All 3 and 4 year olds are eligible for up to 15 hours a week of free nursery provision from the term after their 3rd birthday and some children may be entitled to an additional 15 hours of full nursery education. Find out more from the Westmorland and Furness Families Information website.  This is based on children attending nursery for 38 weeks of the year for 5 x 3 hour sessions per week, either every morning or every afternoon, although other flexible options may be available.  Various 'settings' provide nursery education where parents can access this free entitlement, including:

  • nursery classes in 'maintained' infant and primary schools
  • maintained nursery schools
  • pre-school playgroups
  • private nurseries
  • academies which are registered to provide nursery education.

Find nursery settings in your area


If your child's third birthday falls between:Your child will become eligible from:
1 January and 31 MarchThe start of the Summer Term (April)
1 April and 31 AugustThe start of the Autumn Term (September)
1 September and 31 DecemberThe start of the Spring Term (January)

Some 2 year old children are also entitled to free places.  Contact the Children and Families Information Service for more information - Telephone: 03457 125 737.

30 Hour Free Childcare

 Title  Date  Size
30/08/2023 17k
30/08/2023 149k

For community and voluntary controlled nurseries:

2024/2025 Nursery Application Dates
When your child turns 3Recommended time to applyWhen your child would start nursery
1 September to 31 December 202416 April to 19 July 20247 January 2025
1 January to 31 March 20254 September to 20 December 202422 April 2025
2025/2026 Nursery Application Dates
When your child turns 3Recommended time to applyWhen your child would start nursery
1 April to 31 August 20257 January to 4 April 20253 September 2025
1 September to 31 December 202522 April to 18 July 20257 January 2026
1 January 2026 to 31 March 20263 September to 19 December 202613 April 2026

For academies, voluntary aided and foundation schools:

Check with the individual school for the closing date.

Before you apply for a nursery place, please make sure that you have read through the important information leaflet that includes the admissions policy for community and voluntary controlled nurseries.

Download the application form and return it to your preferred school.

If you are unable to download an application form, please contact the School Admissions and Appeals Team and we will post one to you:

Email: - application forms only

For all nursery or eligibility code queries, please contact the Children and Families Information Service

Telephone: 03457 125 737

Attendance in a nursery class does not guarantee a place in the reception group at the school.  It is not a factor in allocating places at community and voluntary controlled schools and many other schools.

 Title  Date  Size
30/08/2023 65k
30/08/2023 219k

Find a Childcare provider.

Please contact the nursery you are interested in for information about their establishment and applying for a place with them.