Sometimes referred to as sessional care or pre-school nurseries, these provide education and childcare for children aged two to five years.

Pre-schools offer sessions of less than four hours at a time and usually follow term times. Most are open in the morning for a minimum of two and a half hours, but some also run sessions in the afternoon.

Pre-schools are registered and inspected by Ofsted, demonstrating the quality and standards of care and education.

The wide range of activities is based on the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and includes arts and crafts, books and stories, sand and water play, outdoor play, music and singing.

Fees are per session and are usually charged by the term. Many groups offer early education funding for three and four year olds and some may offer funded places for two year olds (eligibility criteria applies).