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Children in a nursery

The best nurseries in Bristol are inundated with applications, and with waiting lists lasting a year or longer in some cases, expectant parents are advised to research and secure places at the earliest possible opportunity. For young families exploring their options, we offer advice and guidance in our article Choosing a nursery.

Nurseries in Clifton

There is the usual mixture of corporate (eg Daisy Chain), small local providers (eg Clifton Tots, Christ Church Pre-school), family-run (eg Woodland House, affiliated to the university and priority given to parents working there) and those attached to the independent schools (Clifton College Prep, Clifton High).

Demand is high and availability low. Waiting lists can last for up to a year. We suspect there are parents who use the ‘first come first served’ policy of independent school nurseries to get small children through the door before they have to face any kind of entrance assessment: transfer up the school is usually automatic unless the child is patently unsuited for the school setting.

Best state secondary schools in Clifton 

Best private schools in Clifton 

Best primary schools in Clifton 

Nurseries in Redland

Private family-owned nurseries predominate in this part of Bristol (Green Door, Pooh Corner, Tin Drum, Moonriver, Zebedees, Clyde House, Ashgrove Park and Archfield House) plus one local chain, Snapdragons. All tell the same story of little, if any, availability for babies and year long waiting lists.

Some spaces for pre-schoolers at the start of the academic year, when four-year-olds move on to school. Just one attached to a school – Torwood House, a tiny (fewer than 20 pupils!) standalone prep - and a place on their list is greatly in-demand.

Best state secondary schools in Redland

Best private schools in Redland

Best primary schools in Redland

Nurseries in Henleaze

Younger children have a choice of nurseries, mostly privately owned; demand is high with year-long waits very possible. Toybox is in Henleaze; Once upon a Time, Lake House, Daisy Chain (with a sister nursery in Clifton) and Manor House all in Westbury. The last of these claims to have a slightly different way of going about things, offering the children more autonomy in their day.

Badminton Junior School has its own nursery, taking girls from the age of three and much more a preparation for school: term-time only, uniform and academic in its approach eg early introduction to phonics.

Best state secondary schools in Henleaze

Best private schools in Henleaze

Best primary schools in Henleaze

Nurseries in Bristol City Centre

Three private nursery options in the city centre, perhaps more likely to be near to parents’ place of work than the family home. Becket Hall will take babies from eight weeks of age and operates year-round. King Street Nursery right in theatreland is part of growing (60+ nurseries) national chain Just Childcare.

Co-op Nurseries, a national provider with 48 nurseries, have one site in a historic vaulted building right next to Bristol Temple Meads, the city’s main station, an area which has been massively developed in recent years and which now gleams with shiny office blocks. Redcliffe Nursery and Children’s Centre is a local authority setting, intended to provide affordable childcare for lower income families in Bristol and the admissions policy reflects this.

Best state secondary schools in Bristol City Centre

Best private schools in Bristol City Centre

Best primary schools in Bristol City Centre

Nurseries in Southville

Quite a few nurseries in this part of Bristol to reflect growing demand but a new setting due to open in autumn 2022, to ease the long waiting list at North St Nursery. London chain Magic Roundabout Nurseries has a branch here with a waiting list of a year; 18 month waiting lists and stricter admissions criteria for the two sites run by local not-for-profit BS3 Community, Southville Centre and Chessel Centre. National chain Bright Horizons nurseries has one branch here with a greener setting than the others.

Best state secondary schools in Southville

Best private schools in Southville

Best primary schools in Southville

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