Finding the right nursery school for your child takes time and research. It’s an important decision and there are so many top nurseries in London to choose between. With applications, assessments and waiting lists to contend with, getting a place at the best private nursery for your child can take years of planning. Nursery will be your child’s first learning experience away from home where they will hit some key communication and early learning milestones. Your nursery choice will come down to location and teaching styles but it’s nevertheless important to get your application in early to maximise your chances of a place. Choosing the right nursery school can boost your chances of being accepted into the best pre-prep and junior schools, so it can be crucial to get this first step on your child’s educational journey right.
Our extensive guide of the best preschools in London should help you navigate the world of early years education. For further guidance on London nurseries and education, visit our complete education guide.
The best private London nurseries
Many of the best nurseries are still located in Chelsea and Kensington but if you’re based south of the river or in North London, we’ve listed some options outside the central and south London fold. Use the jump-to links below to select your area.
Top nurseries in Central London
Young England Kindergarten
Home to some of the most luxurious London nursery schools, these are our picks of the most-sought after nurseries to start your child’s education.
Founded in the 1960’s, Young England Kindergarten (‘YEK’) is one of London’s most established nursery schools. YEK is a family run, sessional nursery for children aged 2 – 5 years old, located in the heart of Pimlico.
The setting has its own courtyard and is situated alongside a beautiful garden which is used for daily sport and learning about nature.
An experienced team of staff help to create a happy, safe and inclusive environment where children can explore their potential, developing social skills and self-confidence. Children leave with a real enthusiasm for learning and are well prepared for the next stage of their education.
Rated ‘Outstanding’ by OFSTED.
If you’re looking for a London preschool that “supports curiosity, wonder and fun”, Sloane Pre-School is the place. This London nursery’s curriculum covers a wide range of topics: Physical education, literacy and language, maths, science, cookery, art, music, personal, social and emotional development. Activities are created and tailored to suit individual child’s needs to make sure your little one can make the most out of their nursery education.
Miss Daisy’s Nursery
Miss Daisy’s original aim was to create a “village nursery school in the heart of London”. Due to huge success, Miss Daisy’s now has five locations in South and Central London (Belgravia, Brook Green, Chelsea, Hyde Park and Knightsbridge). Miss Daisy’s takes a “no pressure” approach and encourages children to pursue their own development in a warm and nurturing environment. With an excellent adult-to-child care ratio and balance between learning and play, Miss Daisy’s provides a solid foundation for your child’s education.
Where: Belgravia, Knightsbridge, Chelsea and Brook Green
Contact: +44 (0) 20 7730 5797
With exceptional facilities and the highest quality early years education, Chelsea Prep Prep is one of the best independent private nurseries in London. The pre-prep nursery encourages children to “thrive and to become lifelong learners, makers, and possibility thinkers” through unique and diverse experiences. Alongside the normal curriculum, this London nursery offers ballet, yoga, performance and storytelling.
Parsons Green Nursery
Parsons Green Nursery, affectionately known as PGN is a family-owned and operated nursery school with two sites situated either side of Parsons Green in Fulham. With strong links to many of London’s most sought-after Primary Schools, this nursery is a first choice for many local families.
A modern nursery with traditional values, PGN has a contemporary approach to Early Years Education while upholding a strong focus on good manners and respect for others. The Nursery has a broad and rich curriculum delivered by a team of long-standing staff and specialist teachers who deliver extra-mural classes including French, Ballet, Music, Football and Cookery.
Registration pre-birth is strongly encouraged to beat the waiting lists.
Sister school to Chelsea Pre-Prep, Kingsland aims to “nurture your children’s understanding of the world and themselves”. Through meaningful and child-centred education, this London nursery school will help your child develop essential aptitudes and skills, as well as turn them into life-long learners.
This Montessori nursery school will help your “children grow into mindful, confident, independent individuals with an enduring love for learning”. Gardens Montessori is a London nursery school that offers tailored learning – different child, different teaching technique. Established over 25 years ago, the school provides the highest standard of nursery education.
Where: Kensington – Victoria Road and Iverna Gardens
Contact: 020 7589 6802
The Kensington Kindergarten
Located at the top of Kensington High Street, the Kensington Kindergarten is a top choice for families living in Kensington, Holland Park, Brook Green and Notting Hill. This private London nursery “provides a safe and caring environment where children can gain a positive approach to school and learning”. Your child will learn through structured lessons, play and free choice. The nursery also offers weekly forest school, tennis and football.
Contact: 0207 371 4848 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The Knightsbridge Kindergarten
Sister school to the Kensington Kindergarten, this Knightsbridge location is ideal for families living in Chelsea, Knightsbridge, Mayfair, Belgravia and Pimlico. With over 20 years of experience, The Knightsbridge Kindergarten is one of the leading nursery schools in London. Children can start at the age of 2 and stay with them until the age of 5. The nursery has bright and spacious classrooms, an outdoor playground, a soft playroom and a sensory room.
Where: Eaton Square
Contact: 0207 371 2306 or email@example.com
Knightsbridge School is suited for children from 3-16 years. The nursery school tailors the EYFS curriculum to cater for each child’s needs and the main focus of the Knightsbridge nursery programme is on playing. What’s more, the school also offers specialist teachers for the younger children to have a head start in modern languages, music, drama and forest school.
