Abbey Wood Grange Nursery
South Croydon’s Premier Nursery School

Nursery near me – A first-time Mum’s experience finding a Nursery

As a first-time mum Iooking for childcare, I naively searched nurseries near me and was immediately overwhelmed by the many, many choices.

Not only did I now face the daunting prospect of leaving my baby, but now I faced the enormity of making the right decision.

My nurseries near me search had listed some nurseries and Pre-schools that weren’t near me at all but out of those listed I made a short list of ones within my search area (Nurseries near me in South Croydon).

Nurseries near me in South Croydon Google map
Nurseries near me in South Croydon Google map


After looking at their websites and researching what makes a good nursery, I decided that I wanted a nursery near me that could offer me a professional service but my child a fun learning experience, one that was well established and with a long-standing staff team.

I was advised by my mummy friends to go with my gut instinct and that I would get a feeling and would just know when I had found the right nursery near me.

I didn’t want to feel like I was entering a contract, I wanted my preschool nursery to feel like an extension of my family, my home. After all I was leaving a part of me in a new environment and it had to feel right.

From the moment my husband and I were welcomed into Abbey Wood Grange we were shown compassion, all our questions were answered and nothing was too much trouble. I left feeling like I already had a connection and was confident that my child and I would be happy at Abbey Wood Grange.

Nurseries near me happy family

Nurseries near me, Abbey Wood Grange family photo.


We have now been at Abbey Wood Grange for a few months and it has definitely been the right decision for us. I never thought I would feel so happy or confident leaving my baby with someone else but I can honestly say it feels like I’m leaving her with family happy in the knowledge that she is receiving exceptional care, learning and having lots of fun. Nothing has been too much trouble and all the daily information and updates ensures I feel like a part of my baby’s nursery day.

I have and will continue to recommend Abbey Wood Grange, the nursery near me to all!

How to keep preschool children safe in the Sun

While we all look forward to those long Summer days and the prospect of outdoor adventures and activities, we must also be aware of the potential risks and how we can protect preschool children against them.

Exposure to the Sun and Vitamin D is vital, but it is essential to find the right balance between getting enough Vitamin D and protecting ourselves from the Sun.  When skin is exposed to the Sun, our bodies make vitamin D, which helps the body absorb calcium for stronger, healthier bones.

Every nursery child needs sun protection. The lighter someone’s natural skin colour, the less melanin it has to absorb UV rays and protect itself. The darker a person’s natural skin colour, the more melanin it has. Both dark and light-skin needs protection from UV rays because any tanning or burning causes skin damage.

Take extra care to protect babies and preschool children as their skin is much more sensitive and must always be protected. Damaged caused by repeated exposure to sunlight could lead to skin cancer developing in later life.  It is advisable to keep out of direct sunlight and spend time in the shade between 11 am – 3 pm from March to October.

Sun cream is vital when protecting yourself against the Sun and remember you can burn even on a cloudy day. A minimum of factor 30 with a 4 star UVA protection should be used and reapplied every 2 hours as the Sun can dry it off your skin. Reapplying after swimming or exposure to water is essential even with water-resistant sun cream. Water reflects ultraviolet UV rays, increasing your exposure, and the cooling effect of the water can make you believe you are not getting burned.

Do not rely on sun cream alone to protect yourself and your children from the Sun. Suitable clothing such as hats, long sleeve tops and lite loose clothing is also advisable.

Top Tips for keeping Preschool children safe in the Sun

•    Apply Sun cream liberally and frequently, always reapply after swimming or exposure to water (an adult wearing a swimming costume would apply around two tablespoons of sun cream to their exposed bodies)

•    Keep out of the Sun and in the shade between 11 am- 3 pm

•    Make sure your sun cream exceeded its expiry date

•    Use at least Factor 30 with a minimum of a 4 star UVA rating

•    Apply sun cream 30 minutes before exposure to the Sun

•    Keep hydrated, drink lots of water

•    Never leave children or pets in cars parked in the Sun

•    Use sunglasses that offer your eyes 100% UV protection.

Most importantly, all children, including nursery school children, must be encouraged to have fun and stay safe in the Sun!

Tags for this post: Abbeywood Grange, health, nursery, winter

The importance of Role Play for Pre-school Children 

Imagination and creativity are powerful tools within Pre-School children; this can be instinctive in some children but need encouraging in others. Designated role play areas offer opportunities to explore both real and imaginary worlds, aiding intellectual development, social skills and creativity.

