Lu, thanks for your comment! I think the recent campaign referred to harmful effects of formal schooling at an early age, not so much to harmful effects of early nursery provision. Nurseries here very much focus on learning through play and know about the importance of free play. The list here provides a range of different styles, some recognised for their “academic” quality (usually meaning they are good at preparing kids for 4+ assessments), others for their outdoor space or pastoral care, many of these have outstanding Ofsted ratings which encompasses social and emotional well-being of the children as well as their intellectual development. Healthy food is actually not so easy to find in my experience, even when they claim it’s organic I have noticed many nurseries give young babies healthy veggie purees but then the toddlers get an awful amount of processed food (chicken mcnuggets, tuna bake etc) so you really need to visit and see for yourself!

      Reply
    • Cissy February 27, 2015, 5:45 AM

      Hello Lu,

      Have you found your preferred nursary? I am also a Chinese mom planning to move to London with my 3-years-old daughter. Would love to hear your recommendations.

      Reply
  • Nayana Sethi February 7, 2014, 1:58 AM

    I had recommend Colfes school and also its nursey, after a huge search we zeroed in on this school in the South East. well located for people in Blackheath, Greenwich, Canary Wharf, Lewisham, Lee etc. usually there is a waitlist, so plan ahead. It’s a delight to see our child transforming and the kind of knowledge imparted, methods followed and the attention to details by teachers is amazing. Its been a pleasant journey for us and our child. Wish I had studied in such a school.

    Reply
  • Andrea February 13, 2014, 12:12 PM

    Dear Pre Prep,
    I just wanted to add to the comments that we are extremely pleased with Little Unicorn Day Nurseries in Canary Wharf. Very commited, loving staff, all very well trained. Hugely supported me and my son with his many and sincere food allergies. They know all about avoiding food allergies, but also what to do in an emergency. Very personal and individual approach. Also sports lessions and french.

    Reply
  • Mon February 18, 2014, 7:16 PM

    Hi, I came across this page while researching for a nursery in London. The list you have provided are all for 2yrs and above. Could you kindly recommend a day nursery for children aged 1-2? Thanks in advance.

    Reply
    • London Preprep February 24, 2014, 6:30 PM

      Dear Mon – please scroll to the bottom section of the page that describes daycare nurseries. Where in London are you based?

      Reply
  • Sarah March 1, 2014, 5:49 AM

    Hello! We (French-Spanish family) just moved from Paris to London. We live at Imperial Wharf and would love to receive some feedback on the Bright Horizon nursery at Imperial Wharf. We have an 8 monther… Thank you!

    Reply
  • Bea March 13, 2014, 6:15 PM

    Hello – many of the nurseries in this article have specific term dates. Can you recommend any nurseries in the Fulham, South Kensington area which do not have term dates ? i.e. are open all year bar the obvious bank holiday etc. We are moving back to London with our 2 year old daughter in 2 months and would struggle to cover 10 weeks holiday a year for her !!
    Thanks
    Bea

    Reply
    • London Preprep March 15, 2014, 10:17 PM

      Hi Bea – if you scroll down there are suggestions for daycare type nurseries at the bottom. In SW6 that would be Active Learning, Tugboats, Bobby’s PLayhouse, Pippa Poppins (they run term time but have holiday clubs), Peques and a few others…

      Reply
  • Julia March 27, 2014, 8:27 AM

    Hi,
    I am looking for a full time nursery close to Earls Court/Gloucester Road/Kensington Highstreet Area and was wondering if you could recommend good nurseries with extended hours.
    Many thanks!
    Julia

    Reply
  • AP April 1, 2014, 11:28 AM

    Hello,

    We are moving to Richmond soon and have a 20 month old. Having gone through the list here and a few othere places I still havent really been able to identify good nurseries in that Area – any recommendations ?

    Reply
  • Kiko April 2, 2014, 6:29 PM

    Does anybody have any experience with One World Montessori Nursery in Brook Green, Hammersmith? They are rated Outstanding, but little info on what the main schools are it feeds into.

