Acorn Cottage, Shipley Bridge

Our nursery on the outskirts of Horley is a 50 place day nursery in countryside on the Sussex and Surrey border near Gatwick airport.
Acorn Cottage is a converted house which offers a large environment for babies between 0-15 months, Under 2’s, 2 – 3years and Pre-School room.
All age groups have their own spacious indoor/outdoor environments, where practitioners enhance each stage of your child’s learning journey right up until they start school.
On offer to all of the children are a wide variety of open ended resources to challenge each area of their development, with the children being encouraged to take age appropriate manageable risks.
We pride ourselves on working cohesively with our parents/carers to ensure a home from home environment is offered and children’s full potential is met.

Our Management Team

Julie Christmas, Manager

Julie is a highly experienced childcare manager at Cranbrook Nursery Acorn Cottage since 2016 previously managing all of the nurseries in the Cranbrook family in a career starting in 1993. She has qualifications in childcare and behaviour management and manages and mentors a large team in this busy nursery.

Julie’s ethos is to provide children with firm foundations for their future success in early years – life skills to enable them to take risks and resolve issues. She is passionate about trying new ideas and in making the nursery experience a home-from-home for every child. 

Jodie Day, Deputy Manager

Jodie has been part of the Cranbrook Nurseries team since starting her career in 2009 and at Acorn Cottage since 2017. She is a trained professional with qualifications in childcare, autism awareness and special educational needs for which she has a specialist interest.

Jodie believes in tailoring resources to provide each child with the best start for their next stage of education, fostering imagination, emotional skills and a sense of curiosity. She enjoys her hands-on role with the children and in supporting and mentoring the nursery team. 

Carlene Facey – Regional manager 

Carlene is a passionate early years advocate with childcare experience starting in 2003. She holds a masters degree in early education and an early years teacher status. She comes with a wealth of experience in supporting parents and carers through workshops as well as nurseries with compliance and helping them to maintain high quality care and education.

In the most recent years she has worked across several nurseries as an operations manager, inspector and independent consultant. Carlene hopes to achieve a doctorate in educational psychology in the near future

Natalie Chrystie, Operations Manager

As the Operations Manager for Childcare And Learning Group, Natalie has responsibility for supporting and developing the nurseries and pre-schools within the group, including Castle Nursery in Shamley Green.

Natalie is a qualified childcare specialist with over 40 years experience working in the childcare industry including many years running individual nurseries for the group. Leading a senior team of three regional managers and a special projects manager, she ensures that nurseries have the facilities, support and training required to meet the group’s own high standards for best practice in childcare. 

“We know that Cranbrook is only as good as the relationship between our staff and our customers (the big ones and the little ones!) and we plan to continue listening and responding to parents’ needs, quickly and effectively.