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Luton Borough Council

Day nurseries and maintained nursery schools

While maintained nursery schools and day nurseries both offer care and education for children under five years old, there are some differences between the two. This page will give a short overview of what is the same and what is different.

Maintained nursery schools

Maintained nursery schools are run by Luton Council. There are six maintained nursery schools across seven venues in Luton.

Maintained nursery schools:

  • offer full time or part time care and education for children under five years
  • are usually open during the term time only, however some do offer ‘wrap around’ care and may be open during school holidays including spaces for older children up to 8 years old
  • are classified as a school and are inspected by Ofsted under the school inspection criteria and the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS framework)
  • have a head teacher
  • employ qualified teachers
  • employ Special Educational Needs Coordinators (SENCOs)
  • have a governing body, with regular governors meetings

Day nurseries

Day nurseries are run by either a private, independent or voluntary organisation. There are over 40 day nurseries throughout Luton. Some are part of a bigger chain of nurseries and may have different sites under the same company name.

Day nurseries:

  • offer full time or part time care and education for children under five years
  • are usually open for up to 50 weeks per year and some offer school holiday care for children from five to eight years old
  • are Ofsted registered and inspected against the Education Inspection Framework (EIF) and the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS framework)

Ofsted inspection reports

You can read inspection reports for nurseries by searching for the provider of your choice on the Ofsted website.

Search Ofsted inspection reports

Finding a maintained nursery school or day nursery in Luton

Find information on the maintained nursery schools in Luton

Maintained nursery schools

Find out about day nurseries in Luton using the Luton Directory

Day nurseries

Alternatively you can get a list of childcare providers tailored to your individual needs from Luton Family Information Service.

How to apply for a nursery place

To apply for a nursery place, please contact the provider of your choice directly. They will be able to advise you if they have spaces available, and of their admissions policy.

Help with childcare costs

There are different sources of support with childcare costs including:

Open all

Provides eligible children with 15 hours a week (when used in term time only) of free childcare. For more information and to apply visit our Time for 2s page.

From the term after their third birthday, all three and four year olds in Luton are entitled to 15 (when used in term time only) hours of free early learning and childcare. More about help with childcare costs.

Eligible families can apply for an additional 15 hours of free childcare which brings their entitlement up to 30 hours per week (when used in term time only). More about 30 hours entitlement

Eligible families with children under 12 years old (or under 17 for disabled children), can open an online account to pay for registered childcare (providers must have opted in to the scheme). The government will top-up the money you pay into the account. For every £8 you pay in, the government will add an extra £2. Your tax credits will stop immediately if you successfully apply for Tax-Free Childcare. You will also have to cancel your Universal Credit and childcare vouchers. Before you apply, check if it's the right option for you. For more information please visit GOV.UK.

© 2024 Luton Council, Town Hall, Luton LU1 2BQ