Day nurseries offer childcare and early learning for children from babies to school age. They are located on non-domestic premises and your child can attend full-time or part-time.
You will need to speak to the nursery to find out if they offer funded places for two, three and four year-olds and if have funded spaces available.
Day nurseries usually charge a daily rate, though some may offer a part time or weekly rate. You will agree this with them before your child starts. You will also have a signed contract in place with your nursery which details notice periods, holiday care, sickness and late payments.
The average rate for a day nursery in the East of England was £112.20 in 2016, based on a 25-hour week (£4.49 on average per hour). The average hourly cost for a day nursery in Norfolk was £4.45 in September 2016. This rate does vary throughout the county so it is important to check the information available.
You may also need to pay extra for food and or nappies so it is important to discuss this with your contact before agreeing their terms.
Nurseries' opening hours vary but many are open between the core hours of 8am and 6pm. Most nurseries are open all year. Check with individual providers regarding their hours of opening.
You will need to contact the day nursery directly to apply for a place for your child and they will let you know about their application process. There may be a waiting list for the nursery so it's best to check well in advance.
The Department for Education sets a statutory framework for the early years foundation stage. This outlines standards for staff qualifications, training, support and skills.
For children aged under two:
- There must be at least one member of staff for every three children
- There must be at least one member of staff for every four children
- There must be at least one member of staff for every 13 children
- There must be at least one member of staff for every eight children
Nurseries are registered with and inspected by Ofsted and must meet all Ofsted registration and welfare requirements to be allowed to offer childcare. Ofsted provides a report which details the day nursery's conditions of registration and grading. The day nursery will be able to provide you with a copy of this or you can contact Ofsted for further information.
See our information on Keeping children safe in childcare.