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Toys in a nursery

In common with most parts of the UK, the best nurseries in the county are very sought-after so parents are advised to research and secure places at the earliest opportunity, particularly in Bournemouth and Poole. We offer advice and guidance on choosing a nursery.

Nurseries in Bournemouth and Poole 

The sprawling metropolis of Bournemouth and Poole has a mixture of corporate nurseries and small local providers. Talbot Woods Day Nursery and Pre-School, part of the Bright Horizons chain, offers all-year-round childcare from 3 months to 5 years. Others include Queens Park Montessori Day Nursery, Ashley Cross Montessori and Blue Penguin Montessori at Alum Chine. 

Bournemouth Collegiate School (BCS) Prep, an independent school in Parkstone, has its own nursery school for children aged two and up. Talbot Heath School in Bournemouth has just opened Honey Bees Family and Toddler Group for children aged 0-4. Run by the school’s in-house early years team, it’s open on Fridays from 9.30-10.30am.

Meanwhile across town in Upton, Yarrells Preparatory School admits children aged 2-4, with many staying on to join the prep afterwards. The nursery is very popular so parents should apply as early as possible.

Best primary schools in Bournemouth and Poole

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Nurseries in Blandford

Blandford Nursery and Shaftesbury Nursery are both quality options. Archway Nursery School in the village of Pimperne, three miles from Blandford, was started more than 20 years ago and has a good reputation locally. Halfway between Blandford and Wimborne is the privately-owned The Old School Nursery in the pretty village of Shapwick, based in the beautiful old village school. Two private schools, Bryanston Prep in Durweston and Port Regis near Shaftesbury, also have their own nurseries. Bryanston Prep’s nursery section has 16 places for 3 and 4 year olds.

Best primary schools in Blandford

Best state secondary schools in Blandford

Best private schools in Blandford

Nurseries in Sherborne

Pear Tree Nursery and Pre-School in the centre of Sherborne is the sister nursery of Lower Covey Montessori School in Yetminster, four miles away, and both are popular with families. The owner has 30 years of childcare experience and aims to promote children’s independence and help them to grow into confident pre-schoolers set for the transition to primary school.

The nursery at Leweston School, a private school in a rural setting three miles from Sherborne, takes children from three months to four years. Parents are advised to apply and register their interest as early as possible – there are long waiting lists. Sherborne Prep has its own nursery – children can attend for full days, mornings only, lunchtime sessions or afternoon sessions.

Best primary schools in Sherborne

Best state secondary schools in Sherborne

Best private schools in Sherborne

Nurseries in Dorchester

Dorset’s county town has a range of options for pre-schoolers. Standouts include The Grove Pre-School Playgroup in town and Sunny Days, a custom-built nursery on the edge of Poundbury. The Grove offers a 10 per cent NHS discount for Dorset County Hospital Foundation Trust employees.

Best primary schools in Dorchester

Best state secondary schools in Dorchester

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