Nursery schools

Free nursery education

Children can receive free part-time nursery education place from 1 September, 1 January, or 1 April following their third birthday. Table of start dates.

A free education place consists of up to 15 hours per week, 38 weeks of the year. Not all providers offer 38 weeks but they must offer a minimum of 33 weeks.

Children moving to England from another country are also entitled to free nursery education.

Early education places for two year olds

Families on low income with two year old children may be entitled to up to 15 hours for 38 weeks of the year.

This will start from the term after their child's second birthday.

Find out if your child is eligible (THRIVE Online website)

Free nursery education providers

Types of providers offering free nursery education for three and four year olds.

Maintained nursery school or primary school nursery class

Maintained nurseries:

  • are council-run nurseries
  • usually open 9am to 3.15pm
  • free to all parents/carers and offer up to 15 hours a week.

Many provide before school and after school childcare. They generally do not provide nursery places for two year olds. Find a maintained school.

Non-maintained providers

Non maintained providers can provide free nursery places if they are registered with us and Ofsted. Your child's 15 hours a week place must be free. Any charges for extras or additional time must be invoiced separately.

They offer additional childcare, often at an extra charge. They care for a wider age bracket of children over longer hours. Non maintained settings include:

  • Private nursery school
  • Independent school
  • Pre-school playgroup
  • Day nursery
  • Childminders

Find a non-maintained school

Map of nursery schools

View Nursery Schools in Wandsworth in a larger map

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