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Located in the grounds of HMS Excellent, convenient for the M275, our nursery provides excellent quality childcare for service families and the local community in Portsmouth.

The nursery is on a naval base, offering your child a unique sense of safety and freedom. Your child will access a wide range of activities enabling them to learn and develop through play. Each day brings a different adventure: exploring shoreline nature trails, watching helicopters land, or listening to the Royal Marines Band.

All of our food at nursery is prepared fresh daily so we can ensure your child has healthy, tasty and nutritious meals.

Playing at Whale Island Nursery

Babies (4 months-2 years)

Our experienced team creates a safe and nurturing ‘home from home’ for your child, establishing strong bonds with baby, and with you.

We work closely with you to understand your child’s interests and emerging personality, and help with big steps such as weaning and walking. New experiences are introduced as your child develops, such as treasure baskets and heuristic play sessions.

Your child will have daily opportunities to get messy, be physically active and express their creativity and development. The baby room has its own secure garden perfect for making sense of the great outdoors.

Messy play at Whale Island Nursery

Toddlers (2 – 3 years)

Your toddler needs lots of opportunities to be physically active and to build on their growing confidence and independence. They learn about their environment through play, discovering how fast they can move, co-ordination and developing their imagination. We offer a spacious and stimulating indoor space, coupled with a large garden where your child will benefit from a mixture of child initiated and adult led activities to enhance their learning and help them achieve their next steps. Children are encouraged to be caring, confident and active, and learn to take safe risks in their play.

Our team aims to inspire their young minds by modelling good behaviours and providing exciting activities, such as funky feet painting and role play.

Campfire at Whale Island Nursery

Pre-school (3 – 4 years)

This stimulating and exciting area provides your child with daily opportunities to grow their confidence, independence, and social skills. Activities range from construction to small world play to messy play, such as gloop, sand, water, play dough and jelly. There is open access to the role play area, where they can enter the magical world of their developing imaginations.

The outdoor space is an important element, providing a natural environment to learn how to problem solve, take calculated risks and make decisions. Your child will have adventures exploring all corners of the island, plus off-site trips to experience the wider world before they start school.

Reading at Whale Island Nursery

Free childcare

Your child is entitled to 15 hours of free childcare per week from the term after their 3rd birthday. If you are in work, you could be entitled to an additional 15 hours of free childcare. To find out if you are eligible for the additional 15 hours please visit

Some 2 year olds in our area are also entitled to free funded childcare sessions. Please contact us to check your child’s entitlement.

Wall climbing at Whale Island Nursery

Opening times & information

We are open Monday to Friday 7.30am-6.00pm, 51 weeks per year.

Children can join us from age 4 months to 5 years.

Child on the telephone

Contact us

Parents are welcome to visit the nursery.  However, due to the nursery’s location on a naval base, you will need to make an appointment. Please contact us in advance on 02394 218321 or email us at [email protected].


Find us at YMCA Nursery Whale Island, HMS Excellent, Whale Island, Portsmouth PO2 8ER. There is plenty of dedicated parking for parents immediately outside the nursery.

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