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Deciding on a childcare option for our baby or toddler can often feel difficult and confusing.  One of the hardest challenges many of us face when working through the options, is choosing a setting we believe our child will wholly benefit from, whilst also ensuring that the hours and location are compatible with our work or other commitments.

One of the most favoured childcare routes is that of a local nursery, where our little ones are able to interact and socialise with other children their age, prepare for school, and be safely contained in a nurturing environment with qualified carers.

We are very lucky to have a large number of nurseries in and around Queen’s Park and Kensal Rise – many of which are rated ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted, and have a range of approaches – from free-flow play, to more structured or specific learning methods.

There are a number of differences between the settings, so for ease, we have listed all of the independent nurseries within a mile radius of Queen’s Park, and included the age range of children they cater for, the hours of childcare provided, and whether they are open all year or term time only.

The cost of nurseries varies considerably (whilst some are subsidised by the government), which will need to be discussed with the individual setting – many have fees listed on their websites.

The good news is that the government offers fifteen free hours to all children aged 3 and 4 (this can also be applied to 2 year olds in special circumstances), which is accepted by a number of nurseries – although some will ask for a fee ‘top-up’ in line with their own fee structure.

Working parents are now also eligible for thirty hours of free childcare if the parent/s are working and earn under £100k each.

Further details can be found here.

In addition to independent nurseries, many local schools offer one year of pre-school for children aged 3-4 (subsidised by the government if part of a state run school) –  hours offered vary.  To find out which schools offer a pre-school nursery place, see our Schools Guide.

If you’re thinking of embarking on the nursery route, it is advisable to visit the setting on one of the Open Days and have a list of questions ready.  Some factors you may want to to consider are:

  • Does the nursery offer a ‘settling-in’ period to give your child time to acclimatise to the environment?  Some nurseries also offer a home visit from the child’s key worker to help with bonding, and show the child that their key worker is a person to be trusted.
  • If food is provided on site, how and where is it prepared?  Does it offer alternatives i.e kosher or halal, and how are allergies managed?  Some nurseries offer food tasting sessions to parents.
  • What is the process for disciplining children, and is it line with your own methods?
  • How much outside time are the children given, and does this change in bad weather?  Some nurseries now also additionally incorporate ‘Forest School’ based learning – on their own grounds, or by taking the children out of the nursery environment.
  • If not a religious based nursery, what (if any) religeous events are celebrated to promote diversity?
  • How does the nursery manage/encourage children showing advanced skills in reading and writing?
  • How is feedback given to the parents i.e daily on pick up / weekly journal / online platform / parents meeting?

We really hope this has helped those of you who are looking into nurseries for your little ones – and as always, if there is anything you think we have missed, please do let us know!

  • Hopscotch Nursery
    (Under 12m – 5y)
    Times: Mon – Fri, 8.30am – 5.30pm (closed 5 weeks of the year)
    215A Chevening Road
    London, NW6 6DT
    Tel: 0208 969 9792
    E mail: info@hopscotchnursery.org
    Apply: Directly to nursery
  • Jelli Tots Nursery
    (Under 2y – 5y)
    Times: Mon – Fri, 9am – 12.30 & 9am – 3pm (46 weeks of the year)
    Christchurch Hall Christchurch Avenue
    London, NW6 7BJ
    Tel: 0208 451 5477
    E mail: jellitotsnursery@btconnect.com
    Apply: Directly to nursery
  • Nuffy Bear Day Nursery 
    (Under 3m – 5y)
    Times: Mon – Fri, 8am – 6pm (all year)
    Nuffield Health & Wellbeing Sidmouth Road
    London, NW2 5JY
    Tel: 020 3432 8708
    Apply: Directly to nursery
  • Rainbow Montessori School
    (Under 2y – 5y)
    Times: Mon – Fri, 8.30am – 3.15pm (AM / PM sessions + extended hours available) (Term Time)
    Rainbow Montessori School London Inter Faith Centre 125 Salusbury Road
    London, NW6 6RG
    Tel: 020 7328 8986
    E mail: rms@rainbowmontessori.co.uk
    Apply: Directly to nursery

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  • Treetops Kilburn (Busy Bees)
    (Under under 12m – 5y)
    Times: Mon – Fri, 8am – 6pm (All Year)
    2 Victoria Road
    London, NW6 6QG
    Tel: 020 3011 5399
    Apply: Directly to nursery
  • Villas Nursery
    (Under under 2y – 5y)
    Times: Mon – Fri, 8.30am – 6pm (All Year)
    Villas Nursery 78a Brondesbury Villas
    London, NW6 6AD
    Tel: 020 7624 2130
    E mail: info@villasnursery.co.uk
    Apply: Directly to nursery

If you would like to contact us, you can e mail info@queensparkmums.com or catch us on Facebooktwitter & Instagram

6 Comments

  • There is also a fantastic nursery called Rainbows on Bravington Road in Queens Park. Can that be added to your list please. http://www.rainbowsnursery.org

  • A home From Home LTD is permanently closed :)

  • Hi there

    I wanted to comment on this article as I noticed the nursery my child attends isn’t listed which is a shame. The Katherine Bruce Community nursery has an outstanding rating but seems to go unnoticed in many local circles. It’s incredibly diverse and the staff are very caring. Most of them have worked there for a long time which I believe is a testament to how the place is operated and managed.

    I’d strongly recommend it is added to your list.

    • Hi Helen,

      Thanks so much for bringing this to our attention – we love this type of feedback and will absolutely add it to the list!

      QPM’s x

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