Nursery education

How do I find nurseries, childcare and playgroups?

For information about all the nurseries in your area contact the Family Information Service. Contact details for the Family Information Service and other organisations are on our page about finding childcare in your area.

Can I get financial help?

All parents of three-year-olds are entitled to government money for their child's nursery education. Find out more about getting financial help to send your child to nursery.

What if my preferred nursery is full?

Nurseries and playgroups are registered for a limited number of children and cannot exceed this number.

If your chosen nursery has no vacancies, you should contact the Family Information Service for details of other nurseries in your area.

There is no right of appeal with regard to nursery or playgroup places within the private or voluntary sector. All providers offering nursery education have agreed to follow guidelines on inclusion and equal opportunities. You should contact the providers for more information.

Who can help if my child has special educational needs (SEN)?

Pre-school children with special educational needs are supported across the county by the Early Years Service.

The service:

  • visits children from birth to school age
  • supports children in their own homes, playgroups and pre-schools, and in their first days at mainstream school
  • provides training to pre-school and playgroup staff and to parents.

Early Years teachers have close links with professionals in the health authority, such as speech and language therapists.

For more information please contact the Early Years Teaching Support Service.

The Early Years Foundation Stage

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is compulsory in all Ofsted-registered nurseries.

The EYFS covers the first stage of your child's development, from birth to the end of their first, or reception year in school. It explains how people working in childcare and education should work with you and your children to support your child's development and learning.

Find out more about the the Early Years Foundation Stage.