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It’s never too early to think about your child’s education. If you’re considering an independent education for your child, you might be interested to hear about independent school nurseries in Scotland.

Here we’ve answered some of your questions about independent nurseries, dispelled some myths and explained a bit more about what you can expect…

Over half of independent schools in Scotland have a nursery

Over half of Scottish independent schools have a nursery as part of its offering. Attending a nursery that’s attached to an independent school means your child will have access to a wide range of activities that might not be available at alternative nurseries, including music, dance and drama led by specialist staff from the school.

Although most independent school nurseries operate during term time only, schools recognise the hours worked by parents and offer wide ranging after-school and holiday club care to cover these times.

Your child can start their independent education from a younger age

Whether you have already got a nursery in mind or you are still in the research phase, it is important not to rush your decision and take time to find the right nursery for you and your family.

The majority of independent nurseries in Scotland take children from 3 years of age but some will take toddlers from 18 months or younger, so it’s certainly something you can consider.

Having a look around the facilities is an important step and nursery staff are always delighted to meet parents, show off the facilities on offer and answer any questions that you may have.

Fully qualified teachers and experienced early years staff

In independent school nurseries there are fully qualified teachers and experienced early years staff. Nursery is a great way to smooth the transition to ‘big school’ and enables younger siblings to feel part of the same fun environment if older siblings also attend the school.

Attending an independent nursery doesn’t mean you are committed to the school

Whilst many parents see the benefit of the smooth transition from pre-school to school, it doesn’t mean you are committed to the school if you send your child to a nursery at an independent school.

Make sure you check to see how much notice is required should you choose to leave, in most schools it is a full terms notice.

Your child might be able to move on to Primary 1 without further assessment

This varies from school to school, so check with the school before you enrol, but some independent schools with nurseries attached will offer an automatic move on to Primary 1 without further assessment.

However, most schools will consult with the family should they believe that your child will not be able to manage the more formal environment of Primary 1.

Most independent schools with nurseries have partnership arrangements with their local authority

It is important to check what support you might be able to get from your local authority. Many independent schools with nurseries also accept childcare vouchers to help with the costs, but this varies so it’s always best to check with the individual schools’ finance departments.


If you are interested in finding out more about independent education in Scotland, we have lots of information for parents available to help you get started and can help you find a school.