Fairthorne Manor Nursery, Southampton

Set amongst beautiful picturesque grounds, Fairthorne Manor Nursery, Southampton takes full advantage of the magnificent surroundings by embracing a Forest School approach to nursery education.  We have a dedicated and caring staff team that endeavour to give every child a welcoming and attentive environment in which to grow and learn.

The original nursery in the YMCA Fairthorne Group family, Fairthorne Manor Nursery is an important part of the local community. The childcare delivered is of an exceptional standard and the experienced staff team understand the importance of play-based learning, healthy eating and time spent playing outside.

Further programmes for families include our popular Parent & Toddler Experience for the under 5’s at our Family Park.

Our social spaces

Keep up to date on our latest news by sharing on our social spaces:

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Through membership of the YMCA Community, you will have the chance to feel a greater sense of ownership and belonging, as well as enjoying exclusive member events, discounts and early booking discounts.  For more information visit our Membership page.

**NEW** – Baby Explorer sessions – we ran fortnightly Baby Explorer sessions, to find out dates visit our events section.  

Forest School Approach

Set in 111 acres of picturesque park- and woodland, our children enjoy a host of activities including woodland walks, splashing in puddles, exploring the woodland garden, growing plants in our allotment, learning about fire safety around the campfire, pond dipping and bug hunting.  We firmly believe that children of all ages benefit immeasurably from spending as much time as possible outdoors!

From our youngest babies up to school leavers, we offer a Forest School approach, enabling children to immerse themselves in all that the outdoors provides.  Whether talking about the changing seasons, introducing language for different colours, flowers, animals and the weather, working together to build dens for ourselves or a bug palace for our creepy crawlies, our children are encouraged to learn through their own exploration and investigation.

The Forest School approach, alongside the EYFS, enables us to provide a varied and extensive range of learning and development opportunities in which our children can thrive.

For further detailed information on the nursery, please see our Childcare Prospectus.

Opening times

Monday to Friday 0800-1800 for 51 weeks of the year.  We only close for Bank Holidays and between Christmas and New Year.

In addition, we offer a Breakfast Club each weekday morning, from 07:30 – 08:00, including a delicious breakfast.  Ideal for commuting parents with an 8am start.


Our Fairthorne Manor Nursery is registered for children aged 4 months – 5 years, providing three age groups in a stimulating series of rooms offering a safe and warm place for children to play and develop newly found skills.

Rabbits Room (4 months-2 years)

  • a wide variety of sensory and exploratory activities and experiences.
  • EYFS approach to learning through sensory exploration and “play”
  • imaginative play using the doll’s house, animals, cars and trains.
  • the Creative Room for messy activities such as painting, jelly play, playdough, sand and water.
  • outside time in one of our gardens or an exploratory walk
  • treasure baskets and heuristic play to explore and manipulate everyday household items rather than commercial toys
  • age and development specific activities in smaller groups
  • we mirror home routines, for consistency of care.

The upper age limit for this group of 24 months is a guide only and dependant on each child’s development.

Badgers Room (2-3 years)

  • a bright and stimulating environment providing opportunities for children to develop, make their own decisions and choose from a variety of activities.
  • through their play, children build upon their confidence, learn about their environment, discover how strong they are, how fast they can move, how to coordinate their movements and how to develop their imagination.
  • utilising our excellent outdoor facilities, children are encouraged to investigate and use their imaginations to the full.  Our grounds present opportunities to explore and offer something new and amazing to see and learn.
  • activities include making dens, digging for mini beasts, nature walks and woodland adventures.
  • children are encouraged to be independent, care for one another and feel confident to make informed choices about their nursery day.
  • EYFS approach to learning through the medium of “play”
  • help children and parents progress through the potty training of your child.

The upper age limit for this group of 3 years is a guide only and dependant on each child’s development.

