Welcome to Stepping Stones in Bransgore

Family Friendly Flexible Childcare

We are open throughout the Easter Holidays (except the Bank Holidays) for Holiday Club.
The next Inset Day is Thursday 23rd June.
Stepping Stones is a not for profit, committee run, charitable day nursery. We are a well-established group with more than 20 years experience in providing pre-school nursery care and education in the local community. Our woodland setting is situated within the beautiful New Forest National Park, in Bransgore, Hampshire.

We offer care and early learning for children from 18 months old - in or out of nappies.
We are open Monday to Friday 8.00am – 6.00pm, 48 weeks a year, with Holiday Clubs running during school holidays (dependent on sufficient numbers).
At Stepping Stones, we believe that every child deserves the best possible start in life, and we support them to fulfil their potential. We provide a safe, caring, secure environment where children are nurtured to develop their skills, knowledge and attitudes from first hand experiences. Using the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) as a framework, activities are child centred with their abilities and interests being fully addressed.

We sometimes run Pebbles, a toddler and baby group every Monday in the Autumn term. 09:30-11:00 £2 per family which includes a cup of tea, a nice biscuit and a snack for the children. Join us for our informal chat and play. All welcome. It is not running this term, but we will advise when it is running here.

We are delighted that Ofsted judged us to be “Good” in November 2019. We are extremely proud of our facilities and high standards of care.
"Children benefit from continuous free flow to the extremely well resourced outdoor play area."
"Children settle in quickly on arrival due to the warm welcome from staff. Key persons provide younger children with lots of reassurance and cuddles to help them feel secure."

If you would like to find out more then please read our prospectus or arrange a visit. Visitors welcome from 9.30 am daily.

Tel: 01425 673135 / 07724 876456
Email: manager@steppingstonesbransgore.co.uk
Stepping Stones Nursery,
Burnt House Lane, Bransgore, Christchurch BH23 8DD
Charity Number 1077865  

We pride ourselves on being a friendly, community run nursery where we get to know our families well, and do our very best to respond to their needs.
Our focus
  • Provide good quality, affordable childcare and early learning for children and their families
  • Give each child the opportunity to learn, grow and develop in a safe, happy and caring environment where individuals from different backgrounds are welcomed and valued
  • Encourage partnership with parents to enhance the care and early learning opportunities of each child
  • Provide fun and friendship for children and the adults concerned with their care.
Learning Philosophy
Our philosophy is based on learning through play.

                Creative area

Becoming confident and independent, making friendships, finding out how to play and co-operate with others, developing a willingness to experiment and positive attitudes to learning are just some of the things that your child can gain from time in nursery or pre-school – all valuable skills for life and when they start primary school.

We offer continuous provision of a broad and changing range of indoor and outdoor activities to encourage the overall development of your child. Our large, well equipped playroom gives children the chance to enjoy a wide variety of experiences and challenges including:imaginative and role play, art, craft and cooking activities, library and quiet area (incl. visits from the library van), construction toys, play dough, sand and water play, computer activities, tablets and ICT, singing and music, an indoor climbing frame and slide, balance beams and gym mats, tricycles, push-alongs and scooters, numeracy activities, and Planet Sport sessions.

Outdoor Play
Most children love to play outside and we do our very best to make sure they get this opportunity on each day. We are lucky to have doors leading straight from the playroom out to our lovely woodland garden, complete with an old pine tree for shade, plus a good range of outdoor activities and equipment. Special events and visitors provide further interest, variety and learning opportunities.

Be Involved
It is most important that parents feel they are welcome to stay to settle their child into their initial sessions. We strongly believe that parents and staff are joint partners in the development and care of our children, and we value any contribution you may be able to offer our group. Maybe you have a particular skill or talent you could share with us such as playing an instrument or telling stories. Perhaps you would like to take an active role on the committee – a very worthwhile commitment. You may like to join in one of our sessions to see what goes on, so that you can share the experiences with your child. We would be delighted to have you. Just put your name on the Parent Rota on the notice board at a time convenient to you or have a chat with your child’s key worker.
  • Stepping Stones of Sopley, Burnt House Lane, Bransgore, Christchurch BH23 8DD, UK
We are open all day, Monday to Friday 8.00 - 6.00pm during term time and offer the same times in holidays subject to demand.
We offer fully flexible hours as required - completely flexible start and end times. Please call us to discuss in more detail.
We do not work on a 'session' basis. You can book the hours you require to suit you and your child. We charge the following hourly rates:

  • £4.95 per hour for 3-4 year olds
  • £5.55 per hour - 2 year olds
  • £6.95 per hour - under 2 year olds

We follow the Hampshire school terms dates as much as possible, and are open for extended hours to offer our parents more flexible start and finish times. You can book any hours you would like, in 15 minute time slots with a minimum of 2 hours at a time.

