Sensory garden 1 sensory garden 2

Welcome to Sunnybank Nursery

A warm, relaxed, and homely environment for your children

About Us

Sunnybank was set up in 1993 by the Cannon family with the vision to provide a warm, relaxed and friendly environment in which children can thrive. In short a place we would be happy to let our own children attend. Jo Warrior [nee Cannon] was the driving force at that time, a senior midwife with a strong grasp on the important elements of childcare.
After firmly establishing Sunnybank as a leading Childrens' Nursery in the area, Jo emigrated in 2008. However, the Nursery remained in family ownership with her brother, Peter Cannon and his wife Alison at the helm. Peter is a GP and Alison a School Nurse. They have developed the Nursery whilst keeping Health and Wellbeing at the top of every agenda.
Going forward we believe that the future is bright for children coming through our Nursery.

Latest News - Select an option below

We have recently had our annual QISP (Quality Improvement Support Programme) inspection from Derbyshire County Council and I am delighted to share with you the results!
The meeting is to ensure the Nursery and team are working well towards the OFSTED descriptors, including safeguarding, teaching and learning, leadership and management, behaviour and welfare and outcomes for children.
The inspection lasted for around 4 hours and is similar to that of an OFSTED inspection, in that strengths, areas for improvements and recommendations are identified.
Our QISP states:
"The environment and learning clearly demonstrate how far the Nursery has progressed and how the staff are always seeking to develop..."
"Lot's of strengths are apparent including key person role, behaviour management, SEND.."
"Over the last year the Nursery have invested both time and money into improving the learning environment for children.."
"The appointment of new staff and redeployment of staff has resulted in increased outcomes for children.."
"Equality, diversity and British Values are evident throughout the Nursery.."
"The Nursery is developing a strong and passionate leadership and management team.. with a clear vision and drive to continue to improve the Nursery.."
"Nursery staff teach well and have a deeper understanding of the links between effective teaching and learning.."
"The setting has made excellent progress in creating a stimulating and welcoming environment.."
"The setting can clearly evidence the progress of all children, demonstrate the range of development that children are working within and show where gaps are closing.."
Our only recommendation is to:
"Visit a setting graded 'Outstanding' to oversee planning and assessment cycles and teaching and learning opportunities.."
As you can imagine we are delighted with this feedback and thank you for all your support over the last year!

Please search 'Sunnybank Nursery (Closed Group) on Facebook and send a request to keep up to date with ongoing learning, changes and events.

Did you know that whenever you buy anything online this Christmas, you could be raising a free donation for Sunnybank Nursery School - Chesterfield?  There are nearly 3,000 retailers including Amazon, John Lewis, Aviva, thetrainline and Sainsbury's, who'll give a free donation to Sunnybank Nursery School - Chesterfield, it doesn't cost a penny extra.
Head here to sign up and collect free donations on Christmas gifts, groceries and decorations. 
If you shop on your mobile or tablet, get the free easyfundraising app and you'll never miss a donation. 
To get it, visit the App Store or Google Play and search for 'easyfundraising' or find out more here: 
Thanks for your support!

We will be joining in with national Sports Relief celebrations between 17th and 23rd March 2018. This will include dressing up to join the GoGo Party with the Go Jetters, a GoGo Disco and sports day for Rabbits and Hares children!

Hares - Wednesday 21st March 2018 at 2pm
Rabbits - Thursday 22nd March 2018 at 2pm

We are so grateful for the families we meet through our setting, many of whom become lifelong friends! 

Today we have received this lovely gift and card addressed to 'My Nursery Mommies' on Mothers Day - it's real reminder of how lucky we are to have the job that we do!

Our Sunnybank Team

Start date: June 2008

I took over as Manager at Sunnybank in August 2016 after a long period in a managerial role. I am passionate about providing an enriched learning environment for the children who access our provision. Working alongside Dr Peter and Alison Cannon to provide a family run Nursery is extremely important to me in bridging the gap between home and Nursery. I believe each and every child is capable of fantastic achievements and that we at Sunnybank are the starting blocks in a successful education.

I work closely with my Managerial Team to assess the care and learning we provide to ensure we continue to provide richness and chances to thrive for all children.

I have undertaken extensive Early Years training including but not limited to, NVQ Level 2 and 3 Management and Leadership, ECaM (Every Child a Mover), ELLP (Early Language Lead Practitioner), SENDCo (Special educational needs and disability coordinator), NVQ Level 2 in Autism, Phonics and Language and much more!
I am First Aid at work and Paediatric First Aid trained, along with Fire Marshal, Health and Safety and Food Hygiene training.


