Twinkles Knaresborough is a 92 place, private day nursery and after school club that opened in September 2012. We won the ‘Harrogate Mumblers Day Nursery of the Year’ in 2014 and were also shortlisted for the award in 2015. We were also in the Top 10 day nurseries in Yorkshire and Humber in 2015. More recently we have again been given the title of ‘Day Nursery of the Year’ in the Harrogate Mumbler awards in 2018. Twinkles Knaresborough is Ofsted Rated Good.


Our qualified and experienced staff are all dedicated to the development of the babies and young children in their care and here at Twinkles, the children’s play experiences are based around their individual developmental needs. There are always lots of stimulating activities on offer and plenty of fun things to do, both indoors and outside.  At Twinkles we operate a Key Person system, whereby your child is allocated a Nursery Nurse who will support both yours and your child’s needs. They will build up a strong bond with your child during their time with us and help them to feel safe and secure in their new environment. The Key Person is also responsible for building up a Learning Journey for your child. This will include observations, photographs and art work, as well as individually planned next Steps to support their individual needs. We have 4 different rooms, called Baby Stars, Rising Stars, Shooting Stars and Shining Stars. Each of the rooms is carefully set out to offer a wide range of learning opportunities, specifically designed for children in that age range, through a variety of resources and activities.

Daniel Sissons – Nursery Manager

Dan has been in childcare and early years for over 12 years and has had various roles across the sector. More recently overseeing the management of 11 nurseries, helping to support the quality of activities and resources for the children in their care. With the birth of his daughter just 4 months ago, Dan chose to come back to managing a nursery and working more directly with the staff and little people within! Dan has a BA Hons in Educational Leadership and is not only Paediatric First Aid trained, he is also qualified to deliver the training too! Dan also has a love of the outdoors and is passionate about Forest Schools and will soon be a qualified Forest School Teacher!

Ofsted 2017

“Staff welcome children into a nurturing, stimulating and safe environment where they flourish and thrive. Children are supervised well. For example, sleeping babies and young children are continually monitored to ensure their safety. Staff share advice with parents when children are developing new skills, such as weaning and toilet training. They provide many opportunities that help children to begin to understand healthy lifestyles. For example, children of all ages frequently enjoy fresh air and exercise in the outdoor play area and also during outings to local parks and farms. They enjoy nutritious and inviting snacks and meals. Children are learning to keep themselves safe during their play, for example, when they climb equipment in the outdoor play areas.” 

What our Parents Say


Our learning through play approach allows us to meet your child’s needs and extend their learning and development whilst encouraging their curiosity about the big wide world. We invest in ensuring that our environments are equipped with resources to help your child make good progress in their learning and development.


A mix of adult led & child initiated activities ensure we support learning across the seven areas of development which form part of the Early Years Foundation Stage, these are:

Communication & Language – involves giving children opportunities to experience a rich language environment; to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves; and to speak and listen in a range of situations

Physical Development – involves providing opportunities for young children to be active and interactive; and to develop their co-ordination, control, and movement. Children must also be helped to understand the importance of physical activity6, and to make healthy choices in relation to food

Personal, Social & Emotional Development this involves helping children to develop a positive sense of themselves, and others; to form positive relationships and develop respect for others; to develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings; to understand appropriate behaviour in groups; and to have confidence in their own abilities

Literacy – involves encouraging children to link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write. Children must be given access to a wide range of reading materials (books, poems, and other written materials) to ignite their interest

Maths – involves providing children with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems; and to describe shapes, spaces, and measure

Understanding the World – involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment

Expressive Arts & Design – involves enabling children to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials, as well as providing opportunities and encouragement for sharing their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role-play, and design and technology 1


As well as looking at ‘what’ children are learning, we also look at ‘how’ they are learning and ensure that our learning environments and highly skilled early years educators support children in developing the Characteristics of  Effective Learning and these are:


Playing and Exploring – Engagement

Finding out and exploring

Playing with what they know

Being willing to ‘have a go’


Active Learning – Motivation

Being involved and concentrating

Keeping trying

Enjoying achieving what they set out to do


Creating and Thinking Critically –Thinking

Having their own ideas

Making links

Choosing ways to do things


baby stars knaresborough


Your child’s development is of paramount importance to us. We would define development into 5 key areas.

