Day Nursery

A co-educational Day Nursery for children aged 5 months plus.

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The perfect environment for very young children to take their first steps into the wider world.

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Aged 5 months – 15 months

In Cottontails, we provide a calm but stimulating environment in which our youngest babies play, sleep and eat. There are a variety of resources for babies of different ages to explore and a cosy cot area for when it is time for a reviving sleep. The staff in this room work closely with you to find out your baby’s individual needs and routine; when at nursery we aim to follow this as closely as possible.


Aged 12 months – 2 years

In Nutkins, our babies are given the opportunity to become more independent. This room is split into two; there is a cosy carpeted area where the babies can choose to play in the home corner, curl up on the cushions with their favourite book, or select some toys from the boxes to play with. The adjoining room is the creative area where your children can experiment with a range of different messy play materials and try out a variety of creative activities. This room also provides the opportunity for some quiet and calming play as the children wake up from their afternoon sleep.


Aged 18 months to 2.5 years

In Tiggywinkles, children are encouraged to develop their independent thinking skills. We provide a range of resources and activities in this bright and stimulating room that promote problem solving and communication. The children’s independence is further developed through collaborative ‘tidy up time’ and by encouraging supportive relationships with their friends. Essential hygiene routines are practised such as learning to wash their hands and brush their teeth after lunch.


Aged 2.5 years to 4 years

As children approach the end of their nursery experience they move into the Puddleducks room. While the atmosphere remains calm and relaxed, more emphasis is given to learning through play. Your child will be encouraged to engage with activities specifically designed to develop an interest in mark-making, early reading skills and number recognition. In addition, topics will focus on knowledge and understanding of the world, encouraging children to share their own experiences. While in this room your child is likely to develop independent toileting and the staff are on hand to support you.


Berkhamsted Day Nursery occupies a beautiful country house situated in a tranquil and idyllic environment at Haresfoot.

Babies and children can enjoy direct access to our wonderful outdoor surroundings, going on regular walks around the extensive grounds, waving to the cows in the fields or hunting for ‘minibeasts’ in the woods. We provide pushchairs so that even our youngest babies can benefit from our beautiful countryside location.

The Day Nursery also has its own large, enclosed garden with a grassed area, safety surface and tricycle track. Children love to engage in sand and water play and enjoy digging in the planting beds. A variety of climbing, push-along and wheeled toys are available everyday, with children in the older rooms enjoying free access from inside to out.

We aim to take the children out in all weathers. In the summer the children will enjoy walks and picnics in the grounds and in the winter the wellies, hats and coats go on for puddle-jumping and snowman building.

Our extensive facilities also include our sports hall, which enables the children to have a good run-round, especially on rainy weather days when being inside all day is limiting.

We have access to a range of bouncy mats, hoops, balance beams and target games and each week your child will take part in a Dinky Dancer session and a Gym Tots session led by visiting specialists, with the cost included in our fee package.

On a Thursday, the children in Puddleducks visit the Sports Hall for a PE lesson with Mr. Proudfoot, Sports Coach at Berkhamsted Pre-Prep.

We pride ourselves on the provision of a carefully selected menu at Berkhamsted Day Nursery. Our trained chef prepares nutritious and delicious meals, taking into account any specific dietary requirements. All younger babies’ food is pureed and new flavours are gradually introduced.

We encourage children to handle their food and also to take part in some of the preparation. Children regularly cook and bake with plenty of adult support!

Head's Welcome

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Welcome to Berkhamsted Day Nursery

We provide a welcoming atmosphere for children aged five months to three years, enabling each individual to thrive and grow.

Every aspect of the Nursery’s care will promote the development, education and safety of the children. We have regard to the Statutory Framework of the Early Years Foundation Stage providing quality and consistency, secure foundations, excellent partnerships and equality of opportunities.

Berkhamsted Day Nursery benefits from excellent links with Berkhamsted Pre-Prep. The children become familiar with the school surroundings and the Pre-Prep staff, making the transition into the Nursery Year Group at Pre-Prep, known as Stepping Stones, a happy and relaxed experience. The nursery years are a wonderful time. Children learn to be confident and independent, to form relationships and to make sense of the world around them. Berkhamsted Day Nursery will provide a firm foundation for your child and peace of mind for you.

We look forward to welcoming you on a visit to our Nursery.

Karen O’Connor BA, NPQH

Headteacher of Berkhamsted Day Nursery and Berkhamsted Pre-Prep

Manager’s Welcome

Berkhamsted Day Nursery aims to create a welcoming and secure environment for your child.

We take our jobs as childcare professionals very seriously and our focus is to provide the highest level of care for your child, ensuring their individual needs are met.

Each child is as unique and special to us as they are to you and we pride ourselves in using our knowledge and understanding of their needs and interests to provide stimulating experiences and support for their learning and development.

Having built up a vast amount of experience in a variety of different roles, I have gained a good knowledge of the requirements for all the early years age groups. This experience, in addition to my Education Studies degree (specialising in Early Years) has provided me with an understanding of the importance of a good foundation as a learning base.

Enjoy looking through our website. We recommend that you follow this up with a nursery tour to meet the staff, see the children at play and help you fully appreciate the feel of the nursery.

