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What age do they start preschool ??

I'm just wondering as i'm fairly sure i'll need to get Charlottes name down early as we only have 1 preschool in our area. She'll be 2 on 26th March, is it 3 they start ?

Is preschool usually free or do you pay ??


  • it's usually the term after their 3rd birthday...JJ is 3 in September so he'll start in January next year x
  • oh and they get 3 sessions (think it's about 15 hours???) free x
  • Isaac has just gone now,He was 3 in Nov. He can have up to 15 hours free. We only send him 9hrs for now.

    Some work on 1st come 1st serve basis, others catchment area, but it's worth looking into. I left it too late with Isaac and only got into 1st choice because of our speech th!!!

    Sounds like charlotte will go Sept 2012.You only pay if you go over 15hrs.

  • Ds1 goes 3 days atm and does 2.5 hours a day. He will be increasing in a month to 5 days, 4 at 2.5 hours and one full day, the he will start proper school in September when he is 4 and a half. You can use the sessions at almost any nursery you want though not just the schools pre school. Ds1 uses 2 of the sessions at a private nursery as well cos you can also split the sessions between two places.


    edited to add that I didn't put ds1 name down I just went in on the Friday to register him and he started on the Monday.
  • I've just been to look at one this morning hon thinking to start him in september and pay until the free hours kick in for him in Jan - they have a long waiting list apparently so I wish I'd put his name down sooner!! So do get on the phone to them and see what you need to do, as we might not get a place never mind the days/hours we want to do. xx
  • James is 3 in Feb, so doesn't get the government funding until April, but he started in beg. of Jan, and I'm paying for him to go and get used to it.

    I had to put his name on a waiting list to get him in, and my daughters who's 15 months is already on the waiting list for Sept 2012/Jan 2013.
  • Shea started the day after his 3rd birthday on 29th September and I then had to pay until end of December, he then went back on 5th Jan and he now gets 15hours free but he's only in 14hours so that means he has 10 fee hours to carry over the half term as you don't get it free during any school holidays.

    There is a long waiting list at his school and I had his name down since he was 18months

  • Ok, i rang our preschool. They can start at 2.5 years and do 2 mornings a week at ??9 per morning, then from 3 years old its free and the number of mornings increases.

    I've sent the application in for charlotte to start at 2.5 which would be the end of september 2011 (so i'm guessing they may offer the following intake anyway when she'll be 3?) just so i've at least got her name down. They dont contact the parents automatically its a first come first serve basis it seems.
  • Just from reading this it has me thinking, i though thad ages until had to worry about preschool. How do you find out if school in area has preschol etc? Do you have to contact them or do they send letters,? And as my lo birthday is oct 09 when would he qualify for funding?

    (i used to work with children but the funding all very confusing lol) x
  • I believe its the term after they turn 3, so for you would be the following March after lo's birthday I guess. I'm hoping to get my dd in sooner than that though and just pay in the meantime, fingers crossed.
  • Lily is 2 and half- 3 in July and starts Preschool on Wednesday we are paying for 2 half days a week- weds and thurs until September when she will get her free sessions. Next January she will do mornings at preschool and then 1 or 2 afternoons at school to get her ready for full time school in September 2012! I can't believe my baby goes to school next year! I think different schools/preschools work differently.

    We were going to start her at this preschool until September then move her to 1 slightly closer to our house which only takes them from 3 years with the intention of her going to that school but I thought as both Primary schools are on a par she may as well go to the school attached to the preschool she is starting at as it will just confuse her and she will have to make new friends etc!
  • Lily started last september she was 2yrs 3months, we don't get free preschool over here so that didn't factor in when she started. Some people think she was a bit young but she loves it and is so proud bringing the things she's made home to show us! image
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