Physical Development – we provide a range of activities for our children to keep them active in our wonderful outdoor play areas with lots to explore, keep them entertained & active. We also run fun and stimulating music, dance & movement classes in term time by Jo jingles.

Social development – we support your child in making, building and maintaining friendships & their interaction with other children and adults

Cognitive development – We support your child in developing the skills used to think and reason, enabling them to remember, problem solve and make decisions.

Communicative development – we encourage, teach and support your child’s skills to understand the spoken word and to express themselves verbally

Adaptive skills – we support your child with the skills they need for daily living, such as dressing, eating, toileting and washing. Our children are always reminded of the importance of good hygiene such as washing hands before meals and after using the toilet.

Parents as Partners

We really want you to be part of your child’s learning, so we use a secure online programme called ‘Capture’ to record your child’s progress at nursery. This means you can you can log in at any time to see what your child has been getting up to at nursery and read the observations written by their Key Person. We value the knowledge you have about your child, so you can add your own observations from home and let us know what new skills your child has developed!


Outdoor & Physical Play

We believe outdoor play to be vital to your child’s development, so at Twinkles we go outside every day, whatever the weather may be doing! There is nothing children love more than running around in the fresh air and that’s why we invest in outdoor areas for all of our nurseries. Our outdoor areas are well resourced, with lots for the children to do to support development in all areas of the EYFS. At Twinkles, children have all the same learning opportunities outside as they do inside, so you can be rest assured, wherever your child is playing, they will always be learning something new! As well as ensuring there are lots of opportunities for outdoor play, we also want to ensure that your child takes part in enough physical activity each day to keep healthy and for under fives, this means 180 minutes every day!


Healthy Eating

We want to make sure that you and your child settle quickly into nursery life. To achieve this your child will be allocated a member of staff called a Key Person who will be their own special person at nursery. The Key Person will help your child to feel happy, safe, stimulated and secure at nursery and will give you peace of mind that you always have someone with whom you can share information about your child. The key person will take responsibility for meeting your child’s needs and making careful records of your child’s learning, development and progress. You’ll be able to talk to your Key Person regularly at our Parent Evenings to find out how your child is getting on and your Key Person will also be able to support you with activity ideas to try out at home. There’s always lots of cuddles to go round and we believe that every child is unique, so the Key Person will plan activities just for your child, based around their current interest, that way we know they are going to enjoy every single day at nursery!





Ofsted 2017

“Young children have fun using all of their senses to explore and investigate a wide range of stimulating resources and materials, including water, paint, dough and natural materials. The development of children’s early literacy skills is supported well. Children delight in using puppets and props to illustrate a familiar story. The skillful use of questioning by staff, such as, ‘What happens next?’, helps children to think for themselves and practice their good communication and language skills. Staff provide older children with the opportunity to play games, for example, identifying similarities and differences between themselves and their friends. Effective strategies are used, including story resource packs, to support parents to extend their children’s learning.

Our Rooms

We have four different rooms, each of them designed to cater for a different age group. The four rooms are called Baby Stars, Rising Stars, Shooting Stars & Shining Stars. Each of these rooms is carefully set out to offer a wide range of learning opportunities, specifically designed for children in that age range, through a variety of resources and activities.

Baby Stars

baby stars knaresborough

Our baby room is for the youngest of our children and has space for up to fifteen babies at any one time, with one member of staff for every three babies. Babies are given new experiences according to their individual needs.


At such a young age, babies learn through their senses, so activities are varied and concentrate on touch, texture, sound, shape and sizes as well as looking to develop physical co-ordination. There’s a comfy story corner, a kitchen for role play, a cosy black and white den, sand and water play and of course cots for sleep time. There’s lots of support from the adults in the room, encouraging development of new skills, as well as supporting independence through a range of care routines or activities. We use our nursery pushchairs to explore the local environment and make good use of our garden whatever the weather! The routine here at Twinkles is very flexible and we will happily fit in with what you do at home, to help your child feel safe and secure and settle quickly into their new surroundings. Enjoying early games such as peak-a-boo, clapping and finding hidden objects will all be part of your child’s daily play. There’s also painting, sticking and even a bit of baking, so there’s always lots of lovely things to take home. There will also be opportunities for one-to-one interaction with the Key Person and older siblings are always welcome to come in during the day to check how they are doing, share a story or help give a bottle.

