Call us today on 0118 966 5040

Learn about the Nursery

Riverside is a 59 place nursery set in Palmer Park which was laid out on land bought for the town by George Palmer in the 1880s.

We work closely with the East Reading Childrens Centre.

We are located nearby to Reading town centre, and are ideally positioned to serve local businesses such as Suttons Industrial Estate, Reading College and Royal Berkshire Hospital.

We offer a warm, caring and stimulating environment for children to grow and develop with friendly, well-trained staff in a fully equipped and comfortable setting. We care for children from 3 months to 5 years, following policies, principals and practices and curriculum guidance for the Early Years Foundation Stage.

Our nursery has three rooms: one for the Ducklings, the children are aged between 3months – 2years, where we can take a maximum of 9 children per day, staff ratios for this room are 1 member of staff to 3 children, The Cygnets which caters for children aged 2-3 years, where we can take up to 14 children per day with the ratio 1 member of staff to 4 children, The Swans which caters for our pre-schoolers aged 3-5 years, we can take up to 34 children with the ratio of 1 member of staff to 8 children. We take great pride in ensuring we are fully staffed at all times and are able to provide the best care possible.The indoor and outdoor environments are well equipped and cover all areas of learning.

The nursery is run by a Committee which consists of volunteers and parents. Riverside Day Nursery is a not-for-profit organisation, we are a registered charity. Our funding comes from fees but unlike a commercial nursery it all goes towards running the nursery.

We are registered with Reading Borough Council Social Services Department under the provisions of the Children Act 1989 and with the Early Years Directorate within the Office for Standards in Education.

Get in touch

The best way to evaluate a new nursery, to find out if it is right for you and your child, is by calling in for a visit. Our Acting Manager, Judith or the Transition Officer, Becky  will be pleased to show you our Nursery and introduce you to our team so that you can get a feel for Riverside.

Tel: 0118 9665040

Email Becky: 

The Committee

The committee is elected each year at the AGM and members are responsible for the running of the Nursery for the appointed year. Usually we ask that anyone coming on to the committee can give commitment of at least one year. No member can serve on the committee for more than four consecutive years. The committee comprises of 3 officers and numerous members. Up to 3 members may be co-opted each year. The committee meets approximately once a term, in the evenings. At these meetings decisions are made on the running of the nursery.

Parents are always encouraged to come along to meetings and contribute their ideas to the running of the nursery.

The Nursery Curriculum

Within the group, all children are supported in developing their potential at their own pace. Our key carer system enables us to ensure a planned curriculum tailored to the needs of each individual child. By means of developmentally appropriate play activities and a high level of individual adult input, we offer a curriculum which leads to nationally approved learning outcomes.

When English Is A Second Language

Riverside Day Nursery, based in East Reading, has a percentage of children with English as an additional language. We embrace all the languages that our children, parents and early year’s practitioners use and try and implement them into our everyday practice.

Home Visits

Home visits are offered to all children when they start at Riverside Day Nursery. This is a time where the child’s new key carer and the Inclusion and Transition Officer can visit the child and their family at their home.

The key carer can observe how the child behaves in their familiar surroundings with familiar people. This is also an ideal time for the key carer to talk with the child’s family about their interests, likes and dislikes, other groups they may attend, hobbies that they may have, the child’s dietary requirements and any other information that the family feels is important to know.

A record of the home visit and discussion will be made and a copy will be given to the parents.

Settling In Visits

We offer minimum of two free pre-visits which usually take place over a period of one to two weeks. The number of visits may be extended based on the needs of individual children. Visits are conducted in the morning (9.30am to 11.30am) or in the afternoon (1.30pm to 3.30pm).

First Visit

A stay and play session, during this visit we encourage the accompanying adult to play with the child and to assist them with engaging in activities as appropriate. If you’ve not already been introduced to your child’s key carer you will be able to meet them during this visit.

Second Visit

A stay play and go session, as this is the second visit it may be appropriate to leave your child for a short while to bond with their key carer, this will be decided between you and the key carer based on the individual needs of the child. Much the same as visit one you should encourage your child to engage in activities with your support.

