Local authority maintained nursery classes and schools

Information about how nursery schools operate, whether they need to be registered with Ofsted and other things to consider when choosing this form of childcare.

Age group - 2-5 years of age

Local authority maintained nursery classes, or nursery schools, provide up to 30 hours of free early education per week for children aged 2–5 years

Registration and inspection

They are inspected by Ofsted as part of the school inspection.

Statutory duties

The Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) sets the standards for promoting the learning, development and safety of children from birth to 5 years in Ofsted registered settings. The EYFS sets the standards that all early years providers must meet.

Read more about the EYFS in the guide for parents, provided by Foundation Years.

Typical opening hours

They are open during school term-time only. Sessions are usually mornings or afternoons, although some may be able to deliver this flexibly.

Help with the cost of using a local authority maintained nursery class or school

All offer Free Entitlement places. Check whether you may be eligible for other help with childcare costs.

Last updated:
7 September 2023
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