About Us

Brief History

Mary Seacole

Mary Seacole

Mary Seacole Day Nursery and Family Support Unit, was named after the famous Jamaican Nurse whose bravely set up hospitals at the frontline to care for the British soldiers during the Crimean  war. A charity since 1991, the nursery was registered by Ofsted to care for 20 children, between the ages of 2 and 4 from Monday to Friday, 51 weeks a year and based in a small terrapin building on the Coley Primary School site in Reading.

Its’ main objective was to provide quality childcare and parenting advice to help and support parent’s in their role; especially young mothers and their children.  Reading Borough Council support with contributions to salary costs also enabled the nursery to provide low cost quality childcare for some parents.

Since 1991, Mary Seacole Day Nursery has developed into a successful business, renowned for providing quality day care in a culturally sensitive manner and has continually received excellent Ofsted reports each year.

In addition, as a registered member of Reading Quality Assurance Kitemark; the nursery is nearing the end of the accreditation scheme for one of its stated objectives to focus on the quality of childcare services delivered in Reading.

Organisation Management

Mary Seacole Day Nursery is run by a Management Committee whose members include parents, past parents, local volunteers, business professionals and senior members of the staff team. They share a great sense of responsibility for the asset that Mary Seacole Day Nursery has become to the community and are working hard to continue contributing to the future success of the organisation as an effective and efficient organisation.

Mary Seacole & MAPP Partnership

Over the years, the space limitations of the nursery terrapin building had become inadequate for the needs of the nursery yet, despite this, demand for nursery places remained high due to the quality of the childcare provided.  However, the nursery was only able to accommodate about 25% of request for places on the waiting list per year.

Old Nursery site

In order for Mary Seacole Day Nursery to develop according to its strategic business plan and to meet the demands of the parents on the waiting list, the nursery needed to move to bigger premises.

We were therefore very pleased to be asked to join Apollo and Phab Club to form the MAPP Partnership to obtain funding for a new centre. The long hard struggle to get the building was due primarily to the hard work commitment and dedication of the main three organisations involved as well as the support of our volunteers, parents, the local community and Reading Borough Council.

MAPP Centre

The overall funding was provided by SEEDA and supported by other funding organisations and finally, after almost seven years after receiving funding, we all moved into the new MAPP Centre (named after the three organisations) in Mount Pleasant, Reading in January 2006. The size of the building and proximity to the town centre will now enable all three organisations to provide an improved range of services for children and adults in Katesgrove and the surrounding areas as well as rooms available for community hire/use.

Mary Seacole Day Nursery – Developments

Mary Seacole Day Nursery has expanded its services and is now registered by Ofsted to provide daycare services for 50 children, including:-

  • Babies age 3 months


  • Children age 2-5 years.

The expansion of the daycare provision will be completed in phases and the first phase development was completed with the opening of the Baby room in January 2006.


The New Nursery

The new Mary Seacole Day Nursery is a large, purpose-built Nursery in the right wing of the MAPP Centre. It has keypad entry, a Baby room with separate facilities and 2 Nursery rooms each with a wet play area and toilets, a kitchen, laundry room and adult/disabled toilet facilities.


Outdoor play area  

The outdoor play area is spacious and incorporates a sand pit, timber climbing frames, slides, mirrors, tunnels and activity boards and as well as outdoor seating areas for outdoor class work. There is also  a small play area for the babies.

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