Special Educational Needs

The nursery has an appointed Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo) who works with all practitioners who care for children with a range of special educational needs. The SENCo attends training and network meetings in order to keep skills up to date and relevant. The SENCo also co-ordinates all multi-agency work with other professionals including speech and language therapists, educational psychologists, physiotherapists and early years inclusion advisors. The SENCo can offer advice and support to parents of children with special educational needs and work with the child and their family to deliver them the best possible care and education. Whenever possible children with additional needs will be offered the individual support of an inclusion assistant. For more information please read our local offer, SEND information on the Family Information Service website. The SENCO officer for Riverside is Khadijah. Any questions,  you can contact Khadijah by emailing her on,

School Visits

When a child is preparing to leave our setting to start at primary school we support them in their transition. Reading Borough Council deal with the Schools Admissions process which starts in November with relevant paperwork coming to Nursery for us to give to parents. In March, once a school place has been allocated, Becky will co-ordinate the transition process.

The Inclusion and Transition Officer will contact the child’s new school and arrange a time to visit. This is a time for the Inclusion and Transition Officer and the child’s new teacher to discuss the child’s current level of development, actions that they have been working towards, the child’s likes and dislikes and any other relevant information.

The Inclusion and Transition Officer will also share the child’s Learning Journey with observations, example pieces of work and development notes made from observations.

A record of the visit and discussion will be made and a copy will be given to the parents. The child’s key carer will also talk with the parents and help prepare the child for their new school through activities, books and conversation.

Frequently asked Questions

Please click on the question to find the answer.

What are the opening weeks and times?

We are open all year, except for the week between Christmas and New year, we are also closed on Bank Holidays. Our opening times are 07:30 - 18:00

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Why should I choose Riverside Day Nursery?

We are a small, happy, friendly Nursery providing excellent care for our families. We pride ourselves on keeping our costs affordable, we do not make a profit all your money goes back into the care and education of your children.

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Do I have to commit to attending for 50 weeks per year as I work term time only?

We do offer a limited number of term time only spaces.

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Do you offer breakfast?

Yes, this is a service run all year from 7.30am - 8.30am.

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What age groups do you provide for?

0-2 years with a 1:3 staff ratio
2-3 years with a 1:4 staff ratio
3-5 years with a 1:8 staff ratio

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Do you charge an admission fee?

No, we do however require a deposit of £50 to secure your place within the nursery which is refundable off your last invoice, provided you have been with us for more than 6months. This deposit is not taken for those attending Nursery Grant funded places.

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Do you charge for public bank holidays?

No though we do charge for two training days per year

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What are the fee rates?

Please see our prices page for the current rates.

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Do you need a contract for sessions?

Yes the nursery operates based on agreed contracts. To cancel a contract or to change the sessions in which you contracted to you are required to give one months notice in writing. Fees remain payable during this notice period.

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Do you offer a discount for siblings?

Yes 10%. This is applied to the eldest child.

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Am I guaranteed a place at the nursery if I go on to the waiting list?

No, places are offered based on availability therefore we may not always be able to accommodate every applicant. However we endeavour to do our best to provide a suitable place.

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How are spaces allocated?

We operate a waiting list system which is free to register. Places are offered on a first come basis to match our availability.

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What are the accepted payment methods?

Childcare vouchers, bank transfer, card or cash.

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Are nappies provided?

No, each parent is encouraged to use their preferred type of nappy.

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Do you offer free education sessions?

Yes, 15 hours a week for 38 weeks of the year to children in the term after their 3rd birthday. Fees are payable for attendance outside the funded period. We also have spaces available for those eligible for 2 year old funding. A recent agreement with the local council means that the free hours can also be offered in a streched format to provide 12 hours of care for 47.5 weeks of the year.

At the beginning of the first term that your child will start being funded your child’s key carer will ask you to fill out and sign the relevant paperwork.

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When was your last OFSTED inspection?

October 2014. You  can download the report here.

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Are you a member of an accreditations scheme?

We have been awarded Investors in People.

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What qualifications do staff hold?

Employees are either qualified or training early years practitioners. Qualified nursery nurses and the senior team hold a minimum qualification level of NVQ3, a NNEB or equivalent. Qualified nursery assistants hold a minimum qualification level of NVQ2 or equivalent and our trainee nursery assistants are working towards their NVQ2 or equivalent.

