Premises for childcare

Types of early education and childcare

There are several different types of early education and childcare.

Day nursery

Day nurseries are for children aged 0 to 5 years-old. The children learn, develop, and play in line with government guidance, while their parents work or study. Day nurseries:

  • are mainly located in purpose-built or refurbished buildings – shared buildings such as church halls, community halls, guides and scouts huts are not necessarily deemed as practical for full day care, although some exceptions apply
  • typically open from 7am to 7pm
  • are registered and inspected by Ofsted
  • may provide early education entitlement places

Pre-school

Pre-schools – also known as playgroups – are for children aged 2 to 5 years-old. The children learn, develop, and play in line with government guidance, while their parents work or study. Pre-schools:

  • are generally located in church halls, community halls, guides and scouts huts, and similar premises
  • typically open from 9am to 3pm
  • are registered and inspected by Ofsted
  • usually provide early education entitlement places

Breakfast club and after school club

Breakfast and after school clubs offer extended learning, development and play activities to early years and school-aged children, before or after school. They:

  • are usually set up in, or close to, schools
  • may offer a school collection and drop-off service
  • typically open from 7am to 9am and 3pm to 7pm
  • are registered and inspected by Ofsted

Holiday club

Holiday clubs offer extended learning, development and play activities to early years and school-aged children, before or after school. They:

  • operate during the main school holidays
  • may be flexible on age groups
  • typically open from 7am to 7pm daily
  • are registered and inspected by Ofsted