2021/22 Our School Term Dates (but we are also open for Holiday Club during holidays)

Autumn Term
Monday 06 September 2021 - Friday 22 October 2021
Monday 01 November 2021 - Friday 17 December 2021
Spring Term
Tuesday 04 January 2022 - Friday 18 February 2022
Monday 28 February 2022 - Thursday 08 April 2022
Summer Term
Monday 25 April 2022 - Friday 27 May 2022
Monday 06 June 2022 - Thursday 21 July 2022

Inset days

Monday 15 November 2021
Tuesday 25 January 2022
Wednesday 16 March 2022
Thursday 23 June 2022
Friday 22 July 2022

2022/23 Our School Term Dates (but we are also open for Holiday Club during holidays)

Autumn Term
Monday 05 September 2022 - Friday 21 October 2022
Monday 31 October 2022 - Friday 16 December 2022
Spring Term
Tuesday 03 January 2023 - Friday 10 February 2023
Monday 20 February 2023 - Thursday 31 March 2023
Summer Term
Monday 17 April 2023 - Friday 26 May 2023
Monday 05 June 2023 - Wednesday 19 21 July 2023

Inset days

Monday 14 November 2022
Tuesday 24 January 2023
Wednesday 15 March 2023
Thursday 20 July2023
Friday 21 July 2023

Term Dates

Session Times
We are open for full day care for children aged 18 months + from 8am to 6pm. We open for 48 weeks a year, closing for two weeks at the end of August (to include the August Bank Holiday and the beginning of September) and for two weeks at Christmas / New Year.
We are able to offer flexible patterns of attendance to suit family needs and offer full day care or pre-school sessions starting from 8.00am. You can book any hours you would like, in 15 minute time slots with a minimum of 2 hours at a time.
Please could parents ensure that their children arrive in good time for the start of their session, and are picked up promptly at the end.
We also offer a holiday club during the school holidays. Please see the Activities and Events page for more details.

Lunch Times
We see lunch time as a great way for children to sit together, interact, socialize, and learn from the experience for when they go to school. As a parent you will be asked to supply a packed lunch, in a named lunch bag on a daily basis. We will supply a drink of either water or milk. At Stepping Stones we follow a healthy eating regime for our snack bar and would like this to continue during our lunch time, so please make sure the lunch contains healthy foods your child enjoys and would normally eat.

Arrival / Departure
Parents or guardians remain responsible for their children up until the start of the session. We pay particular attention to the children’s safety on leaving at the end of the session. Our doors remain locked at all times and a member of staff is on duty to ensure each child leaves safely. Our care of the children ends at the outside door so please supervise your children on leaving, particularly as you cross the car park area.

Wet Weather
Please could we remind parents to bring a named set of wellies in for your child. On damp or wet weather days we do still try and get outside to enjoy the garden!

Should your child become ill and not able to attend their session please let us know by telephoning us by 9.30am. Our phone number is 01425-673135 / 07724 876456. Please keep children at home until they are completely recovered (a minimum of 48 hours for vomiting/diarrhea). Illness spreads very quickly especially between children in this age group. For more information see our illness policy.

Please let us know the reason for your child’s absences (e.g. sickness, holiday) on your return to pre-school, as this needs to be recorded in the register as a condition of funding.

Please inquire about putting your child’s name on our waiting list, which you can do from birth onwards.

Some two, and all three and four year olds are entitled to free part-time early years education (EYE).
After your child's second birthday you can apply for up to 15 hours funding subject to meeting Hampshire County Council criteria, please contact us for details.
3-4 years Universal entitlement (15 hours childcare) After your child’s third birthday, they are entitled to receive Early Years Education (EYE) Funding from the start of the following term. This entitles your child to 15 free hours (570 hours) childcare per week, to a maximum of 38 weeks per year. Sessions can also be shared between two different childcare providers.
On top of the ‘universal’ entitlement of 570 hours of free early years education (which is available to all children), working parents of children aged 3 and 4 may also be able to benefit from an additional (‘extended’) 570 hours from 1 September 2017. (Parents can now apply using the Government’s online childcare service. If you need help with the Government’s Childcare Service online application contact their helpline on 0300 123 4097).
In order to secure funding you will be asked to complete a ‘Parent Declaration’ form at the beginning of each term which we will supply to you.

Session Fees

For those children who are not entitled to funded places or choose not to use funding at Stepping Stones, our fees are payable monthly in advance. We regret that fees can not be refunded if your child is away from the nursery at any time. We are subscribed to the Tax Free Childcare scheme.

Spare Clothing
Please provide a named, spare set of weather appropriate clothing when your child attends their session.

Pre School Uniform
We now have a nursery uniform for our children to purchase. Uniform is available in sizes age 2-3 or 4-5. It is not mandatory to wear uniform.
Red Polo Shirts £8.00 each
Red Sweat Shirts £10.00 each
Red T-shirts £6.00 each

School Photos
Nursery photos are taken once a year by professional photographers.

Our Policies
All policies can be viewed at any time at the nursery. The Policy book is in the hallway or please ask the staff.