Our Acting Nursery Manager is NNEB qualified and has a Level 3 In-line Management qualification.

Most nursery staff are paediatric first aid trained. Staff are, where appropriate, trained in food hygiene. All staff are trained in good safeguarding practices. Specific employees are trained in specialist areas such as Special Educational Needs and Behaviour Management.

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What is your approach to children's learning?

Our first and foremost approach is that the child is at the centre of everything that we do and we believe that a strong partnership with parents supports this. Learning through play in a well planned, flexible inviting setting is the best way to help children develop.

As a nursery we follow the Every Child Matters framework which focuses on 5 outcomes that are most important to children and young people. They are: be healthy, stay safe, enjoy and achieve, make a positive contribution and achieve economic well-being.

We work according to the statutory requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and aim to exceed this in all areas.

Observations and assessments of a child's learning is recorded and reviewed by their key carer, the learning environment is designed to provide sufficient and appropriate challenges to the children within the group.

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What activities will my child take part in on a daily basis?

The daily routine empowers a child to independently select their own choice of activity to include Arts and Craft, ICT, Role Play, Outdoor Play to mention just a few.

Activities are planned to support children's individual learning needs. Activities cover all areas of the EYFS over a period of 1 week.

Children will also be involved in a group song and story times and meal times.

Children will on occasion leave the nursery setting to explore the local environment - such as feeding the ducks and swans or visiting the library.

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What happens after I have accepted a place at the nursery?

Places are offered and require a signed contract to be completed within 1 week of the offer. Offers without a signed contract could be withdrawn at the discretion of the nursery.

Once a contract has been signed and received by the nursery, pre-visits will be arranged. These are to be agreed with the relevant age group leader in conjunction with the transitions officer.

Pre-visits are important and you will be required to attend a minimum of 2.

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How do you ascertain the suitability of your employees?

Recruitment and Selection policies and procedures are used within Riverside Day Nursery. At least one panel member has attended Safer recruitment training. All staff are required to apply for and obtain an DBS check (formerly CRB) which is received by use before employment can commence.

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Do you provide cooked meals?

Yes we provide:

We are aware of cultural differences and allergies and will adapt the menu to cater for your child's needs.

Please note that meals are not provided for children using the free education sessions unless the lunch session is booked as part of your contract, only a mid morning snack is then offered, nor do we provide food to babies until they have tried the same foods at home, a consultation with the key carer is essential with regard to this.

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How will you ensure the safety of my child while under your care?

The nursery has a secure entry system which we ask parents to acknowledge. During the registration process security details are discussed such as collections policies. The nursery is risk assessed periodically; these assessments are reviewed regularly and are available to be viewed upon request. We appreciate any concerns and will be raised immediately so that any issues can be dealt with promptly.

The nursery is checked daily for potential hazards. Regular fire drills and evacuation practices are carried out. Equipment purchased is from reputable dealers and suitable for its intended purpose.

All our staff are DBS (CRB) checked and attend safeguarding children training every 3 years.

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Do you have policies in place for medicines, food and drink, lost child etc?

Yes we have a very comprehensive selection of policies and procedures. Copies of these are available on request and can be found in the lobby of the nursery.

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Will you accept my child if they are unwell?

This all depends on the illness in question. We do not accept children with contagious conditions, and reserve the right to refuse entry to a child who we feel is not well enough to attend nursery.

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How frequently am I updated with my child's progress?

Parents will be invited by their child's key carer to attend a one to one meeting at least every 12 weeks. This is time to focus purely on how your child is developing. We also encourage daily communication between the parent and the nursery. Parents are encouraged to look at their child's learning journey whenever they wish to.

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Does my child need to bring wellingtons etc?

Yes, you are asked to provide some items for your child.

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What resources are available or in place if my child has special needs, how will these be met and by who?

We have an appointed special needs co-ordinator, Khadijah, who will work with families on a one to one basis to ensure that we are able to meet the individual needs of the child as each child will have specific requirements. The nursery then works as a team with the parent to ensure that the highest standards of care can be delivered. A support assistant can be allocated if the necessary funding is acquired.

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Riverside Day Nursery Ltd
Tilia Lodge, Palmer Park, London Road, Reading, Berkshire RG1 3PA

Telephone Number: 0118 966 5040
Email Address: