Living Southampton

Pre Primary Education & Childcare

The Early Years Foundation Stage is for children aged 0-5 and covers any time spent in any early years education and childcare setting (including childminders) to the end of reception class in infant or primary school. It consists of seven areas of learning and development. Each one contains a number of 'Early Learning Goals' which set out what most children are expected to achieve by the end of the reception year in school, and broad stages of development which help show children's progress towards the goals. Information about ‘Learning Stories’, Southampton’s response to the requirements of the EYFS, is available from your child’s early years setting.

  • Southampton City Council parents guide to eyfs framework
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Free early education places are provided by pre-schools, maintained nurseries, day nurseries, some childminders and nursery classes in schools. These are available from the term after your child turns three. If you would like your child to attend a pre-school or other provider at 2 years 9 months, you will need to pay until your child is eligible for the funding.

If your child is 3 or 4 years old, they can get up to five free sessions per week for 38 weeks per year, with each session lasting three hours. As a primary school year is for 39 weeks, and the funding is currently for 38 weeks, some pre-schools may make a small charge for the extra week.

A database of all childcare provision including childminders, day nurseries, creches, pre-schools, out of school care, nannies and au pairs and open access play schemens in the city is available on Southampton City Council's website. Or you can call the Children and Young People's Information Service free on 0800 169 8833.