Pre schools

Find registered childcare near you

Pre-schools provide early education to under-fives. Groups which are open for two hours or more a day must be registered with Ofsted.

Most pre-schools:

  • will take children from two to five years old.
  • are open throughout the school year for morning, afternoon or full day sessions. They are generally open from 9am to 3pm.
  • are often non-profit making and run by a committee of volunteers. Some private businesses also operate pre-schools.

How can I apply for a place?

You can apply for a place by contacting the pre-school directly. If you are applying for a funded childcare place you may have to register your child well in advance as many childcare providers operate waiting lists.

You can search for pre-school playgroups in your area in our Childcare finder.

What is the ratio of staff to children?

The statutory staffing requirements are:

  • for two to three-year-olds - one member of staff for every five children
  • for over three-year-olds - one member of staff for every eight children

Do they have any training?

Supervisors and managers must hold a full relevant level 3 qualification. Half of all other staff must hold a minimum of a level 2 qualification. Some Early years professionals are Early Years Teachers, a professional accreditation on the same level as a graduate.

Everyone within the pre-school must attend a safeguarding training course. Someone in the pre-school must take lead responsibility for safeguarding children. At least one person must have a current paediatric first aid certificate. All staff involved in preparing and handling food must receive training in food hygiene.

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