a guide to the best nurseries in London

The Ultimate Guide To The Best Nurseries In London

Whether or not you consider yourself organised, finding the best nurseries in London so you can choose where to send your darling(s) has got to be done sooner rather than later.

Gone are the days where you could just wade into any day nursery with a three-year-old and expect them to be accepted and start immediately.

Nowadays, these things come with ridiculous waiting lists and should be researched and applied for years in advance, but where does one start when looking for a nursery in London?

With our guide to the top nursery schools in London, of course!

The Best Preschools in London

We’ve found 30 Ofsted registered best nursery schools in the capital for you to peruse so you can find the perfect one for you and your children and tick this task off your burgeoning to-do list.

1. The Butterfly Preschool

As one of the schools featured in the Tatler best nurseries 2019 guide, the Butterfly Preschool, an Ofsted approved school located in both Clapham and Wimbledon, aims to help children achieve all their early-learning goals so that they are better able to settle into primary school when the time comes.

With all the learning games and activities they could ever imagine, and a large and glorious outside play area, we’re pretty sure your kid won’t want to come home at the end of the day.

Address: 32b Webbs Road, London SW11 6SF
Telephone: 020 7738 0019
Website: thebutterflypreschool.co.uk
Minimum age: 2

2. Chelsea Pre-Prep Nursery and Kingsland Prep-Prep

As one of the only independent private nurseries in Chelsea to be continuously rated Outstanding by Ofsted since its doors opened, the Chelsea Pre-Prep Nursery school, and its new sister school, Kingsland Prep-Prep, is one of the top choices for a lot of parents.

With excellent facilities, including a huge outside area, this nursery provides kids with excellent learning opportunities throughout all stages of their development.

Address: St. Andrew’s Church, Park Walk, London SW10 0AU
Telephone: 020 7352 4856
Website: chelseapp.com
Minimum age: 2

3. The Children’s House

The Children’s House school can cater for your child from nursery all the way up till the last year of primary school.

During their stint at the Children’s House nursery, they will learn through play and develop new skills.

The teachers pride themselves in closely observing and learning the interests and needs of each child and using them to further their developmental skills as well as providing a solid educational basis.

Address: 77 Elmore Street, London N1 3AQ
Telephone: 020 7354 2113
Website: childrenshouseschool.co.uk
Minimum age: 2 ½

4. Gardens Montessori

Many parents view the Gardens as one of the best Montessori schools in London.

Established in 1989, Gardens Montessori is a family-run business whose mission it is to help turn children into mindful, confident, and independent individuals who love to learn.

With many events, after-school activities, holiday camps, and even workshops for parents, there are plenty of things to keep you and your little one busy.

Address: Iverna Gardens, Victoria Road
Telephone: 020 7589 6802
Website: gardensmontessori.com
Minimum age: 2

5. Home from Home

Encouraging children to learn and develop at their own pace, Home from Home provides a home-like environment to help children settle in as easy and quickly as possible, and only 12 children are accepted on any given day to help them do so.

Children can plant their own flowers, fruits and vegetables in the garden while they learn all about nature and healthy eating.

Address: Chelsea, Parsons Green, Fulham
Telephone: 020 7352 2630
Website: homefromhomechelsea.co.uk
Minimum age: 10 months

a list of the best nurseries in London

6. The Kensington Kindergarten

With bright and airy classrooms, and plenty of room for all the activities the kids will be busy with every day, the teachers at the Kensington Kindergarten will teach your offspring to love learning, and prepare them for getting into big school.

An Ofsted quote for this school reads, “Children access a broad range of high quality resources that encourage [them] to engage in activities that promote all areas of learning and development and promote their future skills extremely well.”

Address: 16A Abingdon Road, London W8 6AF
Telephone: 020 7371 4848
Website: kensingtonkindergarten.co.uk
Minimum age: 2

7. Keren’s Nursery

The three main goals that Keren’s Nursery strives for is developing social skills, improving independence, and increasing self-esteem and self-confidence.

The teachers are gentle and understanding, especially during the initial settling-in period, and want you to feel free to share your concerns with them.

“Children are extremely happy, confident and self-assured,” reads the Ofsted report, “and their physical and emotional well-being are supported incredibly well. Staff provide a highly exciting learning environment that motivates children to learn.”