    Many thanks

    Reply
    • Anonymous June 6, 2014, 12:09 AM

      I have had three children at One World. What a fantastic start to education . The private prep schools they have moved on to are very disappointing after such a wonderful experience

      Reply
      • London Preprep June 6, 2014, 9:02 AM

        thanks for your comment. would love to hear which private prep school you moved them on to! could you send me a private message?

  • Sharanjit Dhesi April 3, 2014, 10:33 AM

    Hi, which are good pre prep schools around west london (I live in Ealing).. fee paying please? thank you

    Reply
  • M Pierce June 19, 2014, 7:06 PM

    Does anyone have any thoughts on nursery schools in Chiswick? Specifically, Devonshire Day Nursery, or Buttercup or Teddies? Moving to London from the US, and we have FANTASTIC nursery/school situation here, AND need to place multiple little ones in a short time frame so a bit of trepidation!

    Reply
  • sophie June 20, 2014, 12:45 PM

    Hi,
    What about the Ladbroke Montessori nursery school? Is it good a good one?
    thank you very much for your help

    Reply
  • Busy Bee Nursery School in Redan Street, W14 June 29, 2014, 4:41 PM

    Please do read our testimonials and OFSTED link,
    Thank You

    Reply
  • Bee July 8, 2014, 4:59 PM

    Hi

    We are looking for nurseries in the Honor Oak area for our 19month old daughter. We would be extremly grateful for any suggestions.

    Many thanks

    Reply
  • Ed July 10, 2014, 12:11 PM

    Hi, my niece and nephews went to Dawmouse in Fulham about 7 years ago, and my sister raved about it. We now have a baby girl and live in the area, and were thinking of putting her down for it. Any feedback on it? Many thanks – v helpful website!!

    Reply
  • Kelly August 16, 2014, 3:25 AM

    Hi, I have a child (5y) and Im looking for portuguese/english school near Canary Wharf. Is there an option? Thanks.

    Reply
  • Tara August 18, 2014, 2:52 PM

    Hello. My son is enrolled in nursery from next Sept ’15. (He will be a little over 2.5 years old then). I am interested in putting him maybe 1-2 mornings a week from 2-2.5 years (before he starts his other nursery). Do you recommend any good nurseries in the Bayswater area that he could attend. We are in W9 (close to Royal Oak station and not far from Bayswater). I am looking into Warwick Nursery and Carlton Hill. Thank you.

    Reply
    • Kunal Krishna January 27, 2015, 3:21 PM

      Hi – we are in similar and looking for a nursery in W9 / Bayswater area. Any good recommendation for a full day nursery ?

      Reply
  • AlexG September 9, 2014, 3:25 PM

    Hello

    I think the Little Tug Boat day nursery in Fulham used to be on this list, but I can no longer see it. Is there a reason for that?
    Thank you.

    Reply
    • London Preprep September 16, 2014, 12:21 PM

      dear Alex – we just shortened the list to make it more of an overview and limited to the bigger better, known ones, LTB should be very nice.

      Reply
  • Latifa September 10, 2014, 10:52 AM

    Hello, My daughter is nearly 4 and she is down syndrom , I would like to know which the best private nursries support special needs in West London or near Park Royal Station..
    Thank you ..

    Reply
  • Jo September 17, 2014, 5:07 AM

    Hi,

    We are a Colombian family with two kids: 2.9 and 4 years old. We will be relocated to London but don’t have yet date of arrival. Since my husband office would be near Gatwick, we have been searching on internet in different areas of Surrey (From Woking to Oxshott). First I have one question, what would you recommend me for each of my kids, since Luna is 4, should I consider to join her at a School that offers Early years Education? or should you recommend to look for a Nursery for her also? what would you say about ISL Surrey and ACS Cobham? Wich nursery would you recommend in this area?
    Thanks for all your comments and post, they have been really useful!!!
    Bye,

    Jo

    Reply
  • Yemi September 22, 2014, 5:37 PM

    Hi I am interested for my son to go to this nursery I will like to get the Address so we can come thank u

    Reply
  • k.c September 24, 2014, 10:41 AM

    Hello, my lo is 2 and we will be moving to Bingham in January.pls suggests the best nursery school for her.

