The nursery is the newest of four childcare centres run by the universityBethan Moss

A new nursery for children of staff and students at the University of Cambridge is due to open in January 2022.

The Chris Abell Day nursery will be located behind the Education Faculty on Harrison Drive, off Hills Road. It is thought that the location will be particularly convenient for staff and students based at the Biomedical Campus, or in southern areas of Cambridge.

The nursery is named after Professor Chris Abell, former chair of the Nursery Project Board (NPB) and Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research, who died in October 2020. It is the newest of four childcare centres run by the university.

In a news post announcing the opening, it is stated that “the new nursery will help to meet the demand for high quality nursery places, helping staff and students with childcare that fits around work and study.”

Reflecting on the significance of the nursery’s opening, Vice-Chancellor Professor Stephen Toope said: “The pressures of childcare have become more apparent than ever during the pandemic, so it is wonderful to be able to offer our staff and students with children more support. Providing quality early years childcare is essential.”

The Vice-Chancellor went on: “I hope it will also help us in retaining talented working parents and carers. I am particularly touched because the new day nursery will be named after Chris, who was its most enthusiastic champion.”


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Professor Abell is described as having carried out his duty as chair of the NPB with “tenacity and enthusiasm”, with his family emphasising his dedication to the project: “Chris cared deeply about this project. He worked tirelessly to make the University somewhere staff and researchers felt supported; this is an enduring part of that legacy. We are delighted to see it open.”

Construction of the nursery began in spring of this year. According to the university, the building “has been constructed to the highest levels of sustainability, in line with the University’s commitment to sustainable construction.”

The nursery will be managed on behalf of the University by Kids Planet, with applications via the Childcare Office website opening on Monday 8th November.