At YMCA Childcare we believe that children deserve the best possible start to their education. We hope to provide this in the Nursery and in the Community, by offering a safe, secure and happy environment in which children will feel confident and ready to learn. They will be supported  by experienced staff who are all committed to providing quality, nursery education and support.


YMCA Suffolk currently operates two nurseries in Lowestoft; YMCA Childcare at Water Lane and YMCA Childcare at St Margaret’s Road. YMCA Childcare at Waterlane is based at The Ark Children’s Centre and YMCA Childcare at St. Margaret’s Road is a stand alone building based on St. Margaret’s Road, Lowestoft.

Water Lane offers full day care and funded sessions for children aged 18 months to 5 years and is open term time only (38 weeks a year).

St Margaret’s Road offers full day care and funded sessions for children aged 2 years to 5 Years and is open all year round (51 weeks a year).

We also offer a breakfast and after school club and holiday club for children up to the age of 12 years. The out of school provision is based at St Margaret’s Road.

You can find out more here on the YMCA Suffolk website or you can download our prospectus:

Childcare Prospectus

SCC Free Childcare information

2 year funding information


At nursery, children take part in a variety of child chosen and adult led activities. We operate a ‘free-flow play’ where children can move between indoors and outdoors of their own free will and choice, regardless of the weather, throughout the day. Learning through play helps the children develop at their own pace; having fun, making friends and learning as they play to become confident, secure children.

Each nursery operates a key person system where a member of staff will work with parents and carers to ensure the nursery provides what is right for the child’s particular needs and interests. The key person will form attachments with children, parents and carers, helping to settle children into the nursery routine and undertaking care routines.

Panda room at Water Lane

ymca childcare panda room 1Panda room provides a warm, welcoming and stimulating environment for the younger of our children. The Panda room can care for up to 15 children that are aged from 18 months to 2 and a half years.
ymca childcare panda room 2

Giraffe Room at Water Lane

ymca childcare giraffe room 1The Giraffe room welcomes the older children, accommodating up to 36 children aged from 2 and a half to 5 years old.

Jellyfish Room at St Margaret’s Road

ymca childcare jellyfish room 1

The Jellyfish room welcomes children aged 2 to 3 years and can accommodate up to 24 children at one time. We have a wide variety of fun, enjoyable, play based activities available to help promote all areas of development and to encourage individual choices.

These activities include messy play, books, role play, creative activities, construction, heuristic play and sensory play. We provide soft mats in our quiet area for children who wish to rest or sleep.

Children have free access to a large outside area where we encourage play in all weathers.

Starfish Room at St Margaret’s Road

ymca childcare starfish room 1

The Starfish room welcomes children aged 3 to 5 years and can accommodate up to 31 children at one time.

We have a wide range of activities available throughout the room and our outside area, such as role play, creative activities, music, construction, messy play, books and investigation.

We ensure children are involved in choosing what activities they would like to do and we always plan around the children’s interests.

ymca childcare starfish room 2
We have a sensory / quiet room where children can engage in a range of sensory activities and take part in small social interaction groups.

We encourage outside play and the children are able to go outside in all weathers.