Pre schools

Pre schools, also known as playgroups or playschools, give young children the opportunity to learn and play in small groups.

Most are pre schools are open during term times for sessions of around two to three hours, although some are open longer.  Parents often help out the staff with the activities.


All childcare providers caring for children under the age of 8 years for more than two hours a day, for more than 14 days a year, must be registered on either the Early Years Register or the compulsory part of the Childcare Register.

Requirements for pre-schools

All pre schools must ensure that:

  • all staff submit to a CRB (Criminal Records Bureau) check
  • a first aid-qualified member of staff is present at all times
  • at least 50% of staff have the relevant qualifications
  • the premises have passed necessary inspection

Funded early education entitlement

Most pre school playgroups in Leicester offer funded places for children who are entitled to funded early education.  As pre schools tend to offer short daily sessions, the 15 hours entitlement are often spread across the week.  

Some pre schools may offer the extended entitlement of up to 30 hours of funded early provision for eligible children and some are approved to offer up to 15 hours of funded early education for eligible 2 year olds.