Natasha Young

Day Nursery Manager BA (Hons) Education Studies

Part of the Berkhamsted family of Schools

The overall management of the Day Nursery, along with Berkhamsted Pre-Prep, Berkhamsted Prep, Heatherton, Berkhamsted Girls, Berkhamsted Boys, and Berkhamsted Sixth, is under the management of the Principal of the Berkhamsted Schools Group.

Learn More

Our Values and Aims

At Berkhamsted Day Nursery, our values and aims underpin the nurture and care we provide to our babies and toddlers.

Our values and aims are shared by the Berkhamsted family of schools.

Our Values

Aim high with integrity

Berkhamsted is a learning community in which all teachers, pupils and support staff strive to be the best they can be.

We all belong to a community of learning where we work towards being better tomorrow than we have been today. How we succeed is equally as important, as we want to be successful without sharp elbows.

We proudly include integrity as a crucial ingredient of our ambition, as befits a school founded over 475 years ago by the Dean of St Paul’s Cathedral.

Be adventurous

We also foster a spirit of adventure and ambition in our pupils from the time they join our family of schools, within and beyond the classroom.

Whilst this most definitely includes physical challenge – perhaps most visibly on our high ropes course and our hugely successful outdoor education, sport, drama and music programmes – we also foster an adventurousresilient mindset in our students, who are encouraged to try, fail and learn in everything they do.

Serve others

We are a community that understands the importance of service. We celebrate and encourage the work of our students as volunteers in the local community, as those who engineer change for good, both inside and outside the school.

Our expectation is that Berkhamstedians will not just go on and do well, although of course we expect that they will. We also expect that they will go on and do good, with compassion. Last year, our students undertook over 5,000 hours of voluntary work across the senior schools.

Our Aims

Flowing from our school values, our aim is for every Berkhamsted pupil to:

  • Develop the skills and ambition required for lifelong success
  • Strive for their best achievements possible
  • Grow in moral purpose, character and courage to become respectful and wise
  • Explore and enjoy the fullest breadth and extent of life’s opportunities
  • Belong to a community which looks outwards and forwards
  • Contribute to the success and wellbeing of each other, locally, nationally and globally
  • Be inspired by the school’s values, heritage and Christian foundation

British Values

The Berkhamsted Schools Group promotes British Values through our spiritual, moral, social and cultural education, which permeates the school’s curriculum.

We believe British Values support the development of remarkableresilient young people who are motivated, adventurous and compassionate.

British Values (defined by the DfE document ‘Promoting fundamental British values through SMSC in schools’) are:

  • Democracy
  • The rule of law
  • Individual liberty
  • Mutual respect and tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs

We recognise that pupil development is most successful when those values and attitudes are promoted by every member of our staff, who provide a model of behaviour for our pupils.

In actively promoting British Values, we also focus on showing how our work with students is effective in embedding fundamental British values.

Actively promoting British Values also means challenging any Berkhamsted student, member of staff, parent or carer who may express opinions contrary to fundamental British Values, including extremist views.

The Day Nursery occupies a beautiful country house situated in the tranquil and idyllic environment of Berkhamsted Pre-Prep on the Haresfoot site. We are open from 7:30 am to 6:30 pm 50 weeks of the year, with the option of an extended day or a school day session.

The children will enjoy all the attention that they would normally receive at home but with the added benefits of trained staff, a full time chef and fantastic facilities specifically intended to stimulate each area of development.

We appreciate that the difference between a five month old baby and a three year old child is substantial and we therefore provide age appropriate rooms that are specifically designed to ignite each child’s curiosity and facilitate development. In addition, the surrounding woodlands and secluded walled garden provide exciting outdoor learning opportunities whatever the weather.


The quality and standards of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) at Berkhamsted Day Nursery and Berkhamsted Pre-Prep are ‘outstanding’ across all five key areas, according to an inspection by the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI).

The quality and standards of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) at Berkhamsted Day Nursery and Berkhamsted Pre-Prep are rated ‘outstanding’ across all five key areas, following an inspection in June 2016 by the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI).

Headteacher Karen O’Connor shared the overwhelmingly positive inspection findings with parents and staff, stating:

“All aspects of our Early Years provision were judged as outstanding; I was especially proud of the finding that ‘the emotional well-being of children is a priority in this caring, nurturing setting’ while recognising that we ensure the children ‘make excellent, continuous progress’. It captures our philosophy perfectly.”

Covering Berkhamsted Day Nursery and our Nursery and Reception classes at Berkhamsted Pre-Prep, the Inspection report stated:

  •  “Children at all stages of development within the EYFS make consistently rapid progress in relation to their individual starting points which culminates in almost every child achieving or, in many cases, exceeding the expected levels of development for their age.”
  •  “Leaders and senior managers have a shared and consistent vision for the continued development of the EYFS, driven by a nurturing and child-centred ethos.”
  •  “Children are confident, independent learners who relish the opportunities provided both indoors and outside. They enjoy coming to school and approach every activity with enthusiasm.”
  •  “Children demonstrate extensive knowledge of the natural world. Nursery children were able to describe the life cycle of a butterfly using appropriate terminology and those in Reception named different plants during a visit to the woodland classroom.


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