Thank you for your interest in Cockleshell nursery.

We have worked extermely hard during the Covid-19 pandemic and our team is ready to welcome you in whichever room your child will be in. 

We currently have some vacancies in our 0-2 room where we take babies from 6 weeks of age, we are able to provide safe settles for both you and your baby with strict Covid 19 risk assessments in place throughout the nursery. 

We also have some spaces for 2 year old funded children and we can assist in your application if you think you may be eligible for this.

We are able to have closed show rounds for parents to come and view the nursery, again please contact us for details. Now that restrictions are lifting slightly we would like you to know that we are still allowing parents to be with their children for their settles. Settles are extremely important for us to develop our parent partnership working,to ensure that the settles are effective for the children and to enable them to form a strong attachment to their key person.

Please contact Belinda, Nursery Manager with any childcare enquiries here or you can call Cockleshell nursery team on 01702 614171.

Click here to complete our online enquiry form

Cockleshell mud kitchen

Welcome to Cockleshell Nursery

Cockleshell Nursery is an Early Years Alliance childcare service located in Southend-on-Sea, Essex and we are located at the rear of the Southend Adult Community College. 

We offer 72 Ofsted-registered places and at our recent September Ofsted inspection we were rated 'Good' by Ofsted.

Our committed, friendly and well-qualified nursery team provides high quality care and learning opportunities for children aged between 6 weeks and 5 years. 

We follow the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) with a focus on learning through play. We actively encourage parents to become involved in the life of the nursery and have excellent opportunities for shared home learning. We actively take part in activities such as Healthy eating Week, World Book day and Celebrations involving our children and their families. 

We are open from 8:00-18:00 Monday to Friday, 51 weeks of the year, excluding bank holidays and three staff training days. We are able to offer our early bird session to a limited number of parents when they retrun to work in London or other areas where they need to travel by ealy trains. This session is 7:30-8:00 and has a charge of £4.00.

We offer

  • Funded childcare for qualifying two year olds and all three and four year olds
  • We offer the extended entitlement for 3 and 4 year olds
  • Safe, friendly and fun place for you and your child
  • Learning through indoor and outdoor play activities
  • A well-qualified, kind and caring team
  • A dedicated Key person to give focused support to your child


Find out more

To arrange a visit please contact Belinda, Nursery Manager on 01702 614171 or by email on

Click here to complete our online enquiry form


Family Corner website

The Early Years Alliance offers quality, affordable and flexible childcare across England. We are a non-profit making charitable organisation. 

About us

Cockleshell cafeCockleshell Nursery offers a stimulating approach to early years development and learning for very young children.

Within a safe, friendly and fun environment, children are supported by qualified, caring staff in developing a wide range of skills and interests. The children enjoy learning through play experiences in bright indoor and outdoor play areas with exciting outings planned regularly. 

The nursery is managed by the Early Years Alliance, a registered educational charity and the largest voluntary sector provider of childcare in England. 

The organisation has over 50 years experience delivering childcare and practical, professional support to early years practitioners.

Our nursery plans its activities in accordance with the EYFS with a strong focus on exploratory, imaginative play and we enable and encourage our children to self select activites and resources.We encourage healthy eating.

We recognise and understand the huge benefits that free flow play has on the positive development of very young children. 

Every child in our care is supported by a key person who understands their individual needs and offers special care and support to them.

We also have a back-up key person should your child's key person be on holiday.

Situated where we are in sunny Southend, the staff here have created a beach theme to our outside areas and this is an ongoing development.

The children have been planting seeds inside and these are going to be planted out very soon, this is something we encourage our children to do here as for some of them this is their only garden.

Rigorous health and safety and safeguarding policies and procedures are in place to ensure that every child is protected and feels safe and happy with us. 

Find out more

To arrange a visit please contact Belinda, Nursery Manager on 01702 614171 or by email on

Click here to complete our online enquiry form



Our Team

Team holding hands

Our well qualified, committed and experienced team work hard to create a caring and learning environment in the nursery. We know that every child develops differently and at different times. Every child has a key person who understands how their individual needs and interests. This helps us to ensure that every child feels involved, stimulated and happy in our care.

