Child playing with Lego

Childcare services

Find out what childcare services we offer and how to apply for a place at the nursery as a student or staff member

Coronavirus update

New safety measures for Covid-19 are in place. Parents are required to provide evidence of a negative lateral flow covid test every 5 days. Temperatures are taken of every adult and child on arrival. During the summer vacation of 2021, we are operating from 8.30am to 4.45pm.

From 4 October 2021 our operating hours will revert to 8.30am to 5.30pm.

Our on-campus nursery provides full daycare for children aged 6 months to 5 years. It's primarily a facility for students, although places do become available for the children of University staff.

Students must be studying 6 hours or more per week to apply for a nursery place. All staff are automatically eligible to apply. We can't guarantee a nursery place for everyone studying with us, but children of students are given priority.

Places are very limited, so please apply for a nursery place as early as possible – particularly if your child is aged 2 or under.

As part of our registration with Ofsted, we use the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework. The nursery was inspected by Ofsted in December 2016 and was judged as 'Good' in all areas:

  • Effectiveness of the leadership and management
  • Quality of teaching, learning and assessment
  • Personal development, behaviour and welfare of children
  • Outcomes for children

To find out more, view the full University of Portsmouth Nursery Ofsted report.

Our childcare services

Our spacious and naturally-lit building is designed specifically for nursery use and is divided into 3 rooms, allowing each of our 3 age groups to have its own room.

We have a large, landscaped outdoor play area that includes child-safe surfacing, artificial grass and a quiet seating area. Older children can enjoy the play den and climbing frame, and there is a separate play space for children under 2 years old.

We support all children as they play in small and large groups to enhance their social development.

Our curriculum is based on the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework for children aged 0-5 years old. Each day includes a wide variety of indoor and outdoor activities. We also follow the Highscope principles.

As part of our service, we provide healthy morning snacks for the children – such as fruit, vegetables, cheese, breadsticks, crackers and toast – plus milk or water to drink. With parental permission, the older children participate in supervised tooth-brushing after lunch. Toothbrushes and toothpaste are provided free of charge in collaboration with the University Dental Academy.

We also have a gardening area, and actively encourage children to learn about growing food, healthy eating and horticulture.

We complete an annual review of the University Nursery, which details new equipment purchased for the nursery, children's trips out, our responses to children's and parents' questionnaires and further staff training initiatives. Read the full annual review.

All parts of our nursery building are safely secured through swipe card security protocols for staff, and video and audio entry system for parents. We do not permit mobile phones or similar devices in the child areas of the nursery.


Read our parents' and carers' handbook for more information about our services.

Safeguarding children

Safeguarding children is everybody’s responsibility. The safety, security, wellbeing and health of your child is very important to us.

Safeguarding children

Daily safety assessments are made of the toys, equipment, indoors and outdoors play areas. Action is taken immediately, if required, to maintain a safe environment.

Ratios of children to adults is strictly adhered to at all times, including lunch times.

All our Nursery staff are kept up-to-date with relevant child protection training, and are experienced in identifying and supporting children who might be at risk of radicalisation and exploitation.

In exceptional circumstances, we have duty of care to share confidential information with others involved in protecting children.

All staff are qualified to a minimum of Level 3 in Early Years and Childcare. Proof of qualifications is an essential requirement at interview.

We have a wide range of experienced staff and have a robust recruitment and monitoring procedure recognised by our Ofsted Good rating.

Opening times and term dates

Children may attend the nursery for 2, 3 or 5 whole days a week. Half-day sessions are not available.
A whole day runs from 8.30am to 5.30pm. Parents may drop their child off anytime between 8.30am and 11.00am and collect them anytime between 3.00pm and 5.30pm. The daily price remains fixed irrespective of how many hours the child attends.

2021-22 term dates

For term dates please see our key dates page.

Holiday dates

We're open throughout the Summer and Easter breaks, but closed for approximately 2 weeks at Christmas.

During the holidays we operate with fewer staff than usual and places for children are limited.

Nursery closures

  • Thursday 22 December Friday 31 December 2021
  • Monday 3 January 2022 (Bank Holiday)
  • Friday 15 April 2022 (Good Friday)
  • Monday 18 April 2022 (Easter Monday)
  • Monday 2 May 2022 (Bank Holiday)
  • Thursday 2 June 2022 (Bank Holiday)
  • Friday 3 June 2022 (Bank Holiday)
  • Monday 29 August 2022 (Bank Holiday)

Parents are required to pay fees for Bank Holiday closures that fall in the Academic Year.

During the summer holidays, nursery places are available to children of students, staff and the general public. These places are allocated on a 'first come, first served' basis.

You may book as few or as many holiday sessions as you wish. There is no retainer fee for those who choose not to use the nursery in the holidays.

Child-to-adult ratio

We're registered to accept 37 children per session, aged between 6 months and 4 years. 


Children's groups Approximate ages Child:Adult ratio


6 months-2 years

3:1 (max 9 children:3 staff)


2-3 years

4:1 (max 12 children:3 staff)


3-4 years

8:1 (max 16 children:2 staff)


We're staffed by 2 part-time managers, a deputy manager and 15 nursery practitioners. All our staff are experienced and qualified in childcare.

Fees and third-party funding

Nursery fees are currently under review. From 4 October 2021, estimated daily fees are as follows:

Fees for students' children


Children Age Daily price


6 months to 2 years

Approx £33


Approx. 2 to 3 years

Approx £32


Approx. 3 to 4 years

Approx £36


Parents are required to pay full daily fees for their child’s registered days which fall on Bank Holiday closures in the Academic Year.

