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Things to Know

Nurseries and Day Nurseries

Day nurseries provide childcare for children from birth to when they are ready to go to ‘big’ school at the age of four or five. They are usually open from 8AM to 6PM all year round, sometimes breaking for Christmas or bank holidays.

The number of children attending a day nursery varies from a very small group of about 10 or 20 to a very large group of over 100. Children are usually grouped by age and age-appropriate activities are provided for each stage of the children’s development. However, the emphasis at day nurseries is not on education. Day nurseries are usually privately owned and are often part of large chains and funding is sometimes available.

Nursery schools provide an educational grounding for the child to start school and are usually more formal in the way they structure their sessions. They also have a specifically educational curriculum. They are often independently run or part of an educational group and some are attached to a pre-prep school.

They take children from about two and a half years old and offer a two year programme of either full day or half day sessions in term times only. They are staffed by qualified teachers and other professionals who encourage and supervise educational play rather than simply providing childcare.

Day care/nursery schools are a combination of the two! Children at the nursery school part can also opt for full day care out of normal nursery school hours, including care in the holidays.
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