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Pre-schools and playgroups

Pre-schools offer care and early education to children aged from two to five years. They must be registered with Ofsted on the Early Years Register.

Pre-schools are usually open between 9am and 3pm, term time only but some offer extended hours. Most pre-schools are able to offer the 15 hours a week of free early education to eligible three and four year olds, most offer this flexibly over three days rather than three hours per day.

Parents must pay for any additional hours above the 15 hours per week or for childcare for children who are not eligible for the free 15 hours. Parents may be entitled to claim back some of the cost of childcare through the Tax Credit / Universal Credit or Childcare Vouchers / tax-free childcare scheme.