In Newcastle there are six local authority nursery schools and lots of nursery classes attached to schools. They provide early education for children aged three to five years and offer opportunities to play and learn through structured activities.

Unlike day nurseries, nursery schools and classes are only open during the school term.  Many nursery classes may only offer a part time place, either five mornings or five afternoons per week. Your child may attend free for up to 15 hours per week.

Children are usually admitted to a nursery school or nursery class the September after their third birthday. Children will usually start primary school in the September following their fourth birthday. 

Admissions to nursery schools or classes are not managed by the local authority. You must contact the setting directly for nursery admissions information including how and when to apply. Applications should be made directly to the early years setting. 

Please note there are no feeder links between any nursery setting and how reception class places at schools are allocated. There is no advantage in attending a specific pre-school setting so if your child is settled in a private nursery or cared for by a childminder, their application for a reception place will be considered in exactly the same way as a child who attends the nursery class at the school. Children in a nursery class are not given priority for reception places in the school. 

Places at nursery schools and nursery classes in Newcastle are limited but you can also access free 15 hours of childcare per week at a range of private, voluntary and independent settings. These include day nurseries, playgroups, pre-schools and some independent schools.  For more information on the free early year’s entitlement please see the help with childcare costs section.

Search online for all pre-school childcare provision in Newcastle at  

Page last updated: 
4 July 2016
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