Nurseries and playgroups

Nurseries

These are the different types of nursery available in the Royal Borough. Some are registered with Ofsted on childcare and early years registers, some are inspected by Ofsted as part of a school inspection and some are inspected through the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI). You can view inspection reports by visiting the Ofsted website.

  • Day Nurseries can care for children aged from birth to five years and usually offer day care from 8am to 6pm, for most of the year. All day nurseries will be registered with Ofsted and inspected regularly. They can be run by private individuals, community groups, Montessori organisations, commercial businesses or by employers.
  • Private Nursery Schools (Private Independent Schools) are owned privately and can offer sessional or full day care to children aged two to five. Some schools can offer a particular educational approach, for example Montessori. They may operate only during term-time or could open all year. They could be registered with Ofsted or the ISI.
  • (LEA) Maintained Nursery Schools offer full and part-time early years education places, typically between school hours. They are attached to primary schools. A child can attend for a full or half day. Nursery schools may also offer childcare after school (see out of school clubs). They will be inspected by Ofsted, as part of a school inspection.

Pre-schools

Pre-schools (sometimes called playgroups) provide care and most also provide early education for children aged between two-and-a-half and five. They can be registered with Ofsted or unregistered.

Some pre-schools will expect parents to make an active contribution to the running of the group. Pre-schools operate from a variety of premises including church and community halls.

Pre-schools offer sessions from two-and-a-half hours to four hours, during term time, either every day or on several days a week. Some parents arrange for a childminder to drop and pick up their children at pre-school, providing care for the remainder of the day.

List of nurseries and playgroups

To request a printed copy call the Family Information Service on tel: 020 7361 3302. 

Availability

Many nurseries operate waiting lists for children of different age groups. We suggest that you look at nursery options, soon after your child is born, if not during pregnancy. Please contact the nursery directly, for the latest vacancy information.

Nursery Funding

If your child is over three then they might be eligible to receive the Minimum Funding Entitlement (formerly known as the Nursery Education Grant) towards the cost of a place in a private nursery or pre-school.