Start Date: May 2010

I took on the Deputy Manager role in August 2016 and I'm also trained as Sunnybank's Early Years Curriculum Support. Having been at the Nursery for many years I am passionate in the journey that children travel in their Early Years. My ultimate aim is to ensure that children coming through Sunnybank are happy, secure and enthusiastic learners from birth right until they leave us for school.

I enjoy furthering my own professional development and as such have attended training including NVQ Level 2 in Team Leadership and Management, NVQ Level 2 in Autism, Designated Safeguarding Training along with many conferences relating to current changes within the Early Years sector.


Start date : November 2009

Having completed my Level 3 placements at Sunnybank, I was thrilled when a position opened up and I was taken on. Having worked in all three groups in my time as a Junior member of staff, safety, well being and learning has become instilled as paramount. As such, my contributions to the children's development was recognised and I took on the role of Team Leader to our Hares group in 2015.

This is a role I am passionate about and I am constantly researching and attending conferences and courses to further my knowledge to in turn support the children throughout this group.

My ultimate aim is ensuring that all children transitioning through Sunnybank are happy, secure and keen to learn. 

I am also the settings Staff Mentor (supporting Management in supporting staff relationships and professional development) and Deputy SENDCo (supporting Laura with intervention groups).


Start date: September 2000

I came to the nursery in 1999 as a student and did my NVQ Level 3. I was offered holiday cover which quickly turned into a full time place. Sunnybank has supported me through 4 pregnancies and after having 4 children quite close together I returned as part time support staff and my children all came through Sunnybank. (They all loved every minute and still now talk about their carers and their favourite memories of going to nursery!)

During the staff deployment devised by the new Manager in August 2016, I took on the role of Rabbits Team Leader, Officer in Charge and Integrated review lead. After my extensive time at the Nursery, I have a wealth of knowledge to share and impart to new members of the team and a drive to provide a stimulating learning environment for the 2year olds in my group. 
I hope that all children leave Sunnybank with lots of fond memories that will stay with them as they remember a happy childhood with their friends.

As well as my NVQ Level 3 I hold a full first aid certificate along with the required training for my role. I feel Sunnybank has a family atmosphere where children can grow in a safe and friendly learning environment. 


Start date: August 2014

I first started Sunnybank in 2013 as a student and I loved my time here. The staff were very welcoming and helped me progress my way not only through my course but in securing a junior member of staff  post.

After supporting the Nursery's running in the position of Junior member of staff, I was thrilled to be promoted to Room Leader of the Baby Bunnies, after developing many years experience and knowledge in this group. I have now been running the group for over a year and have developed a learning environment suitable for our youngest members of the Nursery to thrive!

As an integral part of our young babies lives, my main priority is building and maintaining strong relationships with not just the children in my care but their families too. 


Start date: November 2015

I joined the Sunnybank team in 2015 and my aim is to create an environment in which the children in my care can thrive. I enjoy helping all children in my care to achieve their next steps and work their way through the developmental milestones of the EYFS and be ready for the next stage in their journey.

I am also the settings student co-ordinator. I enjoy supporting our students, giving them the experiences that they may need in order to complete work experience, college work and in preparation for their step in to the Early Years industry.


Start date: September 2016

I am a Level 3 qualified practitioner and have been working in Nurseries for over 4 years. In September 2016 I was honoured to be offered a position at Sunnybank. The nurture and care myself, management and my team members provide is incomparable. The Nursery as a whole maintains a strong, healthy family orientated environment at all times.

As a key person my main priority is building and maintaining strong relationships with not just the children in my care but their families too. Their safety and well-being is paramount.

I love my career and take pride in being part of the journey throughout childhood that our parents share with us.

Sarah P

Start date: January 2017

This is my first Nursery role since leaving College and I couldn't be happier at Sunnybank! I love nothing more than helping the children in my care grow and also reflecting on my growth as a practitioner.

As well as my Key Person role I am also the setting's Physical and Nutrition Co-Ordinator. I have attended recent training focusing on Oral Health and the HENRY model and I am disseminating this amongst staff and demonstrating good practice.

Keep an eye out on our blog to see what we get up to!


Start date: July 2017

I first started Sunnybank as a student, attending twice a week as part of my Level 3 qualification. Since completing my course, I have been lucky enough to be offered a position within this fantastic organisation!

Throughout my time as a student, Sunnybank has taught me the importance of strong relationships with families and has lit a fire of enthusiasm for creating outstanding learning and environments.