Rising Stars


Rising Stars is for our toddlers and in here we can have up to 21 children, with one adult for every three children under two and one adult for every four children aged between two to three years.


Children are given the opportunity to explore colours, shapes and counting, through a range of activities and the staff ask lots of open ended question, to help extend your child’s play. Everything in the room is carefully labelled with clear writing as well as bright photographs, to encourage your child to be independent from a young age as they access their own resources within the room, all under supervision of course There’s self-registration in the morning, the younger children have to find their photograph from the chart outside the room whilst the older children look for their first name. Rising Stars play outside every day, come rain or shine, so everyone comes prepared for the British weather with sun cream and hats, as well as wellies and waterproofs. Regular baking activities, weekly classes such as Jo Jingles or Socakidz and even a spot of gardening mean there’s never a dull moment in Rising Stars.

Shooting Stars

Shooting Stars can accommodate up to 28 children, with one adult for every four children aged two to three and one adult for every eight children aged three years or over. There are a wide variety of activities for children to access; they will still be able to experience natural materials such as sand and water, as well as taking part in role-play, dressing up and construction activities.READ MORE

Children will also take part in early maths activities such as colour and shape recognition via matching and sorting, as well as activities to develop early reading skills such as listening walks and rhyming stories and songs. There are always lots of creative activities going on, either painting, box modelling, sensory trays or a bit of exploring the dedicated mark making area. A cosy book corner offers space for quiet time, sharing stories with friends or group activities. There’s also outdoor play every day and trips out in to the local community, to help the children find out more about the world in which they live.

Shining Stars

Shining Stars

Shining Stars can accommodate 28 children aged three years upwards, with one adult for every eight children. There’s lots of preparation for school in here. An increased interest in co-operative play such as make-believe, construction and games help children to learn the important social skills of sharing and co-operating. Children also learn about helping adults in everyday activities and finding a balance between independence and considering the wishes of others. READ MORE

Our planning is based around the children’s interests, so there’s always a wide variety of activities to take part in. Children are given the option to take part in developing early language skills as they learn either French or Spanish. We have trips out in the local environment, go on nature hunts in the gardens and the children take part in lots of cooking and baking activities as they learn all about being healthy and looking after themselves

Take a ‘Peek’ around our nursery…

Take a look around our nursery, here is a mixture of photos from all of our rooms. Seeing is believing though and we recommend paying us a visit so you can see, hear and feel the love, laughter, care and warmth that is ‘Twinkles’!

Healthy Eating

A well balanced and nutritious diet is vital to a child’s development. Here at Twinkles our trained cooks prepare fresh, healthy, tasty and nutritious meals for the children daily. Our four weekly menus have been carefully put together, using the guidance provided by the Children’s Food Trust to ensure we are providing a healthy, balanced and tasty diet.

Click here to see our menu

Our Garden

The garden is securely enclosed and offers a range of experiences for children of all ages. There’s places to grow vegetables, outdoor sandpits, a huge playhouse, a slide, a stream and lots more. There are shrubs in pots for year round colour, as well as bright flowers, all planted by the children, and with astro turf instead of grass, the only place you find mud is in the mud kitchen! There are just as many learning opportunities provided outside as there inside, so all round development is promoted for every child. As well as the nursery garden there’s also lots to see and explore on trips into the local town. We like to visit the bustling market, take a trip to the library and go for riverside walks to see the ducks and rowing boats. There’s also a trip to the train station or the castle and we even have a small holding with lots of animals just round the corner from nursery.

Ofsted 2017

“All children make good progress. They share, take turns and cooperate with others during their play. Children form firm friendships. They make choices freely in their play from a broad range of high-quality and accessible resources. Children develop their independence skills well, for example, in dressing themselves and serving their own food and drink at mealtimes. They are motivated and eager learners. Children of all ages are well prepared for future learning within the setting and for their eventual move to school.”

Visit our nurseries

Click on any of the links below to be taken the microsite for the nursery