Nursery education is for three and four year olds.

A child can be admitted to a nursery at the beginning of the term following their third birthday, if places are available, and an application must be made for every child requiring a nursery place

This can be in a community (council) nursery school or in a private setting, which may be a playgroup or private day nursery.

  • Children born between 1 September and 31 December are eligible for an early start from the January following their third birthday
  • Children born between 1 January and 31 March are eligible for an early start from the April following their third birthday
  • Children born between 1 April and 31 August are not eligible for an early start but can attend nursery from the September following their third birthday

Admission to community nursery schools and classes is offered for a half-day session, either morning or afternoon, five days a week.

Schools expect pupils attending the nursery to take up all the sessions available to them.

If you don't want your child to attend all five sessions each week, you may prefer to find a place at a private setting that can offer more flexible arrangements - contact Newport Family Information Service for advice. 

Attending a nursery class does not guarantee admission nor give any advantage to the child’s application for Reception.

Parents must make a separate application for admission to Reception at the appropriate time.

Applications for a September 2020 nursery place

The closing date for applications was 18 September 2019.

View the latest nursery admission summary (pdf)

Download the September 2020 nursery application form (pdf) to make a late application.

In making an application, you are applying for a September place and indicating whether you would be interested in an early start (Rising 3 place) in that nursery if your child is eligible and if places are available.

Download the school admissions policy 2020 (pdf)

Read about Newport catchment areas.

If Rising 3 places are available, eligible pupils will be offered an early start at their allocated nursery: 

  • on 4 December 2019 for January 2020 Rising 3 places (on-time applications)
  • on 11 March 2020 for April 2020 Rising 3 places (on-time applications)

When you make your application you will be asked to confirm your nursery school preferences - have you considered a Welsh-medium education for your child?

Expressing a preference does not guarantee admission to your chosen nursery but it will give your child priority over children whose parents have not expressed a preference for it.

If you do not express a preference, or you submit your application after the closing date, it will be less likely that your child will be able to attend the nursery of your choice.

You should contact voluntary aided (faith) schools directly for a nursery application form.

The council is proposing to establish a Welsh-medium seedling primary school from September 2020, initially as a seedling provision for Nursery and Reception pupils only, at the currently vacant former Caerleon Lodge Hill Infant School. 

While the council is unable at this stage to guarantee that the school will open as planned in September 2020, parents may express this as a preference during this application window.

You are advised however to also select alternative preferences for existing schools, details of which can be found in the School Admissions Policy 2020/21(pdf).

If the planned opening of the new primary school is deferred, your second preference will be promoted for consideration.

Read more information and updates on this proposal.

Oversubscription criteria for admission to nursery

If the number of preferences for a nursery is fewer than or equal to the number of places available, all applicants will be admitted.

However, where there are more preferences than there are places available, the following oversubscription criteria will be applied to decide which children should be admitted. 

Where a nursery is named in a statement of Special Educational Needs, the council has a duty to admit the child to the nursery before the over-subscription criteria is applied against applications received.

This will reduce the amount of places available to other applicants.

If the total number of preferences for admission to a nursery exceeds the number of places the following order of priority will be applied to allocate the available places:

  1. Looked-after children (children in public care) and previously looked-after children
  2. Pupils living within the catchment area and making an application on medical grounds or placed on the Child Protection Register and recommended by social services
  3. Pupils living within the catchment area
  4. Pupils living outside the catchment area and making an application on medical grounds or placed on the Child Protection Register and recommended by social services
  5. Pupils living outside the catchment area

After considering the above categories, or if the number of applications in any one of the above categories exceeds the published admission number, priority will be based on those living closest to the preferred school.

If you express more than one preference, all of your nursery choices will be considered equally and a place offered at your most preferred nursery where a place is available.

Note that there is no right of appeal against the council’s decision to refuse a nursery place.


Email with any questions about community nursery classes or schools.

Contact Newport Family Information Service for information about places in the private sector.

TRA104492 01/07/2019