About Red Bus

About Red Bus

In 2011, Liz Hogarth opened the first Red Bus Nursery & Pre-School in Coombe Dingle (BS9) as she wanted to create an outstanding, creative and exceptional childcare setting based on her own requirements for her young daughter. The second nursery in Downend (BS16) was opened in 2015 and both nurseries were awarded OUTSTANDING status for their last Ofsted inspections. 

Employing over 150 committed and dedicated staff over the two sites and looking after 380 little ones every day, Red Bus has achieved something to be extremely proud of. The investment into the settings continues with innovative additions such as water play rooms, yurts and unique outside spaces. 

Red Bus is a relaxed and fun place for children to spend their time and where people can work - it’s a non-stop, exciting journey and we don’t plan to stop any time soon!
Red Bus Culture

It’s a cliche, but our people really are the heart and soul of Red Bus. We trust them to provide outstanding care to the children we look after and, in turn, we give them the best possible work environment with support, career progression and perks in abundance.

We pride ourselves on encouraging a culture of openness, honesty and positivity and appreciate feedback from our fantastic staff on how to maintain this. Our career path is unique to most early years settings and we’re exceptionally lucky to be able to offer many different positions to all levels of childcare practitioners.

Set back off Downend Road, Wendover House is our fantastic nursery which serves Downend and the surrounding areas of Frenchay, Emersons Green, Fishponds, Mangotsfield and further afield due to our proximity to the Ring Road. This beautiful and Grade II listed building has been restored to a remarkable standard and provides a perfect setting to care for up to 116 children. Established over four floors, including a bespoke kitchen and dining area in the basement, the environment is bright, open and has a unique layout which only adds to its charm and appeal. 

The outside space provides lots of room for our children (and staff!) to let off steam and we made a fantastic addition of a 21-foot, glass fronted yurt in 2016. With air conditioning and underfloor heating this space gives our Kindergarten Unit (2-3s) more flexibility all year round and has proved to be very popular. Inside we have the most amazing wet play room where the children can safely let off steam (pardon the pun) and enjoy water play without compromising their safety or getting cold. Again, this is something that’s fairly unique to Red Bus and shows the work and investment we will put into providing a safe and fun environment for our children and staff.

We have three units for our children which are consistent over both Downend and Coombe Dingle. The under 2s are in our Nursery, Kindergarten is for 2-3 year-olds and our 3-5 year-olds are in Pre-School. There are around 50 brilliant staff based at our Downend nursery most of which work full time (40 hours per week) across different shifts to make sure we provide exceptional care for our children from 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday all year round. 

Our staff have their own lockers on the top floor, as well as a kitchen with fridge, freezer, microwave, kettle and dining table. There is also a separate lounge area for relaxing. Our management and support team is also located in the ‘attic’ space with stunning views across Bristol. There is plenty of free street parking
around our nursery and there are shops located a short walk away
to grab lunch or snacks with more shops in Fishponds or
Downend and accessible by car.
Coombe Dingle

Our nursery in Coombe Dingle is a unique building designed with no compromises on space for the children we care for or the exceptional staff who work with us. Despite retaining its wonderful character from uniquely-shaped windows to historical ceilings, we have ensured that the nursery is spacious, bright and free-flowing. Our all-weather outside areas are extraordinary and include a roof garden, water features, sand area and beautiful landscaping which are fully accessible for all age groups.

In 2016 we made extensive improvements to the nursery where we upgraded our Nursery Suite (under 2s), completely redecorated the Kindergarten Unit (2-3s) including bespoke equipment coming all the way from Germany and extended the Pre-School (3-5s). Our separate basement now provides a large area for dining and fun cooking activities.

There is ample free parking available and we have a modern staff room with access to a fridge, microwave and kettle. During your downtime we encourage you to chill out on comfy sofas or you can eat at the dining table. Each staff member has their own locker to keep things safe and secure. Coombe Dingle is a beautiful, leafy suburb with plenty of local areas you can walk to if you want to get some fresh air in your breaks and there are shops very close by to pick up essentials or some lunch. The Mall at Cribbs Causeway is also a short drive away.

As well as providing childcare and employment for the Coombe Dingle area, we also serve the surrounding areas include Henbury, Westbury-on-Trym, Stoke Bishop, Sea Mills, Shirehampton, Lawrence Weston and Avonmouth.

The nursery is large with capacity to care for over 130 children in our three units - Nursery (under 2s), Kindergarten (2-3 years) and Pre-School (3-5 years). We employ over 50 amazing staff in this setting who work a variety of shifts (mainly full time of 40 hours per week) to provide exceptional care from 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday
The nursery at Downend can care for a maximum of 116 children every day with 37 in Nursery, 28 in Kindergarten and 51 in Pre-School.
Coombe Dingle is even bigger and can hold up to 132 children daily. Nursery has a capacity of 36, Kindergarten cares for 40 children and we have 56 in Pre-School.
To keep our nurseries running there is an excellent management team in place for each nursery which includes a Practice Manager and Administrator with responsibility for the overall management sitting with our Early Years Managers.

Each room within the nursery has a separate management structure as follows;

Room Manager
Room Assistant Manager
Lead Practitioners
Nursery Assistants
Lunch Cover

Due to the size of our rooms (which varies from 28 to 56 children) each room can often feel like a small nursery in it’s own right and our management system works in a way which supports this, as well as for each room to be part of the nursery as a whole. When recruiting for these positions, we often look for people with proven nursery management experience to work in our Room Manager and Room Assistant Manager roles. Room Managers in smaller nurseries fit very well into our Lead Practitioner roles, with Level 3 qualified staff being excellent in our Practitioner posts. Nursery Assistants are often unqualified, Level 2 qualified or Apprentices who have a range of skills and experience and are looking to become Level 3 qualified in the future.

We appreciate that most nurseries don’t run the way we do but we’re happy to be different. In fact we really like that.
The Type Of Jobs We Recruit For

Our nurseries are two of the largest in Bristol and we have unique management structures within each unit to ensure that our children are given the best possible care. To this end, we are able to offer many different roles dependent on qualifications and experience. These range from our Nursery Assistants who might be undertaking an apprenticeship or be qualified to Level 2 in early years or childcare, to our Lead Practitioners who are more experienced and Level 3 qualified or our unit Managers who have come from a nursery management background and have at least a Level 3 qualification.

We really do have something to suit everyone who wants to work in early years and we’ll always make room for the right person. You really have nothing to lose by applying for one of our opportunities.
Get In Touch
[email protected]
Get In Touch