Foxes Room (3-4 years)

  • a stimulating and exciting area for young minds to grow, experiment and explore.
  • children can freely access a full range of activities, including construction, small world and messy play, computers, role play and the great outdoors.
  • EYFS approach to learning through the medium of “play”
  • hands on activities, allowing scope for individual exploration
  • explore materials alongside others, enabling them to share ideas and gain valuable social and language skills with their peers.
  • a fantastic natural environment to discover, develop and create adventures where children can learn to problem solve, take calculated risks, make decisions and enjoy the outdoor environment.
  • activities include forest walks, pond dipping, boat trips along the River Hamble, dam building, looking at bugs, noticing changes in their natural environment and playing on the  obstacle course.
  • exploring and investigating in our outdoor classroom down at Foxes Den.
  • helping your child prepare for school

Peace of mind

As with all our nurseries, Fairthorne Manor Nursery, Southampton is Ofsted registered (latest report Ofsted Reg: 110056) and has a dedicated, well-trained staff team. All staff undergo an enhanced DBS disclosure before commencing employment.

Healthy meals

A hot lunch (2 courses), healthy mid-morning snack and afternoon high tea are provided. All meals and snack times are fun and sociable and can meet your child’s individual dietary requirements.

You can contact us in the following ways:

Tel: 01489 772222

Email: fmchildcare@ymca-fg.org

Alternatively, if you have any feedback please email feedback@ymca-fg.org.

Our postal address is: YMCA Fairthorne Manor Nursery, Curdridge, Southampton, Hampshire SO30 2GH

We are located here:

Google Map

Feedback from our customers is very important to us as we seek to improve the service we offer.  Here are some comments from our parents:

“We chose the nursery because of the outdoor ethos…the outdoor facilities are amazing and there isn’t anything else like it”

“Forest school attracted me particularly because I believe boys achieve more through a forest school approach.  Liked the fact that children were encouraged to do their own artwork…free to express themselves in any way they want to.  It’s delightful, just love it!”

“I am going to miss Fairthorne nursery very much, it has been an enormous part of my family’s life over the past nearly 6 years and I have nothing but happy memories of it. It is a fantastic nursery, the grounds and facilities are amazing but what really sets it apart are the fantastic staff.  Our children have had the most amazing times at Fairthorne and they have grown into wonderful, confident and polite children and the girls in the nursery have had a huge impact on their lives and contributed to who they are today. They have always looked after them with such care and lots of fun, and have always been ready with a cuddle when needed. I will be forever grateful to them”

“Imogen has always loved coming to nursery.  There is nothing she likes more than coming home covered in dirt after a day out exploring.  Thank you for everything you have done for her and for helping her to develop into the person she is.” Liz & Magnus Stewart

“We’re so very proud Jack has been able to spend his pre-school years here at Fairthorne.  Thank you for all you have shown and taught him and for allowing his adventurous nature to grow” Sarah & James Bradburn

“The nursery has been a wonderful adventure for Jessica. It took us a while to get used to the outdoors after her previous “city” nursery, but we soon embraced the idea that mud was good.  We’re so pleased to see how confident she has become”. Kathy Fuente

“Fairthorne Manor – an extension to our home!”  Ben & Karina Jones

Fairthorne Manor Day Nursery Recommended on daynurseries.co.uk


Call us to arrange a visit

We are very proud of our nursery and would love to show you round.   To arrange a visit or for more information, contact us on 01489 772222.

Our current fees reflect our excellent care.  After your visit, if you decide that you would like your child to join the nursery, you will be asked to complete a childcare registration pack and enrolment pack, and to read and sign our Please see our Nursery Terms and Conditions.

Free Pre-School Sessions

Each child in the UK is entitled to 15 hours of free pre-school sessions per week effective from the term after their 3rd birthday. Please contact us if you require further information regarding this.

Nursery song lyrics and actions

Staff from YMCA Nursery Fairthorne Manor have been asked by parents to help them out with some of the lyrics and actions to some of the children’s favourite nursery songs, so that they can join in with them when they sing at home.

Our staff were more than happy to oblige!  Take a look below, and you will find some mini-videos which are fantastic quick and easy tutorials to some of our favourite songs –

Puffer Train

Tiny Turtle

Leo the Lion

Muffin Song

Keep up to date with nursery events and whats on by following us on Twitter and like our Facebook page.

Our Procedures

We want to work in partnership with parents and carers, and it is important that we are open about what we do and why. Therefore, our childcare procedures are accessible to all.

These may answer some of the questions you might have about us, and how we work, day to day. If you have any queries on any of these procedures, please do not hesitate to contact us.