Pre-school education in nursery

There are funded pre-school education places in nursery schools, primary schools, some private pre-school playgroup settings and day nurseries. The funded places are for children in their immediate year before they reach primary school-age.

Nursery schools and nursery units

Nursery schools and primary schools with nursery units provide pre-school education for children in their immediate pre-school year. There are teachers and assistants in nurseries. The minimum staff to child ratio is one staff member to thirteen children.  If a school doesn't fill their pre-school education places , these places might be available to younger children.

Funded places in private settings

Some private and voluntary education settings provide funded pre-school education places. The minimum staff to child ratio is one staff member to eight children. These settings don't take children who aren't in their immediate pre-school year.

Pre-school education

Pre-school education can help prepare your child for primary school by providing:

  • play-based learning activities
  • other experiences in a stimulating environment

Pre-school education places

Most places are available:

  • at least two and a half hours per day
  • five days a week
  • for at least 38 weeks from September to June

Some nursery schools and classes offer full-time pre-school places of four and a half hours each day.

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