Early years education and starting school

Early years education and starting school

Funded, part time, early years education is available from the term following a child’s 3rd birthday.  This is sometimes called Rising 3’s or Foundation Learning.

This is a very important phase in your child’s life. It lays the building blocks for their future learning and their physical, and emotional development. This is why nursery education is part of Curriculum for Wales. You can find out more about Early Years Education in Wales and how it is delivered in this guide produced by the Welsh Government.

Curriculum for Wales –  Nursery education for 3 and 4 year olds: A guide for parents and carers

When will my child benefit from nursery education?

You can apply for either a school nursery place or an early years education place in an approved childcare setting if your child’s 3rd birthday is between 1 September and 31 March. If your child’s 3rd birthday falls outside of these dates, you can only apply for a school nursery place.

The table below shows when that place will be available for your child.

Child’s 3rd Birthday When can my child access their early years education place?
1 September to 31 December The beginning of term on or after 1st January (Spring and Summer terms)
1 January to 31 March The beginning of term on or after 1st April (Summer term only)
1 April to 31 August The beginning of term on or after 1st September (School based Nursery only)

Your child is entitled to a minimum of 10 hours per week in an Approved Early Years setting which can be

  • A nursery class in a school setting
  • An approved pre-school or playgroup, or
  • An approved day nursery

During the academic year of your child’s 4th birthday, early years education is only available in a school setting.

How to apply

To apply visit our the school admissions section of the Caerphilly County Borough Council website.

Please Note: If your child attends a school based early years education place in either the spring or summer term, this does not automatically mean they can attend nursery at that school when they turn 4 years old. You will need to make a new application for nursery where the normal school admissions criteria will apply.

Childcare Offer for Wales

Under the Childcare Offer for Wales, you could claim up to 30 hours of early education and childcare per week, for up to 48 weeks of the year. The scheme aims to make life a bit easier for parents or carers by providing support with childcare costs.

Eligible children aged 3-4 years could be entitled to government funded childcare from the term following their 3rd birthday until they are in full time education.

This means that, as well as 10 hours of part-time early years education, your child could also be entitled to 20 hours of funded childcare during term time, and 30 hours during school holidays.

Visit the Childcare Offer for Wales section for further details and how to apply.


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