Address: Belsize Square Synagogue, 51 Belsize Square, London NW3 4HX
Telephone: 020 7431 3823
Website: kerensnursery.com
Minimum age: 1 ½

8. Kïdo London Nurseries and Day Care

Founded by a group of parents who were not satisfied with the quality of the early childhood education available in their cities, Kïdo Nurseries are designed to engage children to want to learn by way of fun interactive activities in exciting learning spaces.

One of the many positive reviews for this nursery reads, “Our daughter has developed tremendously academically and socially since she started.”

Address: Clerkenwell, Chiswick, Camden, Golders Green, Windsor, Wandsworth, Crouch End
Telephone: 020 7684 3172
Website: kido.school
Minimum age: 2 ½

9. Knightsbridge Kindergarten

Part of the same group as the Kensington Kindergarten, the Knightsbridge Kindergarten has the same values and mission as the former, but they also have a great outside play area too which they use to pique children’s interests in nature and teach them to respect the environment.

Ofsted reports, “Staff are exceptionally good role models to the children, not only offering them praise and encouragement but also encouraging them to support each other.”

Address: St. Peter’s Church, 119 Eaton Square, London SW1W 9AL
Telephone: 020 7371 2306
Website: knightsbridgekindergarten.co.uk
Minimum age: 2

10. Little Forest Folk

This nursery is for parents who are particularly keen on instilling a love for the great outdoors in their brood.

Classes are held exclusively outside (except in case of extreme weather conditions) where children can fully immerse themselves in nature.

Sir David Attenborough even said of Little Forest Folk, “I have no doubt whatsoever that the children, when they look back in later life, will realise how valuable and impactful their time with you has been.”

Address: Barnes, Chiswick, Fulham, Twickenham, Wandsworth, Wimbledon
Telephone: 07707 545 913
Website: littleforestfolk.com
Minimum age: 2

London nursery schools

11. The London Acorn School

The London Acorn School is the quaintest little school located in between a rose garden and a whopping 125 acres of parkland.

This pioneering alternative school that is based in a cosy cottage focuses on the importance of a connection with nature, and nurtures a child’s creativity and curiosity, combining education with a sense of community.

Address: Morden Cottage, Morden Hall Park, London SM4 5JD
Telephone: 020 8544 9769
Website: thelondonacornschool.co.uk
Minimum age: 6 months

12. The Maggie & Rose Nursery

A typical day at one of the exclusive Maggie & Rose nurseries comprises of a lot of learning through creative play, food, and imagination.

For example, their Cook and Count classes teach mathematics through cooking, and the ABS Art class teaches phonics through art. In addition to nursery amenities, Maggie & Rose also provide other services like helping to arrange birthday parties and advising parents.

Their Chiswick nursery is village-themed, the Kensington nursery has a townhouse feel, and the Islington Nursery has great a soft play area.

Address: Chiswick, Kensington, Islington
Telephone: 020 7078 9000
Website: maggieandrose.com
Minimum age: 9 months

13. The Marmalade Schools

Comprising of four Ofsted Outstanding nurseries in Wandsworth—adorably named Marmalade Owl, Marmalade Cat, Marmalade Bear and Marmalade Caterpillar—, the Marmalade school will teach your child ballet, French, music, sports, and even yoga.

The principal, Miss Rozzy Hyslop—a teacher with over 30 years of experience and a degree in special needs—explains:

“A child should be happy, confident, challenged and able to reach their potential with us academically, physically, socially and emotionally.”

They also support families who have English as a second language and disabilities.

Address: St Jude’s Church Hall, Heslop Road, London SW12 8EG
Telephone: 020 8265 5224
Website: marmaladeschools.co.uk
Minimum age: 2

14. The Minors Nursery School

Founded in 1975, the Minors Nursery School maintains a family spirit and keeps classes small so that children will have a very enjoyable and personal nursery experience.

Their mission is to help create little humans who listen, help, try, are kind, are careful, and are polite, setting them up with, according to their website, “fundamental British values such as respectable citizenship and good manners.”

With learning based on play, including outside fun in the sandpit and mud kitchen, you won’t have to worry about your child giving you a hard time getting ready for school in the morning.

Address: 10 Pembridge Square, London W2 4ED
Telephone: 020 7727 7253
Website: minorsnursery.co.uk
Minimum age: 2 ½

15. Miss Daisy’s Nursery

It’s hard to create a village-style, community-feel nursery slap bang in the centre of the big smoke, but Miss Daisy’s has managed to do this marvellously with parents and little ones alike singing its praises.

Allowing children to be independent, teaching them without pressure, and educating through play, the little students at Miss Daisy’s learn a kindness code which includes the lyrics, “We play gently with our friends and invite new friends to play,” “We say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’,” and “We all join in at tidy up time.”

