Pre-schools provide early years education, childcare and play opportunities. Opening hours vary; they may open mornings only or for a whole day. Most groups are open term-time only. Pre-schools must be registered with Ofsted if open for over two hours per session. They are staffed by qualified leaders.
Pre-schools are usually run by voluntary management committees. They are often based in community centres, or on school sites, some working in partnership with their school. Even when linked to a school, pre-schools are open to children who do not intend to move on to that particular school in the future. There is no automatic transfer of children from pre-schools to school and all need to apply for a place through the admissions procedure.
Most pre-schools will take 3 and 4 year old children funded through the Early Education Fund. This ensures that young children have access to free good quality early education.
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