Pre-schools and nurseries
A pre-school is an early years setting where young children under statutory school age have the opportunity to learn through play. They are also sometimes known as a playgroup. Pre-schools or playgroups are aimed at children aged 2-5 years.
They offer sessional care, for example mornings or afternoons with a break at lunch time and offer sessions of between 2.5 and 4 hours in term time. The majority of pre-schools offer 15 hours a week free early learning for two, three and four year olds and some can offer up to 30 hours. You can access free early learning at pre-schools and playgroups.
Pre-schools are often run from community venues such as village halls.
Nurseries offer full day care, all year round, opening hours vary but are usually from 8am through to 6pm. Nurseries care for children aged birth to 5.
Nurseries tend to be organised around the ages of children, and will often be split into rooms for different aged children. Each room will have a lead staff member, and the staff team will tend to remain with the same children.
Nurseries can be privately owned or run by the local authority. You can access 15 hours and 30 hours of free early education at nurseries.
Both pre-schools and nurseries have to follow the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) set by government and have to be registered by Ofsted.