Childcare and Early Years

Day nurseries, preschool and playgroups

Day nurseries

Day nurseries offer care and education for children under 5 years old. Not all nurseries have the facilities to take babies.

They provide fun and learning on a full or part-time basis and are usually open all year. Many now offer a range of flexible care patterns including part-time, morning and afternoon sessions.

There are different kinds of day nurseries - private, community, local authority or workplace. The size and facilities they provide may vary.

Pre-school and playgroups

Pre-school and playgroups are for young children to learn and play in small groups, often close to their homes. They provide care for children aged 2½ to 5 years, with some from 2 years. Sessions are about 3 hours in a morning or afternoon during term time. Some pre-schools offer extended sessions, so children can stay a full day.

Pre-school and playgroups are run by qualified playgroup leaders. They are often held on school sites, in church halls or community centres. This is a good opportunity for you to meet and get to know parents in your area.

Special Educational Needs

Nurseries and pre-schools should have a Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo) who works with the rest of the staff to identify and support additional needs.

Find day nurseries, preschool and playgroups

Our Family Information Directory has details of approved nurseries and pre-schools.

Find a nursery or preschool