Chelsea Open Air Nursery School and Children’s Centre

Chelsea Open Air Nursery School and Children’s Centre provides early childhood provision with free play and structured activities. The providers view risk and challenge as a strong ethic for children’s learning and play, and this is reflected how the provision is run.

This play provision is an example of:

  • Early Childhood provision
  • Organised clubs and activities
  • Free / unstructured play
  • Schools or extended schools
  • Inner city
  • Sessions that require pre-booking.

Chelsea Nursery encourages children to play outside and make the most of the outdoor space, which contains various play structures, flowerbeds, tress, a hut and a sand filled pirate ship. There is lots of choice and space for children to play, both indoors and outdoors.

The childcare has a diverse range of children from various backgrounds. At present, the service is reasonably accessible but the building dates from 1587 and so access to upper floors is difficult for the physically disabled, but there are new architects plans to improve this. In 2007, OFSTED described the nursery ‘exciting and creative and captures children’s imagination and sense of fun’.

Children and community involvement
The staff are always looking for ways to improve the service and regularly observe the children to inform planning. This is done through key worker times in nursery school, feedback time in children’s centre and via parental consultation and questionnaires. The play providers involve families in local community on their views of the service. The staff are working to develop a parent interview service in order to improve their response to community needs.

Staff, policies and funding
Three members of staff are employed in the children’s centre and 15 in the nursery school. There are two administrators and three members of staff who supervise the premises and meal times. The workers are required to have qualifications such as NVQ3, teaching degrees, Masters, CSBM and NPQICL. The nursery school has policies for all aspects plus health and safety and child protection are available upon application. The provision is run and funded by the local authority to support the children’s centre to ensure effective establishment.

Further information
The nursery runs during the normal school term, 48 weeks of the year from 8am until 6pm. Nursery school places are free but they are very over subscribed with three or four applicants per place.

There is a charge for extended day services:

  • Breakfast club £5
  • Core day £30 (9 – 4pm)
  • Afternoon Lite  £5 (3:30-4:30pm)
  • Afternoon tea £10 (3:30-6pm)
  • Extended hours £4 per hour.

Parents need to book places in advance to avoid a last minute booking fee. The number of children using the services is very variable, the holiday schemes are particularly popular.


Kathryn Solly (Head Teacher)
Chelsea Open Air Nursery School and Children’s Centre
51 Glebe Place
LondonSW3 5JE

Tel: 0207 352 8374

Page updated August 2008