Children are encouraged to explore, investigate and experiment within a variety of both every day and fantasy situations. Role play allows the children to express and develop emotional awareness, such as compassion and empathy. It also teaches children an understanding of different perspectives and cultures.

Pre-school role play can be a valuable teaching tool enabling the children to make sense of real-life situations and develop interests in subjects such as doctors, nurses or schools. It can also aid understanding of a place they may never get to visit, such as under the sea or space.

Children can take on varying roles, challenging themselves and developing confidence while in ‘character’ in a way that they may not feel comfortable in doing so during everyday play.

Roleplay can be supported within the home environment, no matter how big or small. A simple cardboard box can be transformed into a space rocket or by merely labeling the tins in the kitchen cupboard a shop is created.

Role-play ideas can be inexpensive and adapted to suit everyone’s creative ability. The internet has many ideas to inspire, but one we use a lot at Abbey Wood is Pinterest.

At Abbey Wood pre-school, our role play areas are usually inspired by the children’s interests, ensuring they are both fully engaged and learning while having fun.

There is nothing more enjoyable than seeing a child’s imagination brought to life.

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Free Childcare 15-30 Hours Free Preschool Education

All children in England are entitled to 570 free hours pre-school per annum. It is usually taken as 15 hours a week for 38 weeks of the year, but you can choose to take fewer hours over more weeks, for example. 

You can get it from the term after your child’s 3rd birthday. Some Preschool nurseries are open all year round and you can make your own arrangements to extend these hours at your own cost.

15 hours free preschool childcare

All 3 to 4-year-olds in England can get free early education or childcare. Some 2-year-olds are also eligible for 15 hours free childcare, for example, if you receive certain benefits.
 There are many scenarios that contribute towards the free childcare and you should contact your local Preschool Nursery for more detailed information.

The free early education and childcare: Must be with an approved childcare provider (such as Abbeywood Lodge who have been approved since 2018). 
When your child starts in reception class (or reaches compulsory school age, if later), this is when the childcare support stops. Contact your local Preschool for more information.

30 Hours Free Childcare Per Week

You may be eligible to get up to 30 hours of free childcare (1,140 hours per year, which you can choose how you take). If you’re entitled to the extra hours, sign up online to get a code to give to your Nursery or childcare provider to reserve your place. You’ll get the extra hours once the next term starts. If you’ve already registered, you can sign in to your childcare account.

Check your early years’ childcare funding  eligibility

You can usually get 30 hours free childcare if you (and your partner, if you have one) are in work – or getting parental leave, sick leave or annual leave, or each earning at least the National Minimum Wage or Living Wage for 16 hours a week (this is £120 if you’re over 25).

Please note: This earnings limit doesn’t apply if you’re self-employed and started your business less than 12 months ago. You’re not eligible if your child doesn’t usually live with you, the child is your foster child, or either you / your partner has a taxable income over £100,000 per annum.

You can get 30 hours free childcare at the same time as claiming Universal Credit, tax credits or childcare vouchers.

If you can’t work you may still be eligible if your partner is working, and you get Incapacity Benefit, Severe Disablement Allowance, Carer’s Allowance or Employment and Support Allowance.

It can be confusing!!

Understanding your entitlement can be confusing if you are not able to work it out, or need help, your local pre-school nursery (assuming they accept the Free 15 – 30 hours grant, not all do) is the best place to go for assistance. They will be able to explain your entitlement, what the options are and how to apply, it is also a good opportunity to check out your local pre-school.

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Early Years Education at Abbey Wood Grange 

Early Years Education helps to build upon the learning and development that has already taken place in your little one’s life. By the time your child is ready to attend preschool, they would have already learnt so much about the big wide world and therefore are ready for a new, stimulating and engaging environment.

Early years education- what does my child need at this age?