Rosie Lamb


Rachael Mogg

Deputy Manager

Cindy Coughtrie

Session Supervisor

Laura Cole

Session Supervisor

Sarah Phipps

Nursery Practitioner

Ellie Duffell

Nursery Practitioner

Tracy Rule

Nursery practitioner

Alison Hawkes


Stepping Stones is managed by Rosie Lamb, and staffed by a team of lovely people. All of our session supervisors are fully qualified to level 3 or above in childcare and all of our staff have enhanced DBS checks which are renewed every three years and are qualified first aiders.

Our Committee

A parent management committee, whose members are elected by the parents of the children who attend the setting, manages the pre school. The elections take place at our Annual General Meeting.

The committee is responsible for:

  • Managing the pre school finances
  • Employing and managing the staff
  • Making sure the pre school has, and works to, policies that help it to provide a high quality service
  • Ensuring that the principles of the EYFS are fully implemented
  • Making sure the pre school works in partnership with the children’s parents
  • Arranging social and fundraising events

  • Chair - Adam Janes
  • Treasurer - John Barradell
  • Secretary - Shulah Tindle
  • Member - Nikki George
  • Member - Helen Freegard
Stepping Stones is managed entirely by a Committee. Should any other parents wish to get involved with the Committee, please let us know as we are always grateful for new members
A group of parents of children at the nursery have come together to set up a fundraising committee, to help raise much needed funds to help educate and entertain our kids.

- If you have any fundraising ideas or know of anyone who might be willing to donate to the nursery then we want to hear from you. If you would like to join us on the committee, this can be done informally until the next Nursery AGM in September.

- A really simple way to help the nursery right now is to sign up for Amazon Smile. It costs you nothing but less than 5 minutes of your time. For every purchase made on Amazon, Smile will donate 0.5% of the value to a charity of your choice. This is a fantastic way that Amazon is giving back and what better way than to give it to our children.

Go to www.smile.Amazon.co.uk and set up a Smile account
Select “Stepping Stones of Sopley” as the charity Open the app on your phone Go to settings Select “charity and gifting”
Select “Amazon Smile”. Follow the instructions to turn it on
Then hey presto, the rest is magic and the nursery can start benefiting straight away, the beauty of this is the more people we share this with, the more the nursery can benefit.

Thanks very much

COVID 19 RULES                JANUARY 2022
  • No parents are allowed in the nursery.  You must leave your child at the door unless there is a specific reason to come in.  eg to settle a new child.
  • No toys should be brought from home.
  • Every parent must verify that their child is healthy, has no symptoms whatsoever and has not taken any medicine that day which may hide symptoms (eg Calpol).
  • Children and staff will repeat handwashing regularly throughout the day and children will be taught how to do it thoroughly.
  • All staff will be extra vigilant with cleaning surfaces and door handles etc.
  •  Children will not be allowed to share food or drink at snack or lunch times.
  • Extra care will be taken on cleaning shared toys and equipment.
  • We will use our outside handwashing facilities as well as inside.
  • In the event of a child becoming ill during the day, or having a high temperature – even without any other symptoms – the parent will be asked to take the child home.
  • If possible, toys should be changed regularly and cleaned with sterilising liquid if possible, or in the dishwasher.
  • Snacks should be served in individual bowls and children should not be allowed to help themselves at all.

In 2019 we were inspected by Ofsted, the inspector and regulator for education in the UK. We were extremely proud to receive an inspection result of GOOD.  Please ask us to see the Ofsted report

A Typical Day at Stepping Stones Nursery

• 8.00 / 9.00am Welcome and registration

• Play indoors and outdoors / adult-initiated activities - lots of child-initiated learning and play

• 10am Snack time

• 11.30am Story / singing time

• 12.00pm – 12.30pm Lunch

• 12.30pm Home time for some children

• 12.30pm Afternoon Welcome and registration

• Play indoors and outdoors / adult-initiated activity - lots of child-initiated learning and play

• 2.00pm Snack time

• 2.30pm Group story time and singing

• 3.30pm Home time for pre-school children

• Play indoors and outdoors / adult-initiated activity - lots of child-initiated learning and play

• 4.30pm Tea

• 6.00pm Home time

Snacks and Lunch

Snacks and lunch time are a social time at which children and adults sit together. Snacks are available for the children on a rolling basis. The food provided for our snack times is healthy and nutritious. We take into account all children’s specific dietary needs. Children bring their own packed lunches.  We have a special fridge for lunch boxes.  We are able to give advice and suggestions on providing a healthy lunch.

GDPR Data Protection

Many of you will be aware of the new regulations which came into force in May 2018 with regard to Data Protection.
Stepping Stones will always strive to be compliant with many of the requirements of the new laws.
Information you give us is treated in the strictest confidence and your personal information is stored and used within strict professional boundaries and is not shared with any other persons.

If you have any enquiries about your data, please ask us straight away.
Our designated Data Protection Officer is our committee chairperson.
More information can be found at the following site https://ico.org.uk/for-the-public/