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Nursery places

To help you understand how full-time nursery places might be allocated, we have provided some answers to common questions.

Availability of places

Some schools will continue to offer full-time places, whilst others will only offer part-time places. To find out what kinds of places are available at your school, you should contact them directly. A list of schools can be found via the schools admissions page.

Applying for your child

All parents who want a nursery place should apply by contacting their preferred school, and finding out how to do so. You cannot apply via the Council. 

Check your child's eligibility

The full-time place admission criteria will be published in the our primary education booklet. You can also request a copy of the criteria directly from the school.

There is no right to a full-time place and a parent can't appeal against a decision to refuse a place. Full-time places are limited, so even if your child seems to meet the criteria this will not guarantee that a full-time place is offered.

Criteria varies from school to school, but for all schools, certain children will be given priority:

  1. Looked after children, or children who have an allocated social worker who has referred a child for full-time place or has an agreed child protection plan.
  2. Children with a disability or special educational need, based on the definition under section 17, Children Act 1989.

After these 2 categories, places will be offered to children in circumstances where the headteacher or governing body of the school considers a full-time place could be beneficial, based on the following:

  • the child's age
  • postcodes of where children live to identify need
  • siblings
  • home circumstances

Schools are being asked to publish how they will allocate places under this third category. Please check with each school as to which ones they are using.

Allocating full-time places will be based on an assessment of the best interest of each child.   

If you have any further questions about the allocation of full-time nursery places, please contact your school. 


Published: 14 January 2021

Last updated: 30 March 2022