Balliol College operates a small friendly Day Nursery on the ground floor of an Edwardian house in Rawlinson Road, North Oxford. It is run by a committee consisting of Fellows of the College and advised by the Nursery Manager. The Nursery has six members of staff including the Manager and Deputy. It has built an outstanding reputation, based on its family atmosphere, dedicated staff, fun activities, and happy children. 

The Nursery is unusual in that it operates as a mixed-aged group setting. Unlike most nurseries, it does not have separate rooms for different age groups; instead the children are cared for all together. They therefore benefit from being with children of all different ages. The children also have the security of a key person, who is responsible for a family grouping of just four children.

The Nursery has 16 places for children from 3 months to 5 years – we participate in the government ‘flexible 15 entitlement’. It is open weekdays from 8.45am to 5.00pm and is open for 4648 weeks per year with closed periods at Christmas, Easter, and in August.

Applications and allocation of places

Application forms can be downloaded and sent either by post to the Nursery Manager at 2a Rawlinson Road, Oxford OX2 6UE, or electronically via email to the Nursery Manager at nursery@​balliol.​ox.​ac.​uk.

If a child cannot be accommodated in the nursery from the date required, their name is placed in a pool of waiting applications. The decision to whom the offer of a place is made is taken by the Nursery Committee only when a vacancy arises. As parents only need to give two months notice of the withdrawal of a child from the Nursery, it is not normally possible to offer a place more than approximately two months in advance. NB Your application will lapse if you do not renew it in writing to the Nursery Manager during January each year.

The Nursery is open to all, although priority in the allocation of places goes to those with a connection to Balliol College (for example, staff, students, and Fellows).

Other factors which may be regarded by the Nursery Committee as relevant to the allocation of places include age spread, date of application, that the applicant child has a sibling already at the Nursery, and that the family are residents of Rawlinson Road. No child will be excluded on grounds of race, gender, or special educational need or disability.

The Nursery Committee retains sole discretion with regard to the allocation of places. The Nursery operates on a non-profit-making basis and is able to offer a reduced rate of fees to Balliol members. Staff working for the University can benefit by paying fees using a salary sacrifice scheme.

Fees for 2023/2024 academic year

  • Non-Balliol members £5,300 per term
  • Current Balliol staff, Fellows and students £5,140 per term.

Balliol is a pescatarian nursery, and all food is freshly prepared on the premises. Meals provided include morning snack, lunch, and tea. There is an additional charge of £10.00 per week for the provision of food. The Nursery is registered for Early Years Education funding, which enables parents of all three- and four-year-olds to qualify for a grant from the Government towards the fees. A salary sacrifice scheme is available to eligible College and University staff: details available on request. 

Georgina Horlick Bursaries

An Old Member of Balliol, Nicola Horlick, has donated to the College funding for two childcare bursaries, in memory of her daughter Georgina. The bursaries are available to children at the Balliol Day Nursery whose parents are undergraduate or postgraduate students at Balliol. The bursaries are awarded by the Student Finance Committee. There is more information about the bursaries here.

Safeguarding children

The nursery is committed to safeguarding and protecting children and expects all involved to share this commitment. The welfare of the child is paramount. All adults including staff, volunteers and committee members are subject to enhanced DBS checks and are trained in Safeguarding and Child Protection. 

What the parents say

Have your children been to Mars? Mine have – on a day trip from Balliol Day Nursery, in a cardboard rocket. They’ve been on a pirate ship too, and had tea on a desert island. A world of fun, imagination and learning, but above all a warm and loving home from home.’

The unique quality of the nursery lies in the superb quality of the staff as individuals and as a team; their outstanding work makes this place a haven of kindness, creativity and happiness. More than anything, this nursery has been like a family to us. It is everything a parent can wish for his child.’