Willow Tree

Nursery & Pre-School

Chingford Avenue, Great Clacton, Clacton on Sea, Essex, CO15 4US

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01255 221473

Flexible day care for children from 3 months to 12 years old

The Willow Tree Nursery provides an excellent standard of Care and Education for children aged 3 months to 12 years. We accept that every child is a unique individual and we will provide opportunities and experiences, which will help them reach their full potential.

A rich and varied environment supports children’s learning and development. Our outdoor play area reflects this and has been created to ensure activities that take place inside can be transferred outside, e.g. art and construction.

The Willow Tree has developed a multi-sensory room within the building for community use which is hugely popular with the children who attend the nursery, especially those with additional needs.

If you’d like to book our Sensory Room or have a look around, please make an appointment at Reception along with any needs your child has to enable us to prepare the room in advance of your arrival.

Jessica Brading, Senior Nursery Manager

Why not come and take a look?

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  • Home away from home environment in a spacious well-equipped setting
  • Nutritious meals and snacks freshly prepared everyday by our qualified Nursery Cook
  • Adventurous outdoor spaces with mud kitchens and reading nook
  • A sensory room to stimulate the 5 senses as well as the sense of space and well-being.
  • Motivated and enthusiastic staff with advanced qualifications and first aid training
  • High security door entrance and CCTV system for your peace of mind
  • Online learning journals to encourage parent engagement by sharing observations daily
  • Dance, Drama, Basketball and Spanish Classes lead by qualified coaches and teachers
  • Dedicated term time preschool places
  • Free Early Years Education Entitlement for 2, 3 & 4 year olds (15 & 30 Hours)

Age groups

Our nursery is split into 6 areas, with each room designed to cater to a specific age range. The children transition between these rooms when they are developmentally ready, not based on their age.

Willow Tree Nursery and pre-school

The Acorns Room

The baby unit aims to provide a secure, happy and comfortable environment for this age group. The practitioners are trained in the needs of the babies and will provide as much care and one to one attention as possible to encourage development of physical, oral and social skills. The room promotes play and safe exploration essential to a young enquiring mind, as well as comfort and lots of cuddles. The children are encouraged to explore natural materials and the room has a wealth of treasure baskets.

The health and safety of the babies is of paramount importance and the nursery provides excellent facilities for feeding and changing. Practitioners will be happy to show parents/carers the arrangements and will follow individual feeding/sleeping practices as well as assist in the development of the child’s eating habits.

The Blossoms Room

Blossoms will offer your child a stimulating and safe environment in which to grow and develop curiosity, co-ordination and physical abilities, amongst caring and experienced practitioners.

The practitioners promote play and safe exploration whilst providing support and cuddles. Children can explore the play gym with slide attached to encourage physical development. They enjoy pretend play in the country kitchen and in our garden cottage. Story time and singing sessions with actions, music and props occur daily. We encourage children to develop their listening skills and through interaction with practitioners and children, their vocabulary develops rapidly.

Maple & Evergreen Rooms

These groups offer your child the opportunity to develop in a stimulating, rich and varied environment. Children can explore and learn in a safe and secure area. Our extensive range of construction toys, dressing up clothes, story books, jigsaws, role playing equipment, sand and water play and numerous art materials will benefit your child’s development in all areas of learning.

There is a quiet area where your child can rest or sleep if they need to. They will also spend valuable time in a small group situation with their key person perhaps reading a story or singing songs.

Our experienced practitioners encourage the children in all areas of independence such as toileting, eating and dressing. We always praise children for their new achievements which in turn boosts their self esteem and confidence.

Willow, Oaks & Cherries Rooms

One popular feature is a two story play loft, which over a period of time has been transformed into a hairdressers, doctors, and seafaring galleon. We encourage the children to engage in board games with small groups where they can practice the important social skills of sharing and co-operating. Cookery is a very important activity that’s carried out on a regular basis, and can help to encourage various skills. We have a vast range of construction toys giving children the opportunity to build models. Children are encouraged to use their logical and problem solving skills with our many puzzles and games. Children also develop early keyboard and mouse skills whilst accessing our computers and educational software.

Music and story time happens daily enabling the children to use their imagination to the full. Listening to exciting new stories will stimulate your child to use new words and explore their meanings. The quiet area is made as comfortable as possible to encourage your child to curl up with a book.

In readiness for school, children will learn many new skills encouraging them to develop pre writing, number, word, colour and shape recognition. We feel the ladder of education can never be secure unless the first rung is firmly in place.

We make full use of our vast outdoor area for play, exercise and letting off steam. Various sports will be available such as football and basketball with our professional coach.  We are also open to suggestions from the children who attend our club.

Our after school and holiday club is a warm, inviting, friendly place to be. We provide exciting activities for children to enjoy and encourage a desire to try new experiences through our well-planned interesting provision.

The room itself has been carefully and thoughtfully designed with space divided into separate areas for art and craft, messy play, computers and a quiet corner for any children who enjoy a calmer time after a busy school day. We believe in a ‘back to basics’ approach, where we will offer quality time with a dedicated practitioner who will provide a wealth of activities some of which include board games, baking cakes and listening to your child read in a relaxed and comfortable environment.

Our other activities include rounders, cricket, big skipping, kite flying, picnics, large and small construction, obstacle courses, super slime, mini beast hunts and parachute play.

A healthy snack and fresh fruit will be provided as the children arrive from school, or if in the holiday club throughout the day. Snacks and drinks are included in the fees.  If requested, children attending the Holiday Club can also be provided with a hot nutritional dinner for an additional fee.

The Willow Tree minibuses collect children for After School Club from the following schools: Alton Park, Bursville, Cann Hall, Great Clacton, Holland Haven, Holland Park, Oakwood, St Claire’s, St Andrews and Whitehall Academy.


Our nursery and pre-school is open 7:45 am – 6:00 pm, for 50 weeks of the year. We are closed on bank holidays and for a week at Easter and between Christmas and New Year.

  • Full Day Session 8:30 am – 5:30 pm
  • Morning Session: 8:30 am – 12:30 pm
  • Afternoon Session: 1:30 pm – 5:30 pm

Optional Extras

  • Early start: 7:45 am – 8:30 am
  • Late collection: 5:30 pm – 6:00 pm
  • Dinner: 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm

Parents also have the option to provide a healthy packed lunch for their child.

Please contact us for a full list of our sessions.

Excellent. Both my children have attended the nursery. Now they are both at school they attend after school club and holiday club. Willow Tree has been part of my life for the last ten years.

Anna C

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Help with Fees

Willow Tree 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 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 Willow Tree, 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.

Useful Information


Parent Training Room
Various courses are available to parents/carers throughout the year run by many organisations including, Primary Care Trust, Adult Education and Essex County Council. These are free of charge and sometimes include a free crèche facility.


Training & Conference facilities
Within the Willow Tree Nursery we have a purpose built conference facility which is an ideal venue for training days, conferences, seminars, presentations and meetings. Our flexible room arrangements will cater for all your business needs. We also have smaller meeting rooms available. Excellent hot and cold buffets can be provided on request.

Capacity for up to 30 delegates | Hot and Cold Buffets | Tea & coffee making facilities | Interactive White Board | Multi-media Projector