Since 1995 Orchard Barns Kindergarten has been providing care and education for children from three months to four years at our three countryside locations in Ardleigh and Stratford St Mary. Our beautiful settings, caring skilled staff and the exceptional opportunities provided for our children have ensured that Orchard Barns has achieved the highest possible grade at every Ofsted inspection for twenty years.

The management team consists of founders and owners Anita Huckle and Susan Moss-Thomas along with Becki Stoker (20 year’s service) Senior Manager and Manager at Ardleigh, Shelley Ward (18 year’s service) Manager at Stratford St Mary and Jamie Cordwell (11 year’s service) Manager at Orchard Barns Babies.

“Leadership is inspirational” Ofsted report August 2015

Please take a look around our website to gain a flavour of our nurseries. However, the best way to get to know Orchard Barns is to come and meet our team and take a tour of our wonderful settings. Come along and see why we are so popular.
• Exceptional outside play space, forest school and outdoor classrooms.
• Caring, experienced and highly qualified staff team with high staff/child ratios.
• Commitment to continuous professional development to maintain the highest standards of care and education
• Expertly designed indoor space providing well planned and stimulating environments with carefully chosen high quality furnishings and equipment.
• An established and true Key Person approach which ensures excellent partnership with parents and an individual approach to children’s care and learning.
• Fast and easy access to the A12 and A120 from all settings and the Ardleigh settings are five minutes from Manningtree railway station.
• High quality resources to support teaching and learning for both staff and children.
• Specialist teachers provide dance, music, yoga and French
• Home-made healthy meals and snacks prepared daily
• Before and after school care and holiday clubs for primary school children at our Stratford setting.
• Flexible attendance

All three sites are open Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm.

Anita Huckle, Headmistress

For over 20 years I have been running nurseries in the Colchester area and I credit the success of those settings to two things.

Firstly, the dedicated staff I have employed have developed the Orchard Barns ethos, curriculum and wonderful caring family atmosphere. Secondly our ability to stay ahead of current trends is achieved through our ethos of continuous development. We always look to improve every area of the nursery.

We do what I consider to be one of the most important jobs in the world and we are privileged to be given the responsibility of caring for and educating little ones. The past twenty years have been a wonderful journey of mostly highs and a few lows, but one I would not have swapped for anything.

Anita Huckle, Proprietor

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  • Consultancy Service

  • Anita Huckle

    For the past twelve years I have assisted other providers with the following services: setting up new nurseries, troubleshooting, curriculum development, health and safety and staff recruitment and development. I have been involved in long and short term contracts to manage settings for other providers. If you are interested in using my services for any area of Nursery Consultancy please contact me at or call 01206 231195