Who we are

The development and training of our practitioners is something that we take very seriously at the Ark. After all, we recognise that those who are going to be entrusted with your loved ones need to be fully in touch with the latest developments in childcare and Early Years Education.

Three members of our team hold Early Years degrees and two have achieved their Early Years Professional Status. We ensure that all other permanent members are qualified to a minimum of Level 3.

All staff have undergone paediatric first-aid training and three members of staff are trained in Special Educational Needs. Recent courses attended include: Fun on the Floor; Developing Emotional Resilience; Beginning with Babies; Forest School and Superhero Play, and Totem Pole.

It goes without saying that all our staff are CRB/DBS checked.

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Jo - Founder and Owner of the Ark Nurseries

The owner of the Ark Nurseries, Jo O'Bryan-Tear, recognises that each child is unique, and that each child will have his or her own way of learning. 

Jo started her first Stamford nursery in 2001. At that time Jo was looking for a nursery for her own children and realised that the garden level of her own Georgian house with large walled garden was a perfect solution.  Jo was influenced by Scandinavian educational practices and design.  The cosy and homely environment that was unique to Jo’s first setting, St George’s Square Nursery, would probably today be described as Hygge! Families were enchanted by the loving staff and attention to every detail.  

The nursery soon outgrew the building and the current Ark on Foundry Road building was transported from Sweden. The beautiful log cabin was built in 2007 next door to St Gilbert’s School and parents and visitors always comment on the cosiness and warmth that the wooden walls and ceilings create. In 2017, our second nursery on Kesteven Road opened, built in the same way and offering the same cosy feel as our first nursery.

In 2012, Jo and some of the Ark staff pursued an interest in Forest School, which also originated in Scandinavia, and began their training.

We are fortunate to have our own Outdoor Learning site and now have three fully qualified Forest School teachers. We are excited to be able to offer full-days of Forest School for both our nurseries where we have our own our own 18 foot yurt with woodburner.


Helen Watson - Area Manager

Fiona Warren - Manager at Kesteven Road

Vickie - Curriculum Lead, Forest School teacher and Family Co-ordinator


Emma - Deputy Manager at Kesteven Road


Linda Sheldrick - Deputy Manager at Foundry Road