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Timeline for Childcare 0-10

We often receive calls from parents who are not sure when their child can attend childcare or education, or when to apply for these. Below is a timeline for the stages of Education up to the age of 10.

  • Up to 2 years old: If you need childcare before your child is 2 years then either a registered childminder or day nursery would suit your needs. Childminders can care for children of any age and day nurseries up until your child starts school. If you are looking for home childcare then you could consider a nanny or au pair
  • 2 years old: When your child reaches 2 you may want to consider an early years childcare place available at preschools, Day Nurseries, Childminders and at some schools with nurseries. You will need to contact the early years provider directly.  Some families may be eligible for 2 year old funding.
  • 3 years old: When your child is 3 years of age on the 1st September you must apply for a primary school place. There is a deadline each year so please ensure you check when you need to apply
  • 3 & 4 years old: All 3 and 4 year olds are entitled to a free early education and childcare place available at preschools, Day Nurseries, Childminders and at some schools with nurseries. 3 and 4 year old funding can be claimed the term after your child's 3rd birthday up until they reach statutory school age.  Some working parents may also be eligible for an extended 15 hours childcare as part of the 30 hours childcare offer.  Parents must apply for this extended offer.
  • 4 years old: When your child is 4 years of age on the 1st September your child is due to start in a primary school Reception class. When your child attends school you are able to consider a breakfast and after school club, then a holiday club for the school holidays. Registered childminders also offer care to school age children before and afterschool.
  • 6 year old: When your child enters Year 2 at an Infant School, you will need to apply for their Junior school place.
  • 10 years old: When your child enters Year 6 at an Primary or Junior schools, you will need to apply for their secondary school place.
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