Nursery schools

Applying for a place in a private, voluntary or independent (non-maintained) nursery schools

Non-maintained early education places are in the private, voluntary or independent sectors.

These nurseries are run by the private, voluntary and independent sectors. When your child goes to one of these nurseries up to 15 hours education is paid for by Wandsworth Council.

Contact nurseries direct to see what offer and how to apply. They will have their own application system and most will have a waiting list.

Not all private, independent, childminders or voluntary groups can provide free places. They have to be registered with us to provide free nursery places.

Step 1 Collecting information

Find out as much as you can about the local nurseries or childminders before applying for a place by:

  • Contacting the Family Information Service (FIS) for an up to date list of settings providing free nursery education places on 020 8871 7899.
  • Asking the school or early years setting for a brochure.
  • Arranging to visit or attend open days.
  • Reading school and nursery inspection reports on the Ofsted website

Find out about nursery education near where you live as soon as possible, well before your child is three. You are more likely to get your preferred place the earlier you apply.

You can choose a nursery in any area of Wandsworth.

Step 2 Making informed decisions

Consider your child's needs, the school's services and their admission criteria and arrangements.

You can use more than one non-maintained provider, up to 15 hours per week.

Step 3 Applying for places

Complete the application form for your nursery choices. Some schools have long waiting lists and you should complete the application form 12 months to 18 months before your child is three years old.

Do not be put off by long waiting lists, as some children are on several school lists. The school will confirm your place months before your child is three years old.

Step 4 Being offered a place

You will be given a welcome pack when your child starts nursery.

The school will ask you to sign a 'Parent's Declaration Form' to confirm your child is not claiming a free place in any other school or setting. The school or setting will then claim the free place from the council. The place should be free when starting nursery.

More information

Visit the Family Information Service website for an up-to-date list of nurseries providing free nursery education places.