Group-based childcare

All group-based childcare settings must be registered with Ofsted if they operate for more that two hours a day, and if they are for 0-5 year olds they must follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Guidance.

Day nurseries

A day nursery provides childcare for 0-5 year olds and opens 8am to 6pm for approximately 50 weeks a year. They provide day care and education for children in age related groups. Charges vary depending on the setting and the age of the child. To find out more contact Families Information Service on 0800 587 8042.

Pre-schools or playgroups

Pre-schools or playgroups give care and early education for children between three and five years old.

A pre-school or playgroup is generally a group organised by a community or voluntary group on a not-for-profit basis, often with help from parents.

They tend to offer sessions from three hours, during term time, either every day or on several days a week.

For more information on pre-schools or playgroups you can contact the Families Information Service on 0800 587 8042.

School-based childcare

Many schools provide access to a variety of activities outside the school day. These can range from high quality childcare to activities such as music, art, sport or additional study support.

As a result the school is often open from 8.00am to 6.00pm, all year round.

Depending on the hours you work, you can opt for a combination of:

  • breakfast clubs (normally open from 8am),
  • after-school clubs (typically from 3.30pm to 6pm) and
  • holiday clubs (8am to 6pm), which run outside of term time.

Often referred to as out-of-school clubs, these services are based on school sites, but may also be in youth clubs, community centres or nurseries. Some schools organise the childcare themselves, but others will work with local voluntary groups, private providers and childminders, who will provide staff and sometimes facilities.

For more information on school based care you can contact the Families Information Service on 0800 587 8042.

Nursery classes in schools and nursery schools

Nursery classes

The majority of primary schools have nursery provision where children can be admitted part-time the term following their third birthday.

Schools traditionally offer five morning or afternoon sessions. A session is three hours long. Some school nurseries offer the Early Years Free Entitlement more flexibly and this can be accessed over three days instead of five.

Nursery schools

The nursery schools provide part-time places for 3 and 4 year olds.

Contact us

Early Years

Room 41
County Hall

01924 305665