Contact: 020 7590 9000 or firstname.lastname@example.org
With over 40 years of experience Tadpoles Nursery is one of the leading schools in the country for young children that shows a strong passion for the importance of early learning. They believe that “we do not stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing”.
Contact: 0207 352 9757 or email@example.com
Strawberry Fields Nursery School
Dubbed ‘the best-kept secret in Notting Hill’, this nursery has an outstanding Ofsted rating and rumour has it that registration forms are often couriered over hours after the birth, according to Tatler. The Notting Hill nursery is a unique place for “children flourish and grow in an environment of love, care, creativity, fun and academic excellence”.
Where: Notting Hill
Contact: 020 7727 8363 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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Pippa Pop-ins Nursery Schools
Pippa Pop-ins now has four nursery schools in the heart of London. Established in 1992, Pippa Pop-ins “give each child the best opportunity to develop both holistically and academically”. Classes are small and offer a wide range of practical and educational activities. Children are accepted in the academic year following their 1st birthday.
Does your child have an appetite for learning and discovery? They’ll fit right in at Redcliffe School, a nursery where individuality and independent thinking actively encouraged. The school will take your child right from their early years through to Prep School in a fun and friendly environment where they will thrive and flourish.
Ringrose Kindergarten is a traditional English nursery school situated in the heart of Chelsea. The London nursery is widely recognised for the thoroughness of its teaching. It prides itself on the fact that their pupils are well-prepared for their next school, having benefited from a varied and well-directed early education.
Where: St Luke’s Church Hall, St Luke’s Street, Chelsea, London. SW3 3RP
Contact: 020 7352 8784
The Minors Nursery School
The Minors Nursery School believes that a child’s first experience of “school” is crucial for laying the foundations on which they build their future education. They provide a stimulating environment where learning and fun go hand-in-hand.
Miss Delaney’s is a gorgeous refurbished house in a private corner of Avondale Park. The tranquil space with its own private secure gardens is designed with young children in mind. The main aim of the nursery is to provide a calm, secure, and stimulating environment where children have the freedom to develop at their own pace.
Where: Holland Park
Contact: 0207 603 6095
Home from Home
The concept of Home from Home is that children can feel at home in their educational surroundings. Home from Home encourages children to develop and learn ‘at their own pace’. They only accept a maximum of twelve children daily because they believe that this benefits the children and encourages the same traditions and values, as they would have at home.
Top nurseries in South London
Maggie & Rose
Maggie & Rose is a global collection of day nurseries and family members’ clubs that has been bringing families together since 2007. Maggie & Rose’s Ofsted-registered day nurseries offer a unique and creative approach to Early Years’ learning, drawing on the natural curiosity of childhood and the very best of Early Years’ principles.
Maggie & Rose understand the needs of parents and young families and strive to make life a little bit easier in all that they do – including offering online classes, crafts, book recommendations, expert advice and features to parents through a digital hub, Maggie & Rose Life
Where: Kensington, Chiswick and Islington.
Contact: 020 7371 2200
The 7,000 sq ft centre is located in Elephant Park, the exciting new mixed-use development area in the heart of Elephant & Castle. The centre welcomes 120 children from 4 months to 12 years, offering a state of the art space to make learning fun and memorable. There are two large and partially covered outdoor play areas, sensory rooms, dedicated crawl spaces as well as sleeping pods.
Where: Elephant & Castle
Contact: 020 3795 7685
The London Acorn School
Described as a “paradise for kids”, The London Acorn School is located in a beautiful National Trust Park in Southwest London. Operating out of a cosy cottage, this London nursery takes an “unhurried approach which limits screen time and emphasises a connection with nature”.
Contact: 020 8544 9769
Little Forest Folk
Let your child’s imagination run wild at Little Forest Folk nursery. For this outdoor forest nursery, the natural world and physical activity are an integral part of learning. With seven locations, each offers beautiful and magical outdoor space to facilitate your child’s adventure and exploration.
The Butterfly Preschool
The Butterfly Preschool is a traditional London nursery school that will help your child achieve early learning goals and put them on the path to becoming well-rounded individuals. Combing the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum from forest school-style learning, the nursery offers diverse ways for your child to learn and explore.
Where: Clapham and Wimbledon
Contact: 0207 738 0019
The Willow Nursery
Established over 30 years ago, The Willow Nursery offers a combination of traditional teaching and Montessori methods to provide your child with a fun and valuable nursery experience. The nursery school aims to instil your child with confidence, resilience and independence.
Top nurseries in North London
The Children’s House
The Children’s House inspires children to become creative, independent thinkers and competent communicators. Its mission is to help children learn about and take care of the world around them. The nursery school is located in Canonbury. In addition, there’s a related Upper School in Dalston.
Contact: 020 7354 2113
Keren’s Nursery places a focus on family-style care. The team offer “the home away from home warmth and nurturing” to every child. A big draw is the sense of community and belonging that Keren’s offers. Languages are a big focus, with a different language taught each month and bilingual children are highly welcomed. All branches are Forest School accredited, with the strong belief that time outside, independence and creativity are key for happy children.
Where: Holland Park, Hampstead, and Belsize Park