Pre-schools are less likely to run from purpose built venues and are more likely to be based in community venues such as church or village halls. Some pre-schools may have to set up and pack away their equipment each day.

Most pre-schools are registered with their local authority to provide pre-school education. This means that you are able to use your child’s entitlement to 15 hours of free nursery education in these settings. 

Many pre-schools and playgroups are run by voluntary committees and many ask that parents get involved in the life of the setting, including fundraising for equipment, volunteering in the setting once a term or even bringing a piece of fruit for the morning snack. Pre-schools are unlikely to provide breakfast or lunch, or to cover the cost nappies.

All pre-schools and playgroups must be registered with Ofsted in England or CSSIW in Wales (if operating for two hours or over per day) and will be inspected by them. Most pre-schools will run on a mixed ratio taking into account the children’s ages.