    Reply
  • LM October 7, 2014, 1:50 PM

    Hello,
    Any thoughts on Ladbroke Square Montessori nursery and Pangbourne House, which seems to be a spin off of the former?
    Thank you

    Reply
    • London Preprep October 8, 2014, 3:39 PM

      LSM tends to get good reviews, the square is a plus of course, compared to some other nurseries in the area that have little or no outdoor space, even the “famous” ones.

      Reply
  • LB October 7, 2014, 1:53 PM

    Was a bit too short in my first comment; my daughter has been offered a spot in both but I am waiting on Rolph’s and Minors as well…
    I am trying to make a decision on what is best… And although I really like the Montessori method I don’t have a lot of information on either…

    thank you

    Reply
  • Lanny October 7, 2014, 4:57 PM

    Hello,
    We will be moving for my husband’s work sometime late spring / early summer. I will need to find something for my daughter for next school year when she turns 4. I have no idea what neighborhood to move us to and right now, I feel the school will dictate the move. What is the best way for us to get her into either a private nursery school (love the Montessori approach) or to try to get her into a public nursery when we are moving so late in the application process? Which neighborhoods to people recommend for us to look into that won’t be insanely expensive and might have spots in 4s classes come summertime?

    Thanks!

    Reply
  • Badmon October 8, 2014, 8:27 AM

    Why aren’t the real “heavy hitters” of South London and London listed i.e. DUCKS (Dulwich College’s Nursery-Pre-prepatory school) & “Eaton House Schools…….these students of schools alone get an average of 7 offers “each” from the top prep-schools in the country!!

    Reply
    • London Preprep October 8, 2014, 3:38 PM

      DUCKS will be included soon, it was mainly out for now because this overview started for Central London schools. But we are very much aware of DUCKS and are due to visit and profile the school soon. EH is another story – if you do a search on this site you will still find them.

      Reply
  • Becky October 11, 2014, 10:34 AM

    Hi. Do you have any recommendation of a good nursery in East London please? I am looking for one near Stratford and Bow area.

    Thanks!

    Reply
    • Anonymous January 16, 2015, 11:01 PM

      Try chestnut nursery schools.

      Reply
  • RJ October 17, 2014, 10:33 PM

    Hi I’m looking for a daycare nursery for my child who will be 13 months. I live in north west London (Ealing area). Really want somewhere that will help to progress into a very good nursery. Any thoughts??

    Reply
  • Bryndis Gudmundsdottir October 28, 2014, 12:48 AM

    Can you refer me to a preschool and Kindergarten in London that has a special program for students with multicultural background. I am representing a preschool/Kindergarten in Iceland who is interested in visiting and starting a collaboration project. Thank you

    Reply
  • Sal October 28, 2014, 10:52 PM

    Hi,

    Like Becky above, I am also looking for a good nursery in East London, near Stratford preferably. Any ideas?

    Reply
  • Claire November 10, 2014, 9:57 PM

    Hi there is Broadhurst nursery still highly regarded and do you know much about Crickets or the LJS synagogue nursery?

    Reply
  • Joy Chong November 12, 2014, 10:22 AM

    Hi,
    I would like to know if anyone has any recommendations for nursery or day school in central london that takes in part time 8am-1pm from Monday to Friday and offers the 15 hrs free nursery.

    Reply
  • Suzanne November 24, 2014, 12:12 PM

    Hi, I am 5 1/2 months preggers but starting to get organised about the nursery school registration process so we can register just as soon as my little guy is born at the end of March. We are living in Marylebone and are looking ultimately to send our boy to Wetherby. I am familiar with the Alpha group schools (Rolfe’s and Minors) but am wondering whether you have any advice on schools closer to W1 area? I’ve heard that distance may be a challenge in the admissions process. Any thoughts would be appreciated! Thank you.

