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Welcome to

the Acorns

We are an award-winning Nursery in Sussex, that places child-centred and outdoor learning the heart of everything we do.

'Their wonderfully nurturing approach helps children to feel exceedingly happy, secure and settled. Staff value children's individuality extremely highly and are completely attentive to their every need. Children flourish and feel completely at home in the nursery.  Children have limitless opportunities to explore, investigate and experience new things and make rapid progress from their developmental starting points.' - Ofsted 2019

Our approach

We know just how important the first few years of childhood is. It creates the foundation on which your child will develop physically, socially and emotionally, and unlocks their potential. For the past 20 years, we have had the privilege of seeing how our approach equips children to take on whatever challenge comes next, be that mainstream school or home-education. Founded by Janet Irwin in 1985, The Acorns Nursery and Forest School continues to nurture and inspire future generations by providing limitless opportunities to enhance their physical, social and emotional development. As both a qualified forest school leader and teacher, Janet sought to provide children with the same quality of early-years experience that she wanted for her own children, and her vision for outdoor, child-centred learning remains at the heart of The Acorns today.
Every child is unique
We value the individuality of each child with paramount importance. We are passionate about nurturing each child's own unique curiosities, interests and skills, and help them find their own sense of self in the world. For this reason, we endeavour to maintain generous staff-to-child ratios that ensures your child receives quality time with our staff, who are committed to getting to know your child on an individual basis. Whilst all our children are different, what unifies children when they leave the Acorns is their confidence, independence and curiosity for the world around them.
Supporting you and your child​
As a small, independent nursery, the supportive network of parents, staff and children allows you to feel connected to everything we do. We understand that taking the first step can be daunting, so supporting you - as well as your child - is something we are committed to. Through regular written observations, consultation evenings, and chatting to you in person, our commitment to getting to know you enables us to work with you, to make your child's experience the best it can be.
The great outdoors​
At The Acorns, getting out and about in nature forms an extensive part of the day, whatever the weather! Through activities such as den-building, tree climbing and cooking in the mud kitchen, the benefits of our forest school approach become visible very quickly after a child starts with us. Children develop an advanced awareness of the natural world around them, improved physical and emotional resilience, and enjoy the freedom and sensory experience that the outdoors brings. After all, a muddy child is a happy child!
Our approach is particularly popular with bilingual children, and many parents have found that, supported through Janet's aptitude for modern languages, The Acorns provides their child with an environment that is highly supportive of their skills in both English and in their second language.
All parents want to give the best possible start to their child, and we would love to support you and your child. Whether you're after a small and intimate nursery, forest school sessions or extended child-minding, chat to one of our friendly staff members today. 
We are currently accepting registrations for children aged 2-8 years.