We follow rigorous staff recruitment, selection and supervision procedures to ensure that anyone joining our team undertake relevant security checks including Disclosure and Barring Service disclosure, references and qualification checks. Parents are reassured knowing that child protection and safeguarding underpins every aspect of our practice and will continue to remain a priority for us.

Your child's 'key person'

Every child who joins the nursery receives support from an experienced member of the team. They are responsible for your child’s individual needs and known as the ‘key person’. The key person is your main point of contact however all nursery staff are happy to feedback on your child’s developmental progress on a daily basis or discuss any concerns with you. They will also keep records of your child’s progress and achievement, which are always available for you to see and contribute towards.

Your child’s key person will make time to find out from you about your child’s interests, likes, dislikes and special requirements. Please share any important or useful information when you register your child and throughout their time with us. This helps us to give your child the most appropriate care and learning to suit their developmental, emotional and physical needs. You can access and contribute your views to your child's progress and achievements in their records.

Meet the team

Our team here at Cockleshell are all qualified to Level 3 and above.

Belinda - Setting Manager.

Louisa Titman  Deputy Setting manager.

Rachel - Senior setting worker - Pre-school room.

Rachel is supported by:

Georgia - Setting worker.

Bethany - Setting worker.

Emma - Setting worker.

Sunny - Setting worker

Zoe - Senior setting worker - Seahorse, 2-3 room.

Zoe is supported by:

Jade - Setting worker.

Sarah  - Setting worker.

Rhiannon - Setting assistant.

Amy - Part time Setting worker.

Samantha - Senior setting worker-Starfish, 0-2 room.

Sam is suppported by:

Teresa - Setting worker.

Maisie - Setting worker.


We have two apprentices at the nursery, Lily Goyette who is studying for her Level 3 in Childcare and is working in the 2-3 room and Melissa Hackett who is studying for her Level 2 in Childcare and works in the 0-2  room.


The setting is also supported by flexible workers. Currently we are in the process of recruiting more flexible workers to join our team. Maryam Rahimi is our current flexible worker. We are recruiting currently for more flexible workers.

We are also very lucky to  have our cook Kim Webb. Kim cooks the meals every day using fresh, healthy ingredients. She is able to cater for all your child's dietary needs and has recently achieved a Food Hygiene rating of 5 from the Food Standards Agency.

Find out more

To arrange a visit please contact Belinda, Nursery Manager on 01702 614171 or by email on

Click here to complete our online enquiry form

Day Nurseries Id: 



children playing outsideDo you currently have spaces in your nursery?

Yes we do. Please contact us to discuss the days and times you need.

Do you offer funded entitlement for 3 year olds?

Children are eligible for the funding in the term following their third birthday. The funding is available for 15 hours per weeek. We also offer the extended entitlement for 3 and 4 year olds, conditions apply please ask us for details.

Do you offer funded entitlement for 2 year olds?

If your child is two years old, your child may be eligible to attend the two year old funded childcare programme. The funding is available for 15 hours per week. Please ask us for details

What sessions do you offer?

Our sessions are as follows:

Full day 7:30-6:00. Half day sessions 8:00-1:00 and 1:00-6:00 Session for extended funding 1:00-5:30 - this session is available for the 51 weeks that we are open.

Top up sessions - 7:30-8:00 and 5:30-6:00  

Do you provide hot meals?

Yes, our cook makes a hot lunch every day. We have a two-week menu that changes termly.

Are you able to accommodate children with different dietary requirements?

Yes, our cook is trained in Basic food safety and our manager Belinda Allen is a qualified chef with many years of working in the industry before entering the childcare profession 20 years ago.

What qualifications do your staff have?

 Belinda - Setting manager. Level 5 CYPWF

Louisa - Deputy Setting manager Level 3

Rachel - Senior Setting worker Level 3

Teresa - Setting worker. Level 3

Chloe - Setting worker. Level 3

 Laura - Senior setting worker. Level 3.

Emma - Setting worker. Level 3

Jade - Setting worker. Level 2 working towards level 3

Maisie - Setting worker. Level 3

Jodie - Part time Setting worker. Level 3

Zoe - Senior Setting worker. Level 3

Samantha - Setting worker Level 3

Bethany - Setting worker. Level 3

Amy - Part time Setting worker Level 3

Rhiannon - Setting worker Level 3

Sunny - Part time Setting assistant level 3.

We also have a team of bank workers who cover annual leave and staff sickness days.

How many staff will be looking after my child? 

Your child will have their own key person who is the person they will form their attachment with, however all the staff in the room will be interacting, observing and working with all the children who are in the room. We also operate a back up key person system.The ratios that we follow are, 0-2 room 1 to 3, 2-3 room 1 to 4 and in the pre-school room the ratio is 1-8.

How quickly can my child start?

We adopt the five-step approach with the settles. Once your child has completed their settling sessions and is comfortable with coming into the setting then we are happy for your child to begin their journey with us. How quickly this is, is dependent on each individual child. We specify a minimum of two settle sessions although our settle period is made up of the five steps. As you the parent 'slides out' the key person 'slides in'. This is in terms of interaction with your child and not physically leaving them until the attachment to  their key person is made and is secure. 

Find out more

To arrange a visit please contact Belinda, Nursery Manager on 01702 614171 or by email on

Click here to complete our online enquiry form


Contact Us

Toy telephones

Belinda, Nursery Manager

Cockleshell Nursery,

Southend Adult Community College

Ambleside Drive

Southend-on Sea


Telephone:  01702 614171



Southend Adult Community College
Ambleside Drive
Southend-on Sea
United Kingdom
Tel: 01702 614171

Parent, June 2020

My daughter joined this nursery shortly after her original nursery unexpectedly closed. With their support, she settled in quickly and has come on leaps and bounds, socially, emotionally and confidently. My daughter has formed amazing friendships with the children and is very fond of all the staff. 

My daughter has learnt additional qualities whilst being at nursery and the staff consistently work with me as a parent to support and encourage her development. The nursery have always been very supportive of myself and my situation as a single parent and work with me, having my daughters best interests at heart.

Parent, June 2020

Both of my children have attended Cockleshell since they were babies and I can thoroughly recommend.
All staff are amazing, friendly and approachable and have been brilliant in keeping in touch and providing activity ideas during the lockdown.
My youngest asks every day if she is going to preschool to see her friends and teachers.
Lovely, homemade lunches always go down well.
Very informative and helpful during school transition too.
I liked the fact that babies and the younger toddlers have their rooms downstairs, unlike some other nurseries who have to carry tots downstairs to have outside play. It just felt safer to me.
Long hours also available which works better for typical 9-5 working hours.


Parent, June 2020

My daughters have been attending Cockleshell Nursery since they turned 11 months old. I do not think I could possibly boost their curiosity, logic, mental and physical development at home as efficiently as they have done at the nursery. My kids are always happy to go there, they love the staff. The staff have also been really helpful to us, parents. There hasn't been an issue that we didn't get support with from Cockleshell team - from the manager and accountant to teachers, chef and cleaner. They all are really part of our life. Thanks a lot.

Since my daughter has been attending this nursery, I have seen a huge improvement in her social and physical development. All the staff are lovely. The menus are fantastic. The activities are well thought out. Overall, the nursery has a lovely atmosphere and it's very reassuring to know my daughter is being so well looked after when in their care.

Parent, October 2018

We picked Cockleshell Nursery because of its location and what a lucky strike it has been! Our twins benefit a lot from spending time among other children as well as friendly and funny professional adults. We daily receive reports on our girls' achievements, mood and behaviour. We feel that our kids are loved and cared for there. They are happy in the morning to see their friends (kids and adults alike) and they are happy in the evening to see us and tell us (in their particular way) about what they did during the day.

Parent, September 2018 

My daughter joined the nursery in 2016 at 8 and a half months old. Exceptional care always provided by the staff. My daughter has grown up there, learnt loads and is the person she is today. The staff have helped my daughter become the caring character she is today.

Parent, September 2018