    Reply
  • TJF January 4, 2015, 9:27 AM

    Any views on some of the other nurseries / pre-prep schools in Islington such as St. Andrews, Children’s House, Mars Montessori and the Gower School? Do these places prepare the children for the assessments for prep schools? Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

    Reply
  • Kinga January 5, 2015, 11:07 PM

    Hi, I’m looking for a daycare nursery for my child (will be 13 moths old) in Canada Water/ Rotherhithe and surrounding areas. Any recommendations please? Thank you.

    Reply
  • Rishika Saluja January 7, 2015, 3:59 PM

    Hi, I have a 9 month old daughter and we have recently moved to watford. I am startung work in March 2015 and looking for an outstanding nursery in watford or near bank station (where i will be working). can you suggest any nurseries that would be happy to take a baby at such short notice. also, i searched for newpark childcare. how would you rate it?

    Reply
    • London Preprep January 7, 2015, 6:22 PM

      I don’t know about Watford specifically but Ofsted publishes an Excel file with all outstanding providers by age group and council, so you could get a list from the file

      Reply
  • FabG January 27, 2015, 4:46 PM

    New comer in the streatham area in April, any advice on area primary schools? we are French coming from the US, also interested to know about any bilingual opportunities in the area?
    thanks,FG

    Reply
  • ABall February 2, 2015, 9:28 AM

    Londonpreprep, maybe worth updating this article? Tadpoles Nursery Park Walk is no longer rated Outstanding and I personally agree/ wouldnt put it in the same category as a “top” nursery.

    Reply
    • London Preprep February 8, 2015, 9:16 PM

      thanks for the hint – will update the wording. It is now rated “good” overall, but if you read the report it is actually very positive and praises many outstanding and excellent features. It also highlights the one area where many agree that there is room for improvement. I certainly think it is a nursery that people should visit and see if it for them. For a lot of “top” nurseries, some might suit some children better than others, there is no absolute best list, it depends on the child and on what the parents are looking for.

      Reply
      • Anonymous March 1, 2015, 8:33 AM

        Having had a child there personally, I wouldn’t recommend it to most, unless there is no other choice. It is not a bad nursery, it is just not a good nursery in my opinion. (Headmistress blamed parents when the school was downgraded by ofsted, never willing to take any suggestions, teaching is about 6-9 months later on each developmental milestone than other nurseries nearby, I can go on…)

  • Ezra February 2, 2015, 2:37 PM

    hi, is there an updated version of the London nursery list above? moving yo parsons green and looking for some nursery advice? thanks.

    Reply
    • London Preprep February 8, 2015, 9:14 PM

      this list is updated – look at Pippa Pop-ins and Zebedees in Parsons Green.

      Reply
  • La feliz February 3, 2015, 1:09 PM

    We are a young family of 4 (a soon to be 2 year old girl end of this month, and a 3 week old baby girl). We are moving to London from Oslo this April (both my husband and I, having lived in London before for many years). We are looking for a nursery school for our eldest, hoping to find a good school that will enable her to go on to a good primary school later on. We are looking to Chelsea, St Johns Wood and Hamsptead as potential places for finding a place to live (in order of priority), we will decide on the place based on where we get a spot in a nursery. After reading your site (which is superhelpful!!!! thanks for sharing all these useful info) I am wondering if you have recommendations for these three areas, I like the Montessori method, but I’m open to other places which have a good curriculum and where you have received positive feedback! Thanks.

    Reply
    • London Preprep February 8, 2015, 9:20 PM

      Hampstead has the Maria Montessori Children’s House which might be worth checking out, otherwise in Chelsea you will find a lot of places that call themselves Montessori but are really not, always check for accreditation! You would not believe how very formal, structured nurseries with mostly teacher led activities call themselves Montessori here. In Chelsea, Paint Pots Montessori is “proper” Montessori but it’s only for nursery age, the schools after are generally mainstream.

