Smarties Nursery Chester has been rebranded as Smarties Nature Kindergarten. Visit Thrive Childcare to learn more.

Welcome To Our Nursery In The Heart of Chester

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About Us

Smarties was founded in 1989 by Annie Silcock, a qualified teacher, with a commitment to provide the highest standard of care and education.

The Smartcare holiday club followed in 1997 and continued with the same ethos. Annie continues to be involved in the nursery daily and also has a consultancy which sets up outstanding nurseries or improves outcomes for existing ones.

Why Smarties? Because Smarties is unique in both its rural setting facilities and in its constant strive to develop and improve the experience for children in their care. The staffing ratio far exceeds the legislative requirements and a huge emphasis is placed on continual professional development of the staff.

These are just some of the reasons behind our reputation as one of the best nurseries in the UK, winning NDNA (National Day Nursery Association) Nursery of the year for central England and for the whole of the UK in 2018.

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Smarties Nursery Child and Staff

Opening Hours

  • Monday7:30am to 6pm
  • Tuesday7:30am to 6pm
  • Wednesday7:30am to 6pm
  • Thursday7:30am to 6pm
  • Friday7:30am to 6pm
  • Saturday & SundayClosed

    The Nursery Ethos

    Smarties Nursery is a magical setting for children to attend including 2 acres of grounds. The outside area boasts an established Forest School and the variety of play areas all carefully planned to encourage and develop children’s experiences. It is our aim to provide continuous learning opportunities inside and out. Willow tunnels, hornberry maize, a large mud pit and mud kitchen are just some of the facilities available. Our pigs, goats and the three chickens are also used for regular learning opportunities from the EYFS curriculum!

    Inside the nursery is continually replenished and refurbished, maintaining the high quality expected from Smarties. Qualified staff regularly choose and research new equipment to enhance children’s learning. Our curriculum plans include a wide variety of activities and include weekly music and drama sessions for all children. Other optional activities include: Ballet, Golf and Tennis.

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    Our Team

    Our Nursery Manager Lisa has several years of experience working with children of all ages. Lisa manages her nursery and team to ensure her nursery provides a secure family environment where children are encouraged to learn and grow into confident, creative, happy individuals.

    The team are offered continuous professional development and hold qualifications ranging from degrees in teaching and childcare studies. Our team are fortunate to have the expertise of two Early Years Professionals and a Qualified Teacher and oversee our curriculum planning. They also mentor other staff members to make sure your children are receiving the best, most rounded educational experience here at Smarties!

    Lisa PorterManager
    Becky ForsterDeputy Manager

    Our Unique Features

    • Extensive outdoor area with Mini Farm and Forest School experience.
    • Longstanding, committed, welcoming staff team with a Millie’s Mark award.
    • Awarded NDNA Nursery of the Year UK wide in 2018.
    • Extra-curricular activities included in fees.


    My first impressions were very positive. Everywhere was clean and smelled beautiful. Both the 0-2 and 2-4 rooms were very well decorated and resourced. Ellie loved exploring both rooms and really enjoyed getting to know Emma.

    – Lynsey, Current Parent

    Individual care and attention is given daily. Great activities, great food! Staff always notice children’s individual interest which is fantastic. Friendly and welcoming staff that have a wonderful rapport with the children.

    – Claire, Current Parent