Let’s take a look at what the UK Government website advises should be included with early years education;

  • Communication & language

  • Physical development

  • Personal, social and emotional development 

  • Literacy

  • Mathematics

  • Understanding of the word

  • Expressive arts & design 

Early Years Preschool Education Abbey Wood Grange

Abbey Wood Grange South Croydon can ensure the best early years educational
environment for your child. With features such as those listed below, you’ll feel confident that your little one will continue to develop in a fun and loving manor, hitting those all important milestones along the way;

  • First and foremost, all staff are pediatric First Aid trained so there’s no need to doubt the safety of your baby

  • Large indoor soft play areas mean your child can let off some steam in a comfy and protected environment

  • Fully enclosed equipped outdoor play areas allow your child to use his/her imagination in a fun and creative way whilst getting some all important fresh air

  • Sensory room for a multi-sensory experience, great for younger children 

  • Plenty of opportunities for your child to investigate and explore both inside and outside the nursery 

  • Abbey Wood boasts over
    45 years of managerial experience so your child will be interacting with sensitive, experienced and understanding adults that know how to nurture and support your little one

  • Preschool nursery Abbey Wood is also regulated by OFSTED so their physical social and cognitive needs will be met with a curriculum suitable for their age group.

Early years education that provides an exciting and fresh environment will engage your child and encourage them to learn. Meeting new friends in the teachers and fellow classmates also encourages new conversations which in turn, helps develop language skills. The right environment can also help your child learn independently through exploring and discovering every day.
Abbey Wood Grange Preschool Nursery offer endless opportunities for your little ones inquisitive mind, uninterrupted play, open ended and challenging resources, with the best
care whenever you need it.

South Croydon Nursery Abbey Wood talks about benefits of owning a Pet 

South Croydon Nursery Abbey Wood Grange believes that welcoming a pet into your home can be an extremely positive experience, offering many learning and development opportunities. With the animal often being referred to as ‘one of the family’.

Abbey Wood Grange Manager Cheryl talks about how with careful guidance from a parent, children will learn to be respectful of animals enabling them to become more caring, compassionate and responsible.

South Croydon Nursery Abbey Wood are proud owners of Steve, their much loved Syrian Hamster who provides the children with much love and joy. All the children enjoy taking a role in his care, whether it be chopping up some fruit, changing his water or being extra careful when Steve is having some exercise outside, in his ball.

Steve has provided conversation and in turn language development as well as an understanding of how to care for a pet. 


Pets can develop children’s confidence, boosting self-esteem as a child is more likely to confide in an animal in ways they would not with people, they will often be more willing to complete or try new tasks they
may otherwise shy away from simply because the animal will not judge.

Animals help to break down barriers and engage in conversation, helping to overcome shyness and facilitate friendships. 

Although there are huge benefits to owning a pet they also come with a varying degree of responsibility and financial implications depending on the animal.

Before deciding to take on the responsibility of owning a pet it is important to ask yourself the following;

  • Can you commit? Pet ownership is a long term commitment Dogs and cats have an average life span of 10-15 years. Would you be able to
    commit to them for such a long time? Dogs and cats require a lot of attention. If you feel that you can’t devote your time to a pet choosing a pet such as a fish may be a better option as they are less time

  • Can you afford? Owning a pet can be costly.  Food, grooming, toys, veterinary care and treatment are the expenses you can’t avoid
    if you own a dog or cat. Owning a fish is less costly compared to other pets.

  • Will a pet fit into your lifestyle? If you have long working hours, a busy social life and you travel a lot, think twice before
    getting a pet like a dog and a cat. They require constant attention and need you to play and interact with them constantly. Solitude can lead to serious behavioural problems. Make sure your pet can
    accommodate your lifestyle.

  • Do your research- Do research beforehand on the pet you wish to get. Pet care for instance, requires a great deal of knowledge.
    Grooming, nutrition tips and safety are all things you need to know before you get a pet dog or cat. Pet shops and rescue centres can also provide lots of information and an insight into what it is like to
    own a pet, with some even offering meet and greet sessions. The RSPCA and other rescue centres will also host open days or fundraising events.

  • Allergies- Make sure you or your family don’t have allergies towards fur and animals. If you are not sure whether you or your
    children are allergic to cats and dogs, spend time at your friend’s house with a pet to find out.

South Croydon Nursery Abbey Wood Grange say that getting a family pet should be a fun and exciting time for all, with everyone taking a share of the responsibility. Before making the decision to get a pet, take time to read books and discuss the impact a pet will have on the whole family and how the responsibility will be shared. Role play can also be an
effective way for younger children to understand responsibility, whereas an older child could take on the responsibility of caring for a neighbours pet.

