Free Trial Sessions


We understand how difficult it can be to leave your child for the first time at nursery. Our priority is to help you and your family feel welcome and relaxed. 

Once you have registered your child with us, our two free trial sessions will help with the settling in process for everyone involved and are arranged with the parents or carers needs in mind. 

The free sessions enable your child to spend a little time in their new environment and the family to talk with the staff members to share any information that will help them care for your child. 

The sessions are made on two separate days of your choice (usually the week before your child is due to start) and are for approximately two hours each.

Times available are: 9.30am - 11.15am (morning trial) or 1.15pm - 3.00pm (afternoon trial)

You are very welcome to telephone and be put through to your child’s room and speak to one of the carers at any time to see how your child is.


3 Arboretum Street, The Arboretum, Nottingham, NG1 4JA

Stepping Stones Day Nursery is located behind the Nottingham Boys High School in the Arboretum Park. Just 500 metres from the Nottingham Girls High and P.N.E.U schools, within close walking distance of the Nottingham University and City Centre. We are only 2 minutes walk from The Nottingham 'High School' tram stop.


The nursery is open for 51 weeks of the year excluding bank holidays. The nursery will close over the Christmas period for one week. These dates are available on the Parent / Carer information board.

Opening times:

Monday – Friday: 7.45am - 6pm (Breakfast, Dinner, Tea included)
Morning sessions: 7.45am - 1pm (Breakfast and Dinner included)
Afternoon sessions: 1pm - 6pm (Tea included)



Free Childcare at Stepping Stones 

Two Year Early Learning Program & Three Year Education Grant

At Stepping Stones we are part of the nationwide scheme which promotes free childcare.

Every child is entitled to 3 year funding the term after their third birthday, this entitles you to 3 sessions a week of childcare at our nursery.

2 year funding is slightly different and you must be entitled to it, please apply on the link below:

If you require any further information do not hesitate to call us on 0115 9101162.



Ofsted Logo.jpg

We are very proud of our Ofsted reports and have always received constructive comments that have helped us improve our setting.
Our Ofsted reports >


We believe that quality is a result of constant evaluation and improvement in working practices at all times

Quality as Standard is a quality assurance system that was used by the City Council to help settings evaluate and discuss the practices used and where possible improve upon them.

Stepping Stones was proud to be the first setting to achieve this accreditation in the city and feel that the whole setting benefitted from the teamwork involved in working together and discussing practices and looking for ways to work through action plans and improve the outcomes for everyone involved.


We are proud to have been awarded a 5 out of 5 for Food Hygiene. The scheme is run by local authorities in England, Wales and Northern Ireland in partnership with the Food Standards Agency. Each business is given a ‘hygiene rating’ when it is inspected by a food safety officer from the business’s local authority. The hygiene rating shows how closely the business is meeting the requirements of food hygiene law.


NDNA The National Day Nursery Association is a body who represent the childcare settings on a national basis and work to lobby the government to make sure all settings concerns are represented. We have been members of this association since opening and attend many meetings and seminars to keep up to date with relevant issues and give our views on subjects that may affect our ability to provide services and how it could effect children’s care the parents and the nursery.


FSB The Federation of Small Business is an organisation which helps to support independent business and lobby government on issues that can affect employers and employees rights. We are proud to be a member of this organisation and have been since we opened in 2000. We have grown from 3 employees and 6 children to 29 staff and over 100 children since then and have used the services of the FSB many times and found them to be very helpful in keeping us informed of any new rules and regulations that have come into place that could affect our business and the services we provide.

Parental Involvement


In our Ofsted inspection March 2011 we were accredited with outstanding for our partnership with parents/carers which we are extremely proud of and value immensely.

We see our role as a shared process with you the parents/carers. As the parents/carers you are welcome to visit and discuss any aspect of your child’s progress at any time.

We have an open door policy where our parents/carers can approach us at any time with any questions or concerns they may have.

We will always be pleased to answer any concerns or questions you may have. All our policies and procedures for the nursery are available to view at any time; these are situated on the parent or carer information board.

We have regular newsletters to keep parents/carers informed and updated about nursery life. They give important and useful information about the nursery requirements. Parents/carers are kept up to speed as to what happens in their child's room and what they are gaining from their time at nursery.

We are currently on Facebook and Twitter, where we share nursery news, photographs and ideas enabling us to build a two way partnership with all our parents/carers.



We are are proud to have 2 Apple Ipads and 2 Windows PC computers in our Pre-School Rooms and there is a PC in all other rooms at Stepping Stones Day Nursery - and the children are delighted with them. It's yet another way we ensure they are motivated, engaged and continuously learning through technology during structured times throughout the day. 

So what is an Ipad?

The Ipad has taken over the personal computing world and is intuitive technology that engages children, allowing them to document processes with their fingers. What is written, drawn and created on the Ipad appears instantly, where it can then be saved and printed. The children can develop social, emotional and technological skills through use of an Ipad or Pc computer, as well as developing fine-motor skills such as hand-eye coordination. Children are able to imaginatively create, as well as edit and alter, continuously learning about graphics, design, and modern processes. The benefits are profound. Children collaborate more, swap ideas, help each other and enhance their language skills. Even from such a young age we've found:

• Children are inspired and delighted by using the touch-screen  Ipads and PC computers.

• They love to touch it and make things happen - after all its an intuitive reaction for them!

• They enhance their motor skills, speech and language, reading and writing, number skills, memory and social development, and IT

• The visual presentation, highly motivating graphics and sound, and immediate feedback enables the children to learn at their own pace.

Isn't using a computer an isolating experience? 

At Stepping Stones we believe in all types of education. Whereas real play develops all sorts of social skills within children, a touch-screen computer allows a child to interact and learn on a whole new level and most of the time they include their friends in small groups and enjoy showing each other (and the Staff) what they have discovered.

Curriculum for Excellence Early Level
Outcome for Technology: 

"I enjoy playing with and exploring technologies to discover what they can do and how they can help us" 

Ipads and PC computers can be used to support many aspects of Curriculum for Excellence:

• Curiosity and problem-solving skills
• Planning and organisational skills
• Creativity and innovation
• Skills in using tools, equipment, software and materials
• Critical thinking through exploration and discovery
• Searching and retrieving information
• Making connections between specialist skills


We are always sorry to see children leave Stepping Stones, even when it's to begin the next exciting stage in their lives, but the letters we receive from parents and children make that parting somewhat easier to bear.

Click the letters to enlarge - This is just a small selection of letters from recent years.