It’s increasingly necessary to plan for nursery even before ‘Elephant Breath’ has been chosen for the walls of the baby’s room, although there’s plenty of choice across the West Kent with a mixture of chain, individual, workplace and private school nurseries. Wrap-around care is found mostly at nurseries attached to private preps. It is always advisable for young families to explore their options - we offer advice and guidance in our article Choosing a nursery.
Nurseries in Sevenoaks
Squiggles (Busy Bees) is quite central as is Bright Horizons. Broughton Cottage in Dunton Green is hugely popular with its Montessori ethos but has waiting lists to match. Riverhead in Otford is also popular. Attached to prep schools are: Sevenoaks Preparatory School’s and St Michael's Preparatory School's small nursery schools with an emphasis on the beginning of an educational journey. A big plus is having use of the preps’ excellent outdoor resources, especially forest schools. Best to get name down at least 12 months in advance.
Nurseries in The Weald
Because of work or travel commitments many parents choose nurseries in Ashford (see East Kent) or Maidstone, however there are three great local options: Marlborough House School Nursery, Home Farm Nursery and Junior’s Day Nursery although waiting lists are long (doesn’t hurt to visit while expecting and put name down at birth to guarantee a place), due to the small sizes.
Nurseries in Tunbridge Wells & Tonbridge
Both central and close to the station are the ‘stimulating’ Green Cave Day Nursery, and ‘family feel’ Monkey Puzzle Day Nursery, parents say. Set in 75 acres outside Tunbridge Wells is Kent College, Pembury’s Forest Explorers Nursery very much part of the prep community and with fabulous facilities.
Nurseries in Rochester
Little Explorers, Phoenix Education Day Nursery and Busy Bees all popular and reliable, parents told us. King’s School Rochester’s Nursery, behind the walled grounds of the main school, is an educational nursery for term-time only. Wrap-around care available in the neighbouring Rookwood House. Gad’s Hill Kindergarten for 3 + offers specialist teaching in music and Spanish and use of the forest school.
Nurseries in Maidstone
Bright Horizons has a strong foothold in Maidstone with two sites – the Loose location more popular due to smaller size and its on-site farm. Pennies Day Nursery also has two sites with Hocker’s Lane enjoying beautiful surrounding on the edge of the North Downs. At Sutton Valence Prep, Little Lambs ( 2 – 5 years old) is a treat, according to parents. There’s a forest school, good sense of community and expert care all year round. A new build for Little Lambs is hotly anticipated to make the most of its beautiful grounds.