Day nurseries and pre-schools

Standards for the learning, development and care of children

Day nurseries and pre-schools must follow the statutory framework for EYFS when caring for under fives.


Pre-schools and playgroup usually offer a more sessional approach. They provide morning and afternoon groups within the school day and term time only.

Pre-schools that offer part time care, take children from between 2 years and 2 years 6 months upwards. Whereas Day Nurseries can take children from 3-6 months and can offer full day care. They can be contacted directly at any time.

Day nurseries are usually open from 8am to 6pm. Some open earlier and close later to meet parents’ needs.

Most are open 48 to 51 weeks a year. Please contact the individual nursery for their daily/hourly rates

Find a day nursery or pre-school

Day nurseries and pre-schools provide care and early education for children from birth to age five. They are registered with Ofsted and inspected regularly.

Find local nurseries & pre-schools

Nurseries attached to primary schools are not listed in the above directory. For details on school nurseries, see Apply for a school nursery place

Help with childcare costs

You can get help to pay for childcare if it is provided by a:

  • registered childminder, nanny, playscheme, nursery or club
  • childminder or nanny with a registered childminder agency or childcare agency
  • registered school
  • home care worker working for a registered home care agency

The childcare provider will claim the funding on the behalf of parents or carers.

Find out what support you can get using the Government's Childcare Calculator

Changes to Free Childcare

  • Eligible working parents of three and four year olds are already able to get 30 hours childcare funding.
  • From April 2024, eligible working parents of two year olds will be able to get 15 hours free childcare.
  • From September 2024, 15 hours of free childcare will start from 9 months instead of 2 years old for eligible working parents.
  • From September 2025, 30 hours of free childcare will start from 9 months and upwards for eligible working parents.

Advice blog

Find further information at the The Education Hub blog: How we are tackling the cost of childcare