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LEA Nursery Schools

Find registered childcare near you

Local education authority (LEA) maintained nursery schools and classes are attached to LEA infant and primary schools in Surrey. Places are mostly available on a part time basis, either in the morning or afternoon, for children aged between three and five years old, although some will take 2 year olds.

They support nursery provision in accordance with statutory legislation to provide 15 hours of Free childcare for all 3 and 4 year olds and may also provide Free childcare for 2 year olds. This provision is also available through private, voluntary and independent nurseries, pre school playgroups and childminders.


What is the ratio of staff to children?

The statutory staffing requirements for children aged three and over are:

  • there must be at least one member of staff for every 13 children
  • at least one member of staff must be a school teacher as defined by Section 122 of the Education Act 2002 and the Education (School Teachers' Prescribed Qualifications, etc) Order 2003
  • at least one other member of staff must hold a full and relevant level 3 qualification

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Do they have any training?

Someone within the nursery must attend a safeguarding training course and take lead responsibility for safeguarding children. In addition at least one person must have a current paediatric first aid certificate and all staff involved in preparing and handling food must receive training in food hygiene.

Some Early years professionals may also be Early Years Teachers, which is professional accreditation on the same level as a graduate.

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What is the average fee?

There is no charge to attend an LEA nursery as these are funded by the government through the local authority. However, there may be a charge for out of hours care such as a breakfast or after school club.

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How can I apply for a place?

Generally you should register your child for a nursery place well before their third birthday. You will need to apply directly to the headteacher or governing body of the nursery school or class and they will arrange admission.

You can search for LEA maintained nursery schools and classes in your area in our Childcare Finder.

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What happens when it is time for my child to move on to infant or primary school?

If you are successful in getting a nursery school place for your child this does not guarantee a place in any school attached to it.

You will still have to apply for a school place using the countywide school application process.

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Further reading

You can find further information about choosing, finding and paying for childcare in our Choosing childcare booklet.

Files available to download

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