Nurseries and Childcare

Good quality childcare and early education is not only good for children; it gives parents more freedom to work, study or train for a job too. But juggling work with bringing up children is not easy.

Choosing childcare and early education is a big step for you and your child. There are lots of differences between types of childcare and early education services and also between individual childminders, nurseries, nursery classes or out-of-school clubs.

Try and give yourself enough time to visit several possible options in your area to get a good idea of what could suit your child. It can be a good idea to take your child with you to see how staff interact with him or her.

All early years providers in the maintained, private, voluntary and independent sectors that a local authority funds, are required to have regard to the 0-25 SEND Code of Practice.

Early years providers must have arrangements in place to support children with SEN or disabilities. These arrangements should include a clear approach to identifying and responding to SEN. The benefits of early identification are widely recognised – identifying need at the earliest point, and then making effective provision, improves long-term outcomes for children.

St Helens Council provides nursery education in many parts of the borough through maintained nurseries. They normally offer places for three and four-year-olds, and some also offer two-year-old places. Admissions to maintained nurseries are coordinated by the local authority. You can find out more information on how to apply for a place on the council's school admissions page.

Maintained nursery opening times tend to coincide with the school opening times - 9am to 3pm on weekdays. Maintained nurseries normally offer the 15 hours of free early education over five days per week (either mornings or afternoons). Some maintained nurseries also offer wrap-around provision to provide care all day for a fee.

Maintained Nursery Local Offers

St Helens has one standalone nursery unit:

Below is a list of St Helens primary schools with a nursery unit. Their Local Offer will be part of the main school offer.

Day nurseries offer care for children between birth and school age on a full or part-time basis. Most day nurseries are open all year round, usually from 8am until 6pm.

You can find a full list of all local authority and private provision below.


The purpose of the Local Offer is to enable parents and young people to see more clearly what services are available for children with special educational needs and disabilities in their area, and how to access them.

Get in Touch...

"I like the pictures and I like the interesting information it has on the website" - Pupil from Allanson Street Primary School

boy in a wheel chair