Start date: April 2016

This is my first time working in a nursery environment and I am very proud to be working here. The staff and children are amazing and I have a very good relationship throughout the nursery. It brings me great pleasure to know I am providing good nutritious meals for the children everyday. Being fully trained as a chef I know the importance of using fresh ingredients which is something we pride ourselves in. I have recently began getting the children involved in preparing a meal once a week in order to give them an understanding of what they are eating and the importance of healthy foods. This is something I really enjoy doing and I know the children enjoy this too! 


Reasons to choose Sunnybank

Sunnybank Nursery provides a warm, relaxed, inclusive and most importantly a homely environment, in which children can flourish to the best of their capabilities.  We provide fun, educational activities and experiences to aid development in all areas and to encourage confidence and independence.  We pride ourselves in our standards of care and positive relationships with children, parents and carers respecting diversity and cultural beliefs.  We have an open door policy where parents and carers can telephone or call in for a chat and a cup of coffee.

All the staff at Sunnybank hold a minimum Level 3 Qualification in Child Care and Development, with our Manager Christine being Level 3 qualified and holding an award in Team Leadership and Management. All the staff also take on extra curricular courses in order to develop their personal performances.  All staff are trained in 1st Aid, Health and Safety, Food Safety, Fire Safety, Additional Needs and Equal Opportunities. The staff work in a manner which is open and honest.  We understand that the relationships which children establish with adults and other children are of central importance in their development. We understand that children need time and space to produce work of quality and depth and they learn most effectively when they are actively involved and interested.  Each member of staff through their appearance, manner and general approach to colleagues, parents and visitors will be able to reflect the high professional standards of the Nursery.



The nursery offers both full and part-time placements as well as a flexible system.  For 'settling-in' purposes and continuity of care, we recommend a minimum of two sessions per week.  However, we are happy to discuss individual requirements.  The nursery prides itself on our ability to be flexible with all our families offering the best service possible.  We endeavour to ensure all our families’ needs are taken into consideration and individual requirements are met.

Full/Part time
These placements are fixed and involve you choosing specific sessions and having those sessions each week.  Once they are agreed, they are secured.  However, should you need to alter a session then provided we have a minimum of one weeks’ notice and availability, you are welcome to change. We always endeavour to try to accommodate parents at short notice.

These placements are designed primarily for parents who work shifts and rarely have two weeks the same.  They are limited and work on a first come, first served basis.  These sessions are only secured once booked and hence advance booking is essential to ensure reliability.

The nursery is located in the small village of Calow that has a school, community centre and is very close to the town centre with numerous local schools.  Our location within the village is on the main A632 road through Calow, but with ample farmlands and rural areas surrounding us providing an excellent short nature walk which the children frequently enjoy.  We are also very close to the nearby village of Arkwright that has a small school with which we hold a strong relationship.  Access is good from Chesterfield, Bolsover and the M1 Motorway.  We have adequate car parking facilities to the rear of the premises.

We believe parents/carers are the most important educators for their children and that by working in partnership with you we can encourage each child to develop and progress. Therefore, from your first tour of the Nursery, we will assign you with a key person who is responsible for your child's well being, learning and development. Your key person will be able to support you with learning at home including toileting etc, discuss building relationships and confidence, prepare you child ready for school when necessary and much more whilst ensuring they are happy and motivated to learn.

At Sunnybank we are committed to promoting British Values. We value the diverse ethnic backgrounds of all our children and families and celebrate a variety of events and occasions. We promote values in many ways; by teaching children right from wrong at an early age, by teaching and encouraging decision making and democracy, by teaching respect for each others views and values, talking about our feelings and learning about sharing and taking turns during play.

The Nursery is focused on our Mission Statement and feel this reflects British Values.

Since the start of the food hygiene rating system was introduced, we have received the 5 star food hygiene rating awarded by the North East Derbyshire Environmental Health Authority. Our menus are carefully designed and can be viewed on this website. 

Our latest inspection is dated 30th May 2017 and graded 5 stars!

We currently have weekly Spanish lessons for the children in the pre-school room.  This is a fantastic opportunity for our older children to gain knowledge and awareness through an alternative language as well as to explore cultural differences.  The 20 minute lessons run on Tuesday mornings between 9:30am - 10am and are taken by a qualified Spanish Teacher.  The children explore stories, songs and rhymes as well as looking at colours, numbers and shapes in the Spanish Language.  If you are interested in your child taking up this additional activity, then please speak to a member of the staff team.

Find out more at:

What our customers have to say about Sunnybank