At Once upon a time we aim to provide families the very best childcare in Norwich. Set up in 2007 by Julie and John Banbury, we’re a family-owned, family-managed business with four nursery schools. All of our settings offer a homely, safe and friendly environment. And our wide range of resources has been chosen to inspire young children.

In 2017, Julie and John welcomed their daughter, Georgia, into the business.  We’re proud to have two of our nursery schools currently rated as ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted and two rated as ‘Good’.

Jess Jones
Dionne and Michael Bowen Testimonial

At the heart of everything



Our number one priority is to take care of your most treasured possession. Knowing that your child is safe and secure, being encouraged to try new things and given reassurance when needed – you’ll know they’re in capable hands.


A big part of what we do involves the children learning through play and having fun. We encourage them to express themselves and become more confident, we help them solve problems and we prepare them well for school.


Interacting with their peers at a young age helps promote understanding, tolerance and respect for others. As a result, friendships and a sense of belonging develop and important lifelong skills are formed.


When your child is with us they’ll experience a wide range of activities. From story times to body painting. From bug hunting to going on trips. From eating things they might not try at home to watching ducklings hatch.

Tapestry is an easy-to-use, online learning journal that helps nursery practitioners and parents to record, track and celebrate a child’s progress.

From first steps and messy play to learning phonics and new games, there’s so much for young children to do, learn and take in during their early years. Tapestry enhances this special time, helping our practitioners to capture children’s experiences as well as monitor learning and development. Each child’s journal is shared online with their parents, who can see special moments, view their child’s progress and even add their own content. Parent involvement is something we promote at all times while your child is at nursery. By working together, we can achieve the very best outcomes for your child.

Text, images and videos are uploaded throughout the day via our hand-held tablets. Every entry helps to create a complete story of a child’s time at Once upon a time.

Tapestry covers the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Key Stage 1 (KS1) and Key Stage 2 (KS2), and is designed to simplify and improve recording within these curricula. It is used by hundreds of nurseries, pre-schools and schools all over the country. Each setting receives its own web address and secure log-in details, as well as full viewing and editing controls.

When your child leaves Once upon a time we provide you with a memory stick that contains a permanent version of your child’s journal as a keepsake. A copy is also sent to your child’s Infant School.

Andy Hanby Testimonial

Here we explain what funding is available and how to apply for Tax Free Childcare.

The EYFS sets standards for the learning, development and care of your child.

All nursery schools need rules, and ours are comprehensively documented.

The number of children who’ve attended our nursery schools

The amount of money we’ve raised for 14 local charities

The number of stories we've read to the children

The number of home cooked meals we've prepared

What happens at nursery?

Jumping Kids

We plan for fun!

Our teams plan a themed range of activities which are then developed based on the children’s interests, curiosity and imaginations. Play is a child’s work.
Playing Outdoors

Outdoors – rain or shine

We encourage the children to spend time outside whether it’s to let off steam, play quietly or simply to get some fresh air, whatever the weather!

Story time

We wouldn’t be Once upon a time without story time. We read stories morning and afternoon. In fact, many of our activities are planned around the books we read.
Meal times

Meal times

We provide breakfast, a home-cooked lunch, afternoon tea plus morning and afternoon fruit snacks. We provide child-friendly, nutritional and balanced menus.

Our gallery

We work in partnership with...

Norfolk County Council Logo
Tapestry Logo
Ofsted Logo
Active Futures Logo