Address: Belgravia, Brook Green, Chelsea, Hyde Park, Knightsbridge
Telephone: 020 7730 5797
Website: missdaisysnursery.com
Minimum age: 2 ½

16. Miss Delaney’s

Based in a gorgeous detached house near Clarendon Cross that has been fully refurbished and has its own secure garden, Miss Delaney’s is what you could call a boutique nursery.

Split into morning and afternoon sessions, your child will partake in music and movement, information and computing technology, nature studies, garden to fork, arts and crafts, cooking, sand and water play, imaginary play, dressing up, age-appropriate geography and history, and observing the world lessons.

Address: Avondale Park Lodge, Walmer Road, London W11 4PQ
Telephone: 020 7603 6095
Website: missdelaneys.co.uk
Minimum age: 2

17. Pangbourne House Nursery

With an aim to minimize screen time and increase communication skills and creativity, the Pangbourne House Nursery is one of the top Montessori nursery schools in London, as well as being an Ofsted Outstanding provider.

With the belief that each child learns differently—“If a child is not learning the way you are teaching, then you must teach the way a child learns,” (Rita Dunn)—the Pangbourne teachers bespoke classes around the children’s needs, building their self-esteem, and making them feel loved and safe.

Address: 2 Pangbourne Avenue, London W10 6BT
Telephone: 020 8964 9555
Website: pangbournehouse.com
Minimum age: 2 ½

18. Phileas Fox Nursery School

The younger you learn a language, the easier it is to master, and the Phileas Fox Multilingual Nursery school offers a choice of learning either French, Chinese or Russian languages, in addition to learning about their cultures and traditions.

Phileas Fox Nursery School

Even though English will be the first language, classes, games, activities, and child-initiated play are carried out with conversation and commentary in the second language.

a classroom inside Phileas Fox Nursery School

Prepare to have a little linguist on your hands.

Address: St Mary’s Square, Maida Vale, London W2 1SE
Telephone: 020 7723 2106
Website: phileasfoxnursery.com
Minimum age: 2

19. Pippa Pop-ins Nursery Schools

At the family-owned Pippa Pop-ins nurseries, children are taught to understand feelings, be kind, respect one another, and develop academically and holistically.

These nurseries are so popular that many parents register their child while it’s still in the womb.

In this “magical environment,” children play, cook, paint, do science projects, eat deliciously healthy food, and generally have a whale of a time.

Address: Kensington, Notting Hill, Holland Park, Chelsea, Fulham
Telephone: 020 7731 1445
Website: www.pippapopins.com
Minimum age: 1

20. Ready Steady Go

There are three different nurseries in the Ofsted Outstanding Ready Steady Go group.

The nursery on Fitzroy Road is a small, mornings-only pre-school for 2 ¼ to 3-year-olds that is open three days a week.

The one on Primrose Hill—with its large outdoor play area—is for 3 to 5-year-olds for the full five day week, and the St John’s Wood nursery provides full and part time groups for 2 to 5 years olds.

They also have an ABC mother and baby class for 6 to 18-month-olds.

Address: Fitzroy Road, Primrose Hill, St John’s Wood
Telephone: 020 7586 5862
Website: readysteadygo.org
Minimum age: 6 months

21. The Redcliffe Pre-Preparatory School

As far as private nurseries in London go, the Redcliffe Pre-Prep is pretty high up there in the ratings.

With its state-of-the-art classrooms and expansive outside playground with climbing facilities, the kids can enjoy sports, drama, dance, school plays, and many other school activities.

Small class numbers ensure a more personal experience, and there are even after-school activities to sign up for including cooking, computers, painting, and various sports.

Address: 47 Redcliffe Gardens, London SW10 9JH
Telephone: 020 7352 9247
Website: redcliffeschool.com
Minimum age: 2 ¾

22. Ringrose Kindergarten

One of the oldest Kindergartens in the area, Ringrose was established in the 1950s by Mrs Ringrose in her home.

In the 60s, it moved to St. Luke’s and has been running successfully and proudly there ever since.

They consider themselves a school rather than a playgroup, and focus on educating and preparing children for the next stage in their lives.

Address: St Luke’s Church Hall, St Luke’s Street, Chelsea, London SW3 3RP
Telephone: 020 7352 8784
Website: ringrosechelsea.co.uk
Minimum age: 2 ¾

23. Strawberry Fields Nursery School

Parents are scrambling to get their kids into the famed Strawberry Fields nursery school, so it is highly recommended you register as early as physically possible.

