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The Back to the Garden Childcare Project

"We are stardust

We are golden

And we've got to get ourselves

Back to the Garden"

©Joni Mitchell 1969 Woodstock lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Welcome to the first Back To The Garden Nursery


Back to the Garden is a day nursery concept with a fresh approach to childcare by focussing very much on the child, allowing them to choose their learnings, follow their interests and set their own pace for development.  The ethos of the concept is a focus on natural things, getting ‘back to the garden’ to innocence and organising the environment to provide all the tools a child needs for learning, interaction and play and for social and personal development.


The location of each nursery is significant.  Each Back to the Garden day nursery will occupy a spacious and safe plot, with the location strategically chosen to answer national Government calls to position childcare facilities away from busy main roads, where elevated levels of pollution are increasingly being linked to hindered general development and the increase in childhood asthma, plus other health related issues.


Back to the Garden is about a philosophy of children being able to explore, follow their own ideas, test their environment, see what works and what doesn’t without a sense of failure.  In science, we learn as much from negative results as from positive.  Our nursery is designed to enable children to participate fully in the experience, to become involved, to fully participate in their learning, much of which an adult would see as play, but just listen to the conversations, the hundred languages of children. 

A Brief History


Ex-teachers, husband and wife team, Stewart and Jeannie Pickering, are the dynamic and forward-thinking partnership behind Back to the Garden.

Experts in the childcare sector, the duo has a real passion for child development and natural learning, and a proven track record in the nursery business, having previously set up and developed the hugely successful kidsunlimited brand before selling the business in 2008.


Their enthusiasm for delivering exceptional care and a desire to encourage more children ‘back to the garden’ has brought them back into the sector with a vision to create an exceptional new nursery brand that focuses on the health, wellbeing and personal development of each child and providing the very best care in a stimulating environment that has a dedicated commitment to outdoor play and activities in the fresh air.



The first kidsunlimited nursery opened in a converted (on a shoestring) Victorian detached house in Wilmslow.  As happens in business, we couldn’t find what we wanted in nurseries for our 2 year old son and decided to open our own.



St Mary’s Courtyard, Hulme Regeneration Project, Manchester

Nominated for the prestigious Royal Institute of British Architecture Sterling 2000 prize.

Constructed by McGoff and Byrne



Jeannie and Stewart retired from kidsunlimited 



Chris McGoff and Stewart met to discuss a new nursery project and tempted Stewart out of retirement and there the story began …..It took 8 years to get to September 2018 and the opening of Back To The Garden Childcare in Broadheath, Altrincham.

Back to the Garden Childcare is the newest part of the The McGoff Group


The McGoff Group is a multi-faceted UK-based group of family-owned businesses with expertise in construction, housebuilding, health and care 


The advantage of developing a new company being supported by the infrastructure provided by the Group cannot be understated. Professional HR, Finance and Facilities Management has given the company a great foundation and a springboard for further development.


McGoff Construction is a multi-award-winning construction and integrated support services business that works with a select list of well-known branded businesses nationally and internationally in the leisure, retail and healthcare sectors.


Its holistic service offering includes site identification and acquisition, architectural design, construction, interior design and facilities management tailored to the specific requirements of its client base.  Along with a number ISO quality, environmental and health and safety accreditations, the company holds NHBC and Investors in People Gold accreditation.


The company mission is to deliver truly bespoke environments, built to exceptional standards and tailored to the aspirations of its discerning clients.

New Care


Another division of the McGoff Group is New Care, a fast growing care home business with a reputation for excellence both in terms of the design and build of its exceptional boutique hotel-style new build care home environments and in the delivery of its high quality, person-centred care.  Setting itself firmly apart from other care home operators, New Care has a vision to dramatically improve care standards across the UK with its passionate staff team delivering an outstanding clinical offering that includes residential, nursing and specialist dementia care with an engaging programme of daily activities.

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