Pre-schools (playgroups)

Information about how pre-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

Pre-schools, also known as playgroups, provide care and education through play for children aged 2–5 years of age. Some pre-schools only start from age three.

Registration and inspection

Pre-schools are registered and inspected by Ofsted.

Typical opening hours

Sessions are usually mornings or afternoons, with some offering a lunch club to allow children to attend for longer. They are typically term-time only. 

Help with the cost of using a pre-school

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

Last updated:
22 March 2022
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