There are day nurseries and nursery schools. Please see below for more information.
Last reviewed June 2019.
A nursery school is independent of any school, although it may feed into a particular one. Nursery schools have to be registered with the Government regulatory bodies, and deliver the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum.
There are different types of nursery schools, including:
- State Nursery Schools - funded by the local education authority
- Private Nusery Schools - Independently run and charge fees, generally cater for children aged 0 - 5 years and can offer full day care. 2 & 3 year funding can be available at private nurseries
Day Nurseries are able to offer childcare and early years education for children from birth to pre-school 5 year olds. Nurseries usually open Monday to Friday throughout the year from 8am to 6pm, sometimes longer, to fit in with a normal working day. Children can attend full- or part-time with some day nurseries taking babies from a few weeks old. Day nurseries vary in size from small home-based settings through to purpose built 200 place units. They offer a wide range of activities and combine both care and early years education. Many can also offer out of school care for children of school age.
There are different kinds of day nurseries - privately run, community, council or workplace however they must all be registered and regularly inspected by Ofsted.
All settings must meet the 14 national standards relating to issues such as health and safety, equipment and the care and learning they provide.
They must also comply with strict guidelines on staff/children ratios. In general, these ratios are one carer for every three 0-2 year olds, one carer for every four 2-3 year olds, and one carer for every eight 3-5 year olds.
Nurseries can be expensive, the average cost of a partime (25 hours, under 2 years) place per week is £127 (Source: Coram Family and Childcare, Childcare survey 2019) however there is help available for childcare costs. Visit www.childcarechoices.gov.uk for more details.
A day nursery is ideal if you are looking for 100% reliable childcare - your child's care will not fall to pieces if a member of staff is away ill.
It is also good if you are looking for continuity of care. As a day nursery can provide a funded early years education place, available from the term after your child's third birthday, your child can remain in this care until he or she starts school, and may even be able to extend this care to after school and school holidays.
On starting a nursery, your child will have a key carer who will be responsible for them, and with whom they can build a relationship more easily. This is particularly important for babies. It is worth remembering that this key carer will probably change as your child reaches different stages of his development and education - for example, most nurseries have a baby room and various toddler rooms, split into different age groups which your child will move through during his time at nursery.
Please see attached Choosing a Day Nursery and Choosing a Nursery School / Class leaflets.
Contact the Family Information Service - 0118 9373777 (option 2) email - email@example.com