      Reply
  • SKS February 12, 2015, 8:07 PM

    Hello! First of all, thanks for this informative article website – a great help to those of us moving to London. We will be relocating to London later this year, and our daughter will be two in October. I am rather overwhelmed at how ‘late’ we are to be enrolling for top nurseries/schools etc, but we only just found out about the move. My husband will be working near Liverpool Street, and we would like a vibrant/cosmopolitan neighbourhood, so we are looking at Notting Hill/Holland Park/Chelsea. I would love to find a nursery that is attached to a good school, but my other aim would be to find a place where she could start earlier than 3 – maybe half days from January 2016, as I think will be ready for more varied group and structured activities (Montessori or Montessori-light, maybe!). At the same time, we still want a warm and nurturing environment at her young age. Any advice? Other schools in areas that might not be on my radar? Thank you!

    Reply
    • London Preprep February 13, 2015, 10:02 PM

      attached to a school will be difficult if you’re looking to start so young. you could look at paint pots montessori!

      Reply
  • Mar February 17, 2015, 11:57 AM

    Does anybody have any experience with Hope Montessori Nursery in Marylebone?
    Thanks!!

    Reply
  • Maria February 19, 2015, 3:08 PM

    Does anybody have any experience with Hope Montessori Nursery in Marylebone?
    Thanks,

    Reply
    • London Preprep February 28, 2015, 10:11 PM

      I have a friend with a kid there who is happy with it!

      Reply
  • Nilar March 1, 2015, 11:44 PM

    Any suggestions for my 3 year old for a preschool near harrow to prepare him for 4+ tests? He’s currently at Asquith in hatch end since he was a baby but would like him better prepared for the test.

    Reply
  • SkNRD001 March 11, 2015, 10:14 PM

    Hello and congratulations on this excellent website, I have found it extremely helpful.
    Do you have any suggestions for a nursery that could potentially lead to a place in a good primary around the Islington border with Hackney area?
    Exactly as you have written I discovered that The Gatehouse is oversubscribed, William Tyndale is a distant dream and the closest school, Our lady and St Joseph is outstanding but I am worried about sending my child in a catholic school as we are neither Catholic or particularly religious. Do you please have any suggestions?
    Many thanks.

    Reply
    • London Preprep March 13, 2015, 2:59 PM

      I heard good things about East West community nursery. doesn’t lead to any specific primary though.

      Reply
      • SKNRD001 March 17, 2015, 1:11 PM

        Thank you although this is very far away from the islington-hackney border. Is the New north academy or Rotherfield any good? Unfortunately this is what the catchment area rule has in store for us….

  • Cate March 12, 2015, 9:33 PM

    My son goes to an absolute gem of a nursery in Kew, Richmond it’s called ‘The Barn’. It’s not-for-profit in a large church hall, lovely staff and Ofsted calls it “awe inspiring”. I would really recommend it.

    Reply
  • Daisy March 16, 2015, 11:15 AM

    Does anyone have any experience of nurseries in Queens Park or Kensal Rise? NW6, NW10, NW2 areas. Especially Beehive, Jellytots and Crickets.
    thanks very much

    Reply
  • Elaine Postill April 2, 2015, 11:20 AM

    Dear all,
    The comments on this site have really helped me. Does anyone have experience of nurseries in South West London? We are in Furzedown, near Tooting and Streatham with easy access to battersea, clapham and balham too. Thanks, Elaine

    Reply
  • Ami Malik April 7, 2015, 1:02 AM

    Hi, can anybody recommend nurseries in the north London area (my daughter is 10 months)
    Thanks!
    Ami

    Reply
  • Gerry April 16, 2015, 1:53 PM

    We are moving to Chiswick from Singapore in July and would love some recommendations for where to send my almost three year old (he’ll be three in October) and also preschool for my 18month old. Is it going to be a nightmare getting a place somewhere good? Thanks so much

    Reply
    • London Preprep April 27, 2015, 4:23 PM

      Chiswick has lots of good places, the question is always availability, so best to call all the five or so prep schools there to see who has space, and otherwise focus on nurseries with an outstanding Ofsted rating (ideally). I could tell you all the best places but in your situation you probably need to go by availability as it is quite late.

      Reply

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