Fees for staff children


Children Age Daily Price


6 months to 2 years

Approx £48


Approx. 2 to 3 years

Approx £46


Approx. 3 to 4 years

Approx £45


Parents are required to pay full daily fees for their child’s registered days which fall on Bank Holiday closures in the Academic Year.

Fees and funding

All 3 and 4 year old children are eligible for universal Early Education Funding (EEF), starting in the term after they turn 3 years old. The EEF provides 15 hours free early education per week for 38 weeks per year.

We also accept children with 2-year-old funding and those children with 30 hours additional funding. 30 hours funding is offered as a stretched place of 22.5 hours per week for 50 weeks per year.

The Student Finance Centre is able to advise on loans, grants, bursaries, tax credits, housing benefits, income support and budgeting. To contact the Student Finance Centre please telephone +44(0)23 9384 3014 or visit them at the Nuffield Centre, St Michael's Road.

How to apply

Any parent who is a registered University of Portsmouth student, studying 6 or more hours per week, may apply for a nursery place for their child. Applications are also open to all University staff.

To apply, download and return an application form. Once we receive your application, your child will be added to the waiting list.

Applications are prioritised as follows:

  1. Brothers and sisters of children already attending the nursery, or having a confirmed nursery place offer at the nursery
  2. Children of undergraduates students
  3. Children of postgraduate students
  4. Children of University of Portsmouth staff*

Postgraduate students employed by the University as researchers will be classified as (3) postgraduate students and not (4) staff. Applications in each category will be prioritised by the date they are received at the nursery.

Our Nursery Managers are responsible for maintaining the waiting list according to the priorities above, regardless of children's or parents' ethnic origin, gender, age, ability or sexual orientation.

Application information

The University of Portsmouth Nursery offers various funded Early Years Pupil Premium and Disability Access Fund places for eligible children.

Download the latest admission policy for funded early education for more information.

For the holiday periods you'll be given a paper booking form and will need to book sessions in advance. You must pay for those booked sessions whether or not your child attends every one – but you won't be charged for sessions falling on a bank holiday in any vacation period.

You will be required to give 4 weeks notice in writing of any permanent reduction in the number of weekly sessions your child attends. Four weeks notice is also required to withdraw a child from the nursery.

How to pay

Before your child can start at our nursery, you will be required to sign a user agreement that confirms you undertake responsibility for the payment of fees. You must pay for those sessions during the whole of the Academic Year - even those that you and your child may have missed. If you fail to pay the nursery fees when requested to do so, your child’s nursery place will be withdrawn.

You will need to contact the Finance Team on +44(0)23 9285 533 or email to set up a payment instruction or payment plan, within 1 week of receiving your first Nursery fee invoice.

There are 4 options for paying your nursery fees:

How to pay

You can either pay the invoice in full or in monthly instalments. Recurring card payments will be collected on a day to suit your finances. Monthly instalments will be taken to ensure the invoice is paid before the next term begins, and a new plan will be created for each invoice.

You can either pay the invoice in full or in monthly instalments. Direct Debits will be collected on 4th or 20th of each month. Monthly instalments will be taken to ensure the invoice is paid before the next term begins and a new plan will be created for each invoice.

This is only available to University of Portsmouth members of staff. Salary deductions are taken on a monthly basis.

Some employers offer childcare vouchers as a benefit to their employees e.g. Edenred, Busy Bee Benefits, Computer Share, Care-4. If you use childcare vouchers as partial payment of your nursery fees, please provide details to the Finance team so that this can be taken into consideration when your payments are collected. Please ensure your voucher provider quotes your account number or student ID when making any payments to the University on your behalf. Please email

During the Academic Year, you will be invoiced termly in advance in October (for 13 weeks), January (for 12 weeks) and April (for 6 weeks). Invoices are calculated and raised by Francesca Sherren, Nursery Manager (a.m.), and are sent to you via email. The nursery managers cannot receive any payment of fees directly.

For holiday periods, you will be invoiced for the booked sessions in December (for 1 week), April (for 3 weeks), and June (for 15 weeks).

Where to find us

Use the map below to see where we're located, and for our opening times and contact details.

Contact us

The nursery is located in Quadrant at Milldam. Prospective parents are welcome to visit us and take a look around, but please telephone or email in advance, so we can ensure a member of staff is available to give a tour of the nursery and answer any questions.

Telephone: +44 (0)23 9284 2299

University of Portsmouth Nursery
The Quadrant
Burnaby Road

Registration number: 143572

Registered: 6 February 1997

Other childcare options in Portsmouth

Other childcare options

If you have been unsuccessful in gaining a nursery place, please contact Portsmouth Family Information Service, who will be able to let you know about other nurseries and childminders in Portsmouth.

Portsmouth Family Information Service

Ground floor
Civic Offices
Guildhall Square

Telephone: +44 (0)23 9268 8830

For school-aged children, the Portsmouth YMCA run activity programmes for children and young people aged 4 to 16, and offer a variety of different programmes throughout the year:

  • Junior and Youth Day camps – every school holiday
  • Saturday Day camps – every Saturday year round
  • Independent & Inset Day camps – during independent school holidays and selected inset days
  • Extended Day – during standard school holiday weeks only

Telephone: +44(0)1489 785228


Please note: this is for information only and is not a recommendation or endorsement of childcare provided by YMCA.

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