Emergency Childcare in Croydon

Emergency Childcare is probably one of the most important things any parent will want to consider when choosing the right child care to suit their needs. 

Children & parenting can be unpredictable at the best of times, so it is impossible to know when your situation may change and emergency childcare could be your only option if friends and family are unable to
lend a helping hand.

Abbey Wood Nursery Croydon is regulated by

OFSTED so it’s a great place to start if you are local to the area and in need of Emergency Childcare where you know your child will be in safe
hands. Why might you need emergency child care? Whether it’s a last minute business meeting, family health commitments, cancellations of plans or something that you just simply cannot get out of, it’s always a great
idea to have a plan B in place.

Emergency Childcare Abbey Wood Nursery South Croydon

Emergency childcare- The most common back-up plans when it comes to last minute child care:

  • Emergency childcare through your child’s pre-school nursery such as Abbey Wood Grange. 

  • Calling upon friends or family 

  • Replacement Nanny’s or childminders

  • Using an agency to find qualified carers at short notice

  • Drop off soft play centres (for older children)

  • Last minute calls to nurseries near me to see if anyone can help 

Emergency Childcare at Abbey Wood Nursery

Abbey Wood Nursery offers Emergency Childcare where parents can access quality
child care either as a one off or for a short while without the commitment of joining a nursery.

Emergency childcare at Abbey Wood Nursery in South Croydon offers total reassurance and peace of mind without the commitment as there is no registration fee to pay.

To find out more about the emergency care we offer,
click here.

Abbey Wood Grange Private Preschool Nursery, South Croydon has been serving the local community of Kenley for 30 years having just celebrated this milestone. There are currently around 10.8 million working
parents in the UK, including four million families in which both parents are employed. One recent study last year showed that almost 200,000 former stay-at-home mothers had rejoined the workforce, so it is most
important that you have the flexible and supportive child care arrangements in place to suit you and your families needs- one that you can trust with years of experience and

great reviews!

Download our brochure and fees here.

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Daycare Childcare and Nutrition In The Kitchen

Every child’s diet is very important to us here at Abbeywood Grange, and we employ an expert children’s chef on site who is a well versed dietitian for children’s requirements.

All of our meals are carefully planned, balanced and cooked fresh daily on site in our kitchen.

We cater for any special dietary need and also offer offer Vegetarian and Non-Vegetarian meal choices. Call us for more information on 0208 660 9040 or send over a quick message on our Contact Form.

5 Star Food Hygiene Rating

Our meals take inspiration from all corners of the world and our kitchen is rated 5 out of 5 stars for Food Hygiene. Using fresh local produce wherever we can our chef offers children five portions of fruit and vegetables daily from breakfast, a rice cake snack before lunch, including a fruity afternoon snack before tea is served.

If your child is with us for the full day Nursery care, we are proud to provide healthy diet regimes to cater for any allergies or dietary requirements such as dairy free, lactose intolerant etc. At all times we educate children with developing good hygiene with fun routines, ensuring table manners are observed whilst socialising and enjoying time with their friends at the table.

Socialising, Cleanliness and Positive Oral Hygiene

Children are gently encouraged to wash their hands before snack and every meal time with specially chosen handwash soap at our perfect child height sinks. Whether it’s meal time or learning time, we incorporate educational messages in all daily activities.

We are so very lucky to have a huge kitchen which is well stocked with state of the art catering equipment and is available for inspection should you want to book a tour with us. We respect the importance of cleanliness and dental hygiene, we promote good positive oral hygiene routines for all of our children.

Daycare Children’s Sample Menu 

Here’s a sample 3 day menu – read more in depth menu and nutrition information on our Meals page.

Breakfast: A selection of cereals with whole milk
Mid morning snack: Breadsticks and rice cakes
Lunchtime: 100% cod fish fingers, peas, sweetcorn and mashed potato / Veggie & tomato dip / Rice Pudding
Afternoon snack: Fresh fruit platter
Afternoon tea: Crackers with ham and cucumber wedges / Apricot flapjack

Breakfast: A selection of cereals with whole milk
Mid morning snack: Breadsticks and rice cakes
 Lunchtime: Spaghetti Bolognaise & grated cheese / Yoghurt
Afternoon snack: Fresh fruit platter
Afternoon tea: Cheese & tomato pizza with a variety of toppings Melon

Breakfast: A selection of cereals with whole milk
Mid morning snack: Breadsticks and rice cakes
Lunchtime: Chicken Paella with vegetables / Banana
Afternoon snack: Fresh fruit platter
Afternoon tea: Beans and wholemeal toast Apples Scone & Jam

Working Up An Appetite

My time at Abbey Wood…

I remember vividly the first day I walked into Abbey Wood Grange as an enthusiastic 17 year old having just completed my CCE (Childcare and Education) at East Surrey College.

