Skip to main content

Early Years Education

Early Years Education can start with parents teaching thier child at home or in any of the following types of pre-school settings

Day Nurseries

Day nurseries offer education and care for for children aged between 3 months and 5 years. They are open on weekdays, usually between 8:00am and 6:00pm but sometimes for longer than this. Care is often offered all year round except bank holidays and some may close for a week around Christmas.

Registered Childminders

Childminders are self employed and work from their own homes to provide education and childcare. The age ranges they offer care for will depend on their registration and the children they already care for. Most work from 8:00am until 6:00pm but they are usually flexible, offering care outside these times. Some childminders provide evening or weekend care and many pick up or drop off at other childcare providers and schools.

Nursery Classes at School

Nursery classes are usually attached to a primary school and provide the free early education funding for for 3 and 4 year olds, with some now taking 2 year olds. You may also be able to pay for extra hours if there are spaces available. Attendance at nursery classes does not guarantee your child a place at the school. Children can attend from the start of the term after their third birthday and they are open during term time only.


Pre-schools are often located in places such as community centres and church halls and are run by voluntary groups or committees. They often offer care for children aged 2 years to 5 years but some don't take children until they are 3 years old. Sessions are usually offered during term-time and have similar hours to the school day.

Support for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).

Early years staff in independant providers are assisted by advice and training provided by the Early Years Advisory Teacher for Inclusion.

Mainsteam Nurseries have access to the Educational Psychology Service

Also some children with SEND may be eligible to gain support from the Portage home teaching service.