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Our Story

Hannah Hurley bought the nursery in 2013 shortly after her daughter left the setting. Hannah trained in early years when her son (now 29) was five and had always wanted to own a nursery, during her training she experienced Steiner, Montessori and other education methods, was so inspired by the Montessori method of child-led learning that she wanted to continue to develop it.  At Rooftops she set out to create a safe, calm environment built on the past owners in which children can follow their instincts and explore at their own pace.

Building on this foundation, we now follow the Curiosity Approach creating thinkers and doers. Our nursery staff follow the interests of the child and work with them from play through to songs and stories.  

As the only private nursery in Richmond, which is a beautiful historic market town in North Yorkshire, we very much see ourselves as a key of the community for early years and this is conveyed through the personal approach and attentiveness of our staff.

Kid eating

Hannah Hurley, Owner is a qualified nursery nurse, with more than 15 years experience in the NHS. She passionately believes in child-led learning and is extremely dedicated along with her team of experienced staff to ensure children are nurtured in a fun, caring and safe environment. 

Debbie Kilburn, Nursery Manager is qualified to Level 4 in Childcare with more than 20 years’ experience working with children. She is very dedicated to the day-to-day smooth running of the nursery and is the face of the nursery .

Rebecca Smith, Deputy Manager and Caterpillar Room Leader is qualified to Level 3 in Childcare with more than XX years’ experience. She goes over and above to build strong relationship with each child and parent in her care, and support Debbie as her Deputy.

Find out more about the staff in the caterpillar, butterfly and dragonfly rooms.

The Curiosity Approach aims to create 'thinkers and doers' by putting the child at the centre of their own development and education.

We encourage our children to develop their curiosity by providing everyday items and allowing them to explore, imagine, create and learn. A key emphasis of this approach is on the nature and the outdoors, and we spend a lot of time in our garden and local park. We have seen this back-to-basics approach bring joy and happiness to the children as they follow their own ideas and schematic learning styles. 

It is an ethos which celebrates magical moments, stimulates passion and imagination, encourages learning and curiosity, and promotes awe and wonder.

We provide a healthy and nutritious hot meal each day supplied by Apetitio.  Children are encouraged to set the table and serve themselves developing their independence from a young age.  They even help with the washing up afterwards! All our children sit around a table where they can chat to each other, fostering excellent social skills.

We also provide cereal and toast for breakfast from 7.30am, mid-morning and afternoon snacks of crackers and fresh fruit provided by our local fruit and veg shop ‘Neeps and Tatties’, and a light tea which varies daily but includes sandwiches, soup, beans on toast followed by a yoghurt or fruit.

We encourage our children to keep hydrated by drinking lots of water.  We also provide milk.  We do not allow any fizzy drinks or squashes.  Our staff lead by example by always having a water bottle to hand. 

Our approach to planning meets the requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), which is the statutory Government requirement for children’s education.  It is based on ongoing observations and assessments of your child in the three prime areas of learning: communication and language; physical development; and personal, social and emotional development. Plus, there are four specific areas of learning: literacy; mathematics; understanding the world; and expressive arts and design.

Rated Overall Standard – Good.  Ofsted Report April 2022

“Children are happy, settled, and safe in the nursery. They build warm, close relationships with staff. Where children are new and need support to settle, staff are on hand to provide cuddles and reassurance. This helps to develop children's confidence and self-esteem. Children engage in a wide variety of interesting and exciting activities.”

Read our latest report at