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Northern Ireland


Nursery Classes

Child in a nursery classNursery classes are usually attached to a school, mainstream or private.

Nursery classes are staffed by trained teachers and nursery nurses and come under the control of the school head. They will teach an early years curriculum. As with nursery schools the classes will take preschool children and usually there are 20 to 25 children in a class.

State nursery classes are usually free but private classes charge fees although a child may be able to use their early years entitlement for some of the fees.

The benefits of attending a nursery school or class are that the children will all be of a similar age range, your child will be taught by qualified teachers, a structured early years curriculum will be followed, the school or class is regularly inspected and staff are CRB checked and it will be easy for your child to move to the attached school when he/she reaches school age.

The downsides to attending a nursery school or class are that you can’t send your child if they are ill, you may have to live in the surrounding area to a school, you may need extra childcare as hours are shorter than day nurseries, popular nursery schools may have waiting lists, ratios of children to staff are much higher than at other types of childcare and they can be expensive on top of the free entitlement.