Types of early education provision

There are different types of early education providers available to you in Herefordshire.

Each child and family is different - the most appropriate type of provision will depend on your own family circumstances and the specific needs of your child. Choosing the right kind of provision to support your child's learning and development is a big step. To help you make your decision you can find more information from the Early Years Alliance's How to choose the right early education provision.

All providers must follow the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Statutory Framework, which sets the standards for learning, development and care for children from birth to 5 years old.

Childminders

  • A childminder is a person who receives payment for working in their own home, looking after at least one child (aged under eight) for more than two hours a day
  • May employ assistants who can be left alone with the children from no more than two hours a day (with parental permission)
  • May be a good choice if you would prefer your child to be looked after in a domestic environment or if you want different aged children to be cared for together
  • Must be registered with Ofsted and are inspected in the same way as other registered day nurseries and pre-schools
  • Many (but not all) childminders are registered with Herefordshire Council to accept early entitlement (nursery education) funding, so can offer free early education places. Parents and carers should negotiate arrangements and payments for any additional non-funded hours

Day nurseries

  • Offer full or part-time care and education, all year round, often with before and after wraparound care to fit in with parent and carer work hours
  • Age range from age 6 weeks to 4+ years old. This may vary between providers
  • May be on premises used solely for early education, or may be on domestic premises (for example the home of the nursery owner)
  • Are registered with, and inspected by, Ofsted
  • Are registered with Herefordshire Council to accept early entitlement (nursery education) funding so can offer free early education places. Parents and carers negotiate arrangements and payments for any additional non-funded hours
  • All day nurseries must have public liability insurance

Pre-schools

  • Offer full or part-time care and education, usually term-time only. They may also offer holiday play schemes and clubs
  • Age range from 2 to 4+ years old. This may vary between providers with some offering places for children from 18 months old
  • Are registered with, and inspected by, Ofsted
  • Are registered with Herefordshire Council to accept early entitlement (nursery education) funding so can offer free early education places. Parents and carers should negotiate arrangements and payments for any additional non-funded hours
  • All pre-schools and playgroups must have public liability insurance

School or governor-run early years provision

  • Offers term-time only provision in a primary school, run either directly by the school or by the governing body. They offer the 15 universal funded hours for 2, 3 and 4 year olds and many also offer 30 hours for eligible children.
  • Age range usually for children age from 2 to 4+ year olds. This may vary between providers (some may only offer places for 3+ year olds)
  • Exempt from separate Ofsted registration and are inspected as part of the school
  • Is registered with Herefordshire Council to accept early entitlement (nursery education) funding so can offer free early education places. Parents and carers should negotiate arrangements and payments for any additional non-funded hours

Local authority maintained nursery classes

  • Are funded by the local authority and are all attached to a particular primary school
  • Provide 15 hours each week of education for children aged 3 to 5. Some are also now offering early education for 2 year olds and 30 hours early education for eligible children
  • Usually have fixed session times, either morning or afternoon, five days a week term time only
  • May have additional early education available on site offering wraparound care
  • Are led by a qualified teacher and suitably qualified support staff
  • Are inspected by Ofsted as part of the school

Applying for a place in a local authority maintained nursery class - important information

You can apply for a place in a nursery school or class by contacting the school directly. It is advisable to apply as soon as possible after your child's second birthday. If places are oversubscribed, priority will be given to children with special educational needs or disabilities, then to children from the school catchment area and then to older children. Each school will have its own nursery admissions policy so please contact the school directly.

Admission to a nursery class is completely separate from admission to the main school.

There is no guarantee that a child in a nursery class will be given a place in the reception class of the same school, especially since nursery classes often serve an area which extends beyond the catchment area of the school.

The school cannot insist that nursery children remain at the school beyond the term of their fifth birthday.

The following schools in Herefordshire have local authority maintained nursery classes:

Breakfast clubs, after-school clubs and holiday play schemes/clubs

  • Offer supervised play and care for school-aged children before and after the school day, and sometimes during the main school holidays
  • May be run by schools, nursery or pre-school providers, or by external or privately owned organisations
  • Some are registered with, and inspected by, Ofsted
  • In some cases they will take children to school and/or pick them up at the end of the school day
  • All must have public liability insurance