Go to navigation

Preschools and playgroups

Preschools can make a significant contribution to a child's earliest experiences and development.

Preschools and playgroups offer play and education for 2 to 5 year-olds. Photo of children playingA preschool or playgroup can be organised by the community on a not-for-profit basis, often with help from parents.

They must be inspected and registered by Ofsted.

When you visit a preschool or playgroup for the first time, have your list of questions ready.
Look at our childcare checklist for help.


All 3 and 4 year-olds, and some 2 year-olds, are entitled to a free part-time early education place of 15 hours a week.

From September 2017 some 3 and 4 year olds may be entitled to 30 hours of free early education funding. 


Usually part-time only, either in the morning or afternoon for a few hours.

For more information

Visit the Family Information Service Directory for lists of childcare providers.