My first impressions were ones of warmth and friendliness and after a successful interview and work trial I was offered a position within the Toddler room as a Nursery Assistant. I never dreamt that nearly 20 years later I would be one of the Managers at Abbey Wood Grange supporting and guiding the new generation of Nursery Nurses. 

Within 3 years of starting at Abbey Wood Grange I gained my NVQL3 in Childcare and over the following years I worked mainly within the Baby Unit and along with my team we prided ourselves on offering new parents, reassurance, support and love within a home from home environment.

In 2006 the nursery was taken over by new Directors, Sue and Vince who have always respected our knowledge and embraced our ideas and love for the nursery. Having the opportunity to be involved at every level of the decision making process, along with a mutual respect for one another means that over the years along with an amazing and supportive staff team we really have been able to help mould Abbey Wood Grange into the amazing place it is today.

After having my own daughter in 2007, I got to experience Abbey Wood Grange from a parent’s point of view and believe that this has truly helped me to empathise and share some of the feelings and emotions experienced by new parents. 

In 2008, I undertook my NVQ Level 4 Management Training and the start of my Managerial role within Abbey Wood Grange.

I feel extremely thankful and lucky that I truly enjoy coming to work and am lucky enough to work with not just colleagues but some of my best friends. Having worked alongside Olivia and Lisa since the beginning, we now make up the Management team and our relationship really has blossomed into one of trust, love and respect. We refer to ourselves as the ‘Triangle’ and together we will always do our absolute best for our children, parents and staff.

Over the years I have gained many skills and furthered my knowledge in a variety of ways. I genuinely feel so passionate about Abbey Wood Grange and am truly thankful for all the opportunities it has given me. 

Cheryl Pepper

Nursery Manager

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Nurseries near me in South Croydon

Nurseries near me is a phrase that many parents are using in South Croydon to find which private nurseries are nearest to them and are therefore most suitable for preschool children.

Typically, parents would travel between 3 and 5 miles to a local pre-school nursery. If we use Kenley, South Croydon as an example, here are the list of Nurseries or Pre-schools in a five mile radius;

  • Abbey Wood Grange
  • Fennies Nursery
  • Whytebeams Nursery
  • Little Learners Day Nursery
  • Butterflies Pre-School
  • Kenley Kindergarten
  • All Saints Pre-School

Abbey Wood Grange Preschool Nursery South Croydon

If you’re looking for preschools, private pre-schools or nurseries near me that accept children from any of the following areas, Abbey Wood Grange is a highly rated local nursery: Kenley, Sanderstead, Coulsdon, Warlingham, Riddlesdown, South Croydon, Whyteleaf, Purley, South Croydon.

If you’d like to take a look at this local nursery near you, you can book a tour and meet the staff.  

When looking for childcare, many parents do not associate child care being provided by a nursery/preschool. However, some nurseries such as Abbey Wood Grange accept pre-school children from the age of 3 months right the way through to 5 Years of age. 

Nursery schools are monitored by OFSTED therefore nursery children will be stimulated from a young age and will follow the appropriate curriculum for their age group. Find out more about the differences between childminders and nursery childcare. 

Google Map showing Nurseries near me from the town of Kenley

Map showing Nurseries near me from the town of Kenley

Abbey Wood Grange Private Day Nursery Facilities

Abbey Wood Grange take pride in providing the following private day nursery facilities:

  • Open Garden for 
    • Four large enclosed outside facilities including an excellent adventure playground, which allows the children plenty of outdoor play and learning opportunities.
preschool nursery garden
  • Green house
    • A small greenhouse to teach children about nature and the environment.
  • Soft play & Sensory Room
    • Indoor romp room suitable for all ages, which also has its own ball pool as well as an indoor sensory room providing a calm and relaxing space for children of any age. 
preschool nursery facilities near me in croydon