As well as helping your child excel, Strawberry Fields aims to bring out, encourage, and emphasise your child’s talents and passions, while keep them feeling valued, cared for, and protected.

Address: Notting Hill Community Church, Kensington Park Road, London W11 2ES
Telephone: 020 7727 8363
Website: strawberryfields.london
Minimum age: 2 ½

24. Swinbrook House Nursery School

Formerly known as Marylebone Village Nursery School, Swinbrook House is a small nursery with light-filled classrooms, small class numbers, an emphasis on working closely with children and parents alike, and a firm belief in equal opportunity.

Swinbrook House Nursery School

“Our son has loved his time here and the kindness and care of the teachers is second to none,” says one happy parent.

As their motto goes, it really is a “happy place to learn.”

Address: 27 Oldbury Place, London W1U 5PP
Telephone: 020 7935 2441
Website: swinbrookhousenurseryschoolmarylebone.co.uk
Minimum age: 1

25. Tabard Square Nursery and Preschool

As part of the popular and highly rated Bright Horizons nursery group, the Tabard Square Nursery and Preschool is rated Outstanding by Ofsted and will take in babies as young as three months old.

With toys and learning activities galore, your child will embark on their reading, writing and arithmetic journey in a fun and enjoyable way.

The breakfast, lunch, and tea menus are also rather impressive; chicken or Quorn ratatouille and couscous followed by melon pots, anyone?

Address: 10-12 Empire Square, Tabard Street, Southwark, London SE1 4NA
Telephone: 0330 057 6490
Website: brighthorizons.co.uk/our-nurseries/tabard-square-nursery-and-preschool
Minimum age: 3 months

26. Tadpoles Nursery School

Yoga, music, specialist speech, language, dance, football, and even swimming lessons in their own heated indoor learner pool are just a few of the activities your child can enjoy at the Tadpoles Nursery.

There’s also a large playground and garden where children can run and play, and also grow their own vegetables.

The little ones also get to go on frequent educational excursions, i.e. to the Battersea Zoo, the London Aquarium, and the Ecology Centre in Holland Park.

Address: Park Walk, Chelsea, London SW10 0AY
Telephone: 020 7352 9757
Website: tadpolesnursery.com
Minimum age: 2 ½

27. The Willcocks Nursery School

By teaching lifelong learning behaviours, such as kindness, independence, collaboration, and personal discovery, the teachers at Willcocks help children learn, play, share, and be themselves—preparing them for their next steps.

Their site also has a free parent portal so you can catch up on all the school and local community news, and message the teachers directly regarding your child’s progress.

Address: Holy Trinity Church, Prince Consort Road, Kensington, London SW7 2BA
Telephone: 020 7584 5054
Website: willcocksnurseryschool.com
Minimum age: 2

28. The Willow Nursery School

Putting a big focus on emotional intelligence, the Willow Nursery School works to nurture children’s self-belief and confidence.

Implementing the Yale Centre for Emotional Intelligence’s “RULER” programme, they help children recognise, label, express and regulate emotions, as well as understand emotional causes and consequences.

Address: 55 Grafton Square, Clapham Old Town, London SW4 0DE
Telephone: 020 7498 0319
Website: thewillownursery.co.uk
Minimum age: 2

29. The Woodentops Nurseries

With two nurseries located in beautiful and historic buildings in SW4 and SW12, Woodentops Nurseries has a homely atmosphere, urging you to view them as an extension of your home.

There are dedicated sleep rooms for the younger babies, and outside play areas with tree-filled gardens for children to explore and have fun.

They also have miniature allotments for the kids to grow their own produce.

Address: 1 Poynders Road, London SW4 8NX
Telephone: 020 8675 5033
Website: woodentopsnurseries.com
Minimum age: 6 months

30. Young England Kindergarten

Family-owned and operated since the early ‘60s, Young England Kindergarten is an Outstanding Ofsted provider situated in a spacious setting in Pimlico, right next to the St. George’s Square gardens.

Young England Kindergarten

There’s the main play area, a focused teaching room for lessons and group activities, and even a stage for annual plays. They have a first come, first served policy, but do make exceptions for siblings.

Address: St Saviours Hall, St. George’s Square, Pimlico, London SW1V 2HP
Telephone: 020 7834 3171
Website: youngenglandkindergarten.co.uk
Minimum age: 2 ½

Who do you think are among the best private nursery schools in London?


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