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Posted by B&G Marketing

Private nursery or school nursery?

As your child progresses through their nursery education, you may be deciding on whether to keep your child at their current nursery setting or moving them onto a school nursery. This can be a big decision as you try and make the right choice for your child and your family.

Often, we find our families are fed a lot of misinformation about the differences in the two nursery settings, so we have tried to answer any questions you may have below:

What is the difference between a private nursery and school nursery?

Both settings will follow the same EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage) Statutory Framework.

As a private nursery, we follow your child’s interests whilst gently encouraging them to try new things. Observations are carried out by your child’s key person to assess their development in line with this framework and activities are then planned personally for your child following these observations. Your child’s progress is ongoing and tracked against the EYFS and areas of development are monitored and recorded.

School nurseries tend to have more curriculum-based learning and be topic led in their approach.

What about opening times?

Private nurseries are usually open all year round. At Boys & Girls Nursery we are open 52 weeks a year 8am-6pm, with the option to attend longer days 7am-7pm when you need it. We only close on bank holidays. Our opening hours are flexible and you are welcome to drop and collect your child at any time within your booked session that suits you.

School nurseries tend to open in line with the school they are linked with, meaning you will need to find suitable childcare out of term time. There is also likely to be limited options with wrap-around care so additional childcare will need to be sourced to cover your working day.

Are there any differences in staff ratios?

Private nurseries run on a 1:8 adult/child ratio for 3-4 year olds. School nurseries are able to run on a 1:13 ratio. With fewer team members available, it is unlikely you will be assigned a key person which will impact parent relationship with the nursery and your child settling.

Will staying at a private nursery impact being offered my primary school of choice?

No! Attending a school nursery does not give your child any advantage over attending that school from reception age. It is the local authority who decide which primary school your child will attend and this is based on many factors, none of which are the early years education setting you attend.

Will my child be ready for school if they stay on at a private nursery?

 Private nurseries will prepare any Pre-School aged children ready for their transition to primary school. At Boys & Girls Nursery our ‘School Ready’ programme is fully embedded in our Pre-School rooms, meaning every child will leave us fully prepared for their next adventure at school.

Kelly is our Early Years Education Coordinator and has been part of the Boys & Girls Nursery family since 2007. Kelly is Level 5 qualified and has over 20 years’ experience in Early Years, she oversees all aspects of our School Ready Programme.

We have strong relationships with our local schools and maintain regular contact with them. When your child is ready to move on to their new school, we provide their class teacher with relevant information to ensure their smooth transition into their new environment.

What are the benefits of continuing my child’s education at a private nursery?

Your child is settled, happy and making progress. At such a young age, is it necessary to disturb their routine? Remember, there is no guarantee of getting into the school connected to a school run nursery, and both types of settings follow the same early years education framework.

It is also worth noting that the legal age for starting school is 5. If your child is summer born, they are still able to defer their reception place for one year and continue their education with a private nursery.


If you are unsure about what choice to make, please do come and have a chat to your Nursery Manager who will be able to help. Whatever your choice, we hope your child enjoys their time in nursery and we wish you the very best for your exciting journey ahead.