Print this page Email this page Tweet this page Like this page on Facebook Nurseries and pre-schools The following page provides information to help you make the choice between day nurseries, playgroups, pre-schools and nursery classes in schools. For information about your other childcare options, please go to our page about childminders and nannies or our page about after-school and holiday care. Childcare in a nursery setting Depending on your needs, part-time and full-time places are available in a number of nursery-type settings around the borough. All the options below are registered and inspected by The Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted). See what is meant by non-registered options. The different nursery and pre-school-type options are listed below with an approximate age range: Nurseries: 0-5 years Children's centres: 0-5 years Nursery classes within schools: 3-4 years Pre-schools and playgroups: 2 years 6 months to 4 years (some will take children from 2 years) Nurseries A nursery offers full or part-time childcare and early education for children aged 0-5 years. If you live near a neighbouring borough make sure you get childcare lists from them as well. Many nurseries offer sibling discounts if you have two or more children at the same nursery. Not all nurseries will offer the 15 hours of free early years' education a week. Search the directory of nurseries in Brent by postcode Children's centres A children's centre brings together a range of services for children under five and their families such as family support, health and education. It includes good quality childcare, information and support across the local community. Children's centres in Brent run activities and services for parents and children. Search for children's centres or contact us for more information. Nursery classes in schools Children are usually admitted to nursery classes within schools during the school year in which they become four years old and sessions usually last for 3 hours per day and during term time only. Nursery classes in schools are part of the state education system and are free. They offer full or part-time places during term time for children who become four years old during that school year (1 September to 31 August). If the nursery class finishes at midday you may want to consider hiring a childminder if you need childcare for longer. Search for a childminder on our Family Information Service Directory. Pre-schools and playgroups Pre-schools and playgroups offer part-time early education and care for children between the ages of two and five years. Most playgroups, pre-schools and nurseries are funded to provide 15 hours of free education a week. Search for a playgroup or pre-school on our Family Information Service Directory. Non-registered childcare Not all childcare has to be registered with Ofsted. There is a second group of people who can choose whether to join the voluntary part of the childcare register if they want to be registered. This group includes: People who care for children aged 8 years and over Home based childcare - childcare in your home provided by nannies, au pairs, baby sitters, mothers' help/aid. Other providers not currently required to register such as those who provide sports coaching, some after-school clubs etc. Children with Special Educational Needs (SEN) or disabilities Childcare providers must make 'reasonable adjustments' to include disabled children as a requirement of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995. For further information please contact our Special Educational Needs Advisory Service (SENAS). Choosing your childcare You can mix different types of childcare - if your child is aged between three to five years old and going to a pre-school, playgroup or school nursery class, you can employ a childminder to collect and look after your child until you get home. You may find it helpful to visit nurseries or playgroups in your area. Phone to make an appointment before visiting so that they have time to talk to you and answer your questions. Demand for places at some childcare settings may be high. You should check with the childcare procider you have chosen about how to enrol your child. You may wish to put your child's name on a waiting list. You are entitled to ask questions about any childcare provision and any good provider will welcome this. Think about asking the following questions around safety and standards: do staff and volunteers have up to date CRB checks? Staff working with or having access to children, young people or vulnerable adults should be CRB checked. does the provision belong to a professional organisation or quality assurance scheme? does the provision have child protection and health and safety policies in place? Complaining about a childcare provider If your complaint is about child protection, visit our section on child protection to report your concerns. If your complaint is of a general nature such as disputes about contracts or fees contact the head or manager of the childcare provision. It is a good idea to put your complaint in writing. You can ask your childcare provider for a copy of their complaints procedure which explains how your complaint will be dealt with. Important: You should check references of any child carer you employ. Agencies should provide this information for you, including an up to date Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check.