Nursery education is for three and four year olds.

A child can start nursery at the beginning of the term following their third birthday, if places are available.

An application must be made for every child requiring a nursery place

The place 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.

Read more on preparing your child for nursery (pdf)

Before making an application...

  • Make sure you can access the school admissions portal - do you remember your password? 
  • Check that your child is the correct age to apply
  • Check the application opening and closing dates
  • Do you know your catchment area?
  • Do you understand Rising 3 places?
  • Check that you understand the oversubscription criteria (below) and where your child will fit

Applications for a September 2021 nursery place

Children born between 1 September 2017 and 31 August 2018 can apply for a 2021 nursery place.  

  • Applications closed 16 September 2020
  • Decisions were issued 2 December 2020

View Nursery September 2021 Admission Summary (pdf)

To make a late application download the September 2021 nursery admission application form (pdf).

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.

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

  • 2 December 2020 for January 2021 Rising 3 places (on-time applications), or
  • 10 March 2021 for April 2021 Rising 3 places (on-time applications) 

When you make your application for nursery 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.

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

Download the school admissions policy 2021/2022 (pdf)

Catchment area changes from September 2021

Welsh-medium catchment areas will change from September 2021, if you are applying for a nursery place for 2021 you will need to check what your catchment school will be before making your application.

Read about Newport school catchment areas

For assistance please contact

A new Welsh-medium primary school will open from September 2021, initially for only nursery and reception age pupils, in the vacant former Caerleon Lodge Hill infant school building, where it will stay for two years before moving permanently to the current Pillgwenlly Primary School site. 

Fairoak and Kimberley nurseries are subject to a live school reorganisation proposal which, if approved, will result in Fairoak Nursery and Kimberley Nursery being amalgamated into a single school on the current Fairoak Nursery School site from September 2021.

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 
  3. Pupils living within the catchment area
  4. Pupils living outside the catchment area and making an application on medical grounds 
  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.

There is no right of appeal against the council’s decision to refuse a nursery place, because nursery education is non- statutory and you can take up a place in a private provision. 

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


Email with questions about community nursery classes or schools.

TRA119214 04/05/2020