Smart Start

Day Nursery & Pre-school

22-23 Overcliffe, Gravesend, DA11 0EH

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01474 332255

We also have sister nurseries in Maidstone and Sittingbourne 

Ofsted Outstanding day care in Gravesend for children 3 months to 5 years

Smart Start Day Nursery is based in two lovely converted Victorian homes situated near Gravesend town centre, with easy access to the A2 and Bluewater. We provide an environment which supports children’s learning by offering a variety of experiences for children to explore and investigate indoors and outside.

We have a soft play area which is full of interesting foam shapes, tunnels, a slide and a ball pond. There is also a large outside play area with natural shade and ample space for the children to safely play and explore.

We recognise that parents are the first educators of their children and we will work in partnership with you for the benefit of your child.


Pav Bisran, Nursery Manager

Why not come and take a look?

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  • Home away from home environment in a large converted farmhouse with a natural theme
  • Nutritious meals and snacks freshly prepared everyday by our qualified Nursery Cook
  • Large outdoor garden for daily adventures
  • Motivated and enthusiastic staff with advanced qualifications and first aid training
  • Fun with computers maths and writing to prepare children for school
  • Online learning journals to encourage parent engagement by sharing observations daily
  • A stimulating sensory room and messy play areas to encourage sensory learning and a love for the arts
  • Free Early Years Education Entitlement for 2, 3 & 4 year olds (15 & 30 Hours)

Age Groups

Our nursery is split into 5 well-equipped and spacious units, each designed to cater for a different age group.

Our rooms have new names!

Babies and Toddlers are cared for in the Buttercups and Daisies Rooms, whilst our 2 year olds explore our Bluebells Room. Our 3 year olds learning journey continues into the Sunflowers and Daffodils Rooms is where the pre-school children can expand their educational experience and prepare for Primary School.

The children transition between these rooms when they are developmentally ready, not based on their age.

Buttercups & Daisies Rooms

In these rooms, we try to make the environment very welcoming and stimulating for the children. We intentionally display pictures of the children and their families at a height where they can easily be seen during the day. The toys are also kept at their level so that they can have free access to whatever they choose to play with, nurturing a sense of independence.

Our rooms are set up to give the children plenty of sensory experiences, with sensory bags full of natural products and everyday items for them to hold and explore. We also use creative play to highlight this using items like play dough, paint, cornflour and pasta products. Our large garden area is accessed as often as possible and during the summer months we often have our snack time under the shade from the trees.

Feedback is given to parents both verbally and via a daily diary. We actively encourage parent/carer involvement and welcome their input.

Our ultimate aim is to ensure that the children are looked after in a safe homely environment where their learning and development can be encouraged and stimulated through a wide range of experiences. We hope that the children and their parents/carers enjoy their time with us and are ready to move on to the next stage at Smart Start.

Bluebells Room

Our main aim in Bluebells is to create an environment where children can have fun and learn at the same time. Here toddlers enjoy activities based on their individual interests.  These include role/imaginative play, music, arts & crafts, water/sand play and cooking as well as lots of outdoor play. The children also enjoy playing and caring for our pet budgies Jelly and Olaf.

Following the key person approach, we like to divide into small key groups so that children receive individual attention from their special key person.

At snack and lunch time the children are encouraged to help set the table with their friends, handing out cups and plates etc. and helping to serve their meal.

We also begin to work with parents to support their child’s toilet training journey.

Daffodils Room

When children come upstairs to our room they often see themselves as “Big Children” this in turn results in increased self esteem and confidence. It is now the job of the team in the Daffodils Room to support these exciting developments by creating a more challenging learning environment and supplying activities which will extend their current knowledge and skills.

Children aged 3 begin to form strong bonds within their peer group and our response to this is to create situations which require “Co-operative Play” where children can draw on their own experiences, those of others and stories they have heard to play out detailed scenarios in imaginative play. This often involves mark making, sharing resources and role play which in turn encourages literacy and mathematical concepts to be learned. These areas are further enhanced through “meaningful experiences” such as shopping trips where the children can notice print in the environment and develop number value, outside trips also encourage children to follow instructions, adhere to rules and create an awareness of their environment.

Basic IT skills are acquired through the use of our class computer whilst individual creative interests are fostered through music, dance, drama, free painting and drawing.

Pre-school: Sunflowers Room

Our Sunflowers room is where your child will their last year before starting school. With this in mind we aim to prepare the children for this big event and for the changes ahead of them.

We support and encourage the children to become independent in all aspects of their learning and development. This is primarily done by carrying out the nursery ethos of learning through play.

We continue to use the Keyperson System, therefore the children always know they will have help, guidance and encouragement from a known member of staff. Once this close relationship is established it allows the children to grow in confidence and reach their full potential at their own pace.

In Sunflowers, we aim to provide a stimulating and challenging environment  for the children to learn new skills, thrive and gain knowledge of the world around them. We always follow the children’s lead taking their thoughts and feelings into consideration, we work with them to expand their ideas and where possible incorporate them into our topics or themes.

We feel that children leaving Sunflowers are confident, happy young people who have made good friends and had lots of fun and laughter together. They are now ready for “BIG SCHOOL”.


Our nursery and pre-school is open 7:30 am – 6:30 pm, for 51 weeks of the year. We are closed on bank holidays and for a week between Christmas and New Year.

  • Full Day Session 7:30 am – 6:30 pm
  • Morning Session: 7:30 am – 1:00 pm
  • Afternoon Session: 1:00 pm – 6:30 pm

Please contact us for a full list of our sessions.

Both of my sons attended Smart Start Nursery and thoroughly enjoyed it. The staff are extremely caring, helpful and approachable.


If you would like to leave a review of our nursery, please click here

Help with Fees

Smart Start Day Nursery is pleased to offer Free Early Years Education Entitlement for 2-year-olds subject to eligibility, as well as for 3-4-year-olds (15 and 30 hours).

The new Childcare Choices website provides a straightforward explanation of all Government Childcare Support in one place, providing a simple way of seeing which schemes are available, with easy next steps to where you can find out more.

Using the Childcare Calculator you can quickly find out which of the offers are available to you and choose what works best for your family.

For further questions on fees and funding, please contact us.

Refer a Friend

If you have a friend or family member who is looking for a place for their child at Smart Start, please ask them to complete the Get in Touch form, stating “Referral + Your Name” in the comments box. If a place is available and they do register their child, both you and your friend could receive £25 off one month’s fees!

Terms and conditions apply.


We believe it’s very important to encourage our children to love eating healthy and nutritious food. These healthy habits remain with them through their entire lives and can be the foundation of a healthy lifestyle ahead.

We have a 5-star Food Hygiene Rating and are able to cater for all dietary requirements.

Fresh homemade food

Our dedicated on-site chef prepares healthy balanced meals on a daily basis and ensures our children are offered their 5-a-day

Varied seasonal menus

Menus are constantly varied to encourage curiosity whilst taking into account dietary and nutritional needs.


We teach our children about different types of food and how it helps them grow, encouraging good habits for the future.