Pre-School groups (also known as Playgroups) offer play time and early education to children under 5 years old. Most pre-schools will take children from the age of 2 years to 5 years for sessions between 2-3 hours long, with the exception of some offering extended hours.
Pre-schools are registered with Ofsted and regularly inspected by them. If there is a particular Pre-school you are interested in, you can ask the Pre-school to view or have a copy of their last inspection or download a copy from the Ofsted Website.
Cost of Pre-school
Most preschools set their own pricing and this can change depending on if they offer different fees due to age of the child. The majority of Pre-schools offer free 15 and 30 hours free childcare for 2, 3 and 4 year olds. You will need to confirm with the pre-school as to what they offer.
If you need help with childcare costs, you may benefit from schemes such as:
- Tax Credit/Universal Credit - You may be eligible for certain tax credits or universal credit if your family has a low income;
- Childcare Voucher - Your employer may offer the childcare vouchers scheme which allows you to have your money diverted from your salary before you get it and before it is taxed. Check with your employer to see if they offer this.