The Ark Day Nursery is situated in the quiet village of Epwell, eight miles from Banbury, set back from the road in its own grounds. The Nursery has been carefully designed and built within the private grounds of the owner; to offer ample play space and nursery accommodation for 16 children aged from 2 to 5 years of age.

In The Ark’s most recent Ofsted inspection they were awarded the highest possible grading of ‘Oustanding’. 

Oxfordshire County Council, Rebecca Matthews, Interim director of Education and Learning noted the following details in The Ark’s report as particularly impressive:

  • Children are extremely independent and confident decision makers, as they are actively involved in making their own choices throughout the day.
  • Systems for the assessment of children are sharply focussed, clearly showing that children make exceptional progress.
  • Robust recruitment processes, regular supervision and checking staff performance lead to a high level of quality care and education throughout the nursery.
  • Excellent partnerships between parents and the nursery staff ensure that parents are well informed about their child’s developmental progress.

The official report can be accessed here

Our team

Julia Neal


Julia has her own family of three and the founder of The Ark. Over the years Julia has achieved a variety of studies and qualifications; a BA Honors Degree in Childhood Studies, and most recently achieved Early Years Teacher Status and is now one of Oxfordshire’s Leaders of Early Learning. In addition holds a First aid certificate and in her own time is a NHS Community First Responder, as well as a Level 2 Award in Food Hygiene and Saftey.

Nikki Williams

Deputy Manager

Nikki has over 10 years of experience here at The Ark. In addition she has achieved a BA Honors Degree in Childhood Studies – Level 6. She also holds a valid First Aid and a Food hygiene certificate.

Debra Warner

Nursery Assistant

Debra has been working with children for many years. She has a NVQ Level 3 qualification in Early Years Childcare and Education. In addition she holds a valid First Aid and a Food hygiene certificate.

Gill Smith


Gill has worked in child care for many years and works part time at The Ark. She has The Early Years Foundation Degree – Level 5 qualification as well as a valid First Aid and a Food hygiene certificate.

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