Through Ceredigion County Council, the Welsh Government funds a part-time early education (also known as Foundation Phase Nursery - FPN) place for all 3 year olds whose parents/guardians want one. Places are available in nursery units attached to the larger primary schools (12 ½ hours a week), or in playgroups or day nurseries registered for funding with the Authority (10 hours a week). Funding is for 2 hours a day, 5 days per week (some voluntary settings may offer 2½ hour sessions over 4 days). It is available for the three terms following the child’s third birthday. Full time education in schools is available to all children the term following their 4th birthday.
Nursery Education is delivered in 14 schools in Ceredigion.
Nursery Education is also delivered in 21 settings in Ceredigion.
- Please follow this link to find your local nursery education provider/setting (Cylch Meithrin / Playgroups): Childcare provision in Ceredigion
Foundation Phase nursery (also referred to as early education entitlement and funded early education) is a general term used to describe the time your child spends in the Foundation Phase during the ages of three and four. This is a very important phase in your child’s life as it lays the building blocks for their future learning and is part of the current and future curriculum.
When will my child benefit from funded Foundation Phase nursery?
Your child is entitled to a minimum of 10 hours per week of funded, part‑time, Foundation Phase nursery. This could be in a setting (which can be a nursery or funded playgroup) approved by your local authority, or a school. Your child would start Foundation Phase nursery from the term following their third birthday.
|Child’s birthday||When can my child start Foundation Phase nursery?|
|1 September to 31 December||The beginning of term on or after 1 January|
|1 January to 31 March||The beginning of term on or after 1 April|
|1 April to 31 August||The beginning of term on or after 1 September|
What are the benefits of the Foundation Phase for my child?
The Foundation Phase takes place both indoors and outdoors and allows children to learn through play. The curriculum gives every child the opportunity to be at the centre of their learning. Your child’s interests will be taken into account and they will be encouraged to make choices about their learning. Qualified staff will be observing children, working with individuals, small groups, or at times the whole group to extend and develop the learning. This results in a learning experience which is practical, fun and full of hands-on activities which are known to develop positive attitudes to learning.
Benefits of Foundation Phase
- Develops self-motivation and independence
- Ability to make mistakes without fear of failure
- Develops language and communication skills
- Develops confidence
- Develops positive attitude to learning
- Develops numeracy skills
- Allows expression through dance, art and music
- Develops thinking and problem-solving skills
Learning through play
The Foundation Phase is built on the principles of learning through play. Research proves that play is essential to the educational development of all children, and evidence shows that learning through play is a powerful tool which can help children to develop and extend their language and communication skills. It allows children to use initiative, take risks and make mistakes without fear of failure. Play is how young children make sense of the world.
There are many forms of play that support the Foundation Phase curriculum. Examples include role play, construction play, creative play, exploratory play and imaginative play.
The Foundation Phase is a developmental curriculum for three to seven-year-olds in Wales. It encourages children to be creative, imaginative and to have fun while making learning more effective.
Your child will be given opportunities to explore the world around them and understand how things work by taking part in practical activities relevant to their developmental stage. They will be challenged through practical activities and develop their thinking with open-ended questions. Your child will be encouraged to explore concepts and share ideas for solving problems.
What is my child learning?
The Foundation Phase has seven Areas of Learning (six when Welsh is the primary language of the setting – which can be a nursery, funded playgroup or school) which are delivered through stimulating structured practical activities and active learning experiences both indoors and outdoors.
Seven Areas of Learning
- Personal and Social Development, Well-Being and Cultural Diversity
- Language, Literacy and Communication Skills (See Note 1)
- Mathematical Development
- Welsh Language Development (See Note 2)
- Knowledge and Understanding of the World
- Physical Development
- Creative Development
1 This will be in English or Welsh depending on the language policy of the setting or school.
2 This is not a requirement when settings or schools follow the Language, Literacy and Communication Skills Area of Learning through the medium of Welsh
Follow this link for the Guidance Foundation Phase: guide for parents and carers:
For more information go to Welsh Government page:
What are Special Educational Needs?
Special educational needs in nursery education - Inclusion
Every child has the opportunity to benefit from quality early years experiences and activities in the local community.
Each child, no matter what his/her needs, benefits from the experiences in nursery provisions. In order to identify any additional needs and to ensure early intervention, one member of staff in each provision is responsible for ensuring that the needs of the children are met.
These individuals work closely with their local Referral Scheme Coordinators.
If your child needs additional support, there is a referral scheme which is managed by Mudiad Meithrin across all non-maintained nursery provision on behalf of Ceredigion County Council.
What is SNAP Cymru?
SNAP Cymru provides information, advice and support for parents, children and young people who have, or may have, special educational needs or disabilities.
This link may be useful: