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Three and four-year-olds

All three and four-year-old children are entitled to 15 hours a week free early years provision. This is over 38 weeks a year, which is equivalent to school term time. Your child will become eligible the term after their 3rd birthday. The 15 hours a week can be taken in different ways, for example, three hours a day for five days, or five hours a day for three days. You can also take up the 15 hours at more than one setting. Free early years education can be provided in a range of settings, including:

  • nursery class in a school
  • day nursery
  • pre-school
  • Childminder

All early years settings providing the full entitlement must be registered with Ofsted and provide the full Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum.

If you want your child to go to a private nursery or a childminder, you need to speak to them directly to check they have vacancies and confirm they can take your child.  You do not need any codes for this free 15 hours.

Children with special educational needs (SEN) or disabilities are fully included in the entitlement to free early years education.

Nursery class admissions

Children can normally join school nursery classes the term after their third birthday. If you wish to apply for a part-time nursery place in a Knowsley primary school, please contact the individual school directly for more information or download the documents below: 

For further information regarding education and childcare places for pre-school aged children please contact Knowsley Early Years and Childcare Information Service telephone: (0151) 443 5633 Option 4 or visit Family Information Service (

Useful information

The Early Years Pupil Premium leaflet for 3 and 4 year olds

Is your child moving from childcare to a school nursery leaflet

Nursery Education in Knowsley Leaflet