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Things to do at home: 3-5 years

3-5 years

Nottinghamshire is a great place to bring up your family, where children can get the best possible start in life.


The information below shows all the services available for parents and carers with children, from three years old to five years old, to help you get the support you need.

15 hours funded childcare for 3 and 4-year-olds

All 3 and 4-year-olds are entitled to 15 hours of free early learning and care, over 38 weeks of the year. 30 hours of funded childcare is available for eligible working parents.


For more information please visit:

Free nursery and early years places

Activities and support for young children

There are lots of different activities you can try with your child, now they are older, with some funded places available. Extra support is also available, for children who need it, some of which requires a referral.

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Paint Splat

Rocking horse

Christmas tree


Preparing for school

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Parents need to complete a school entry health needs assessment on behalf of their child, to identify anyone who needs extra support. This also offers advice on lifestyles, to keep your child healthy.

The primary school starting age is between 4-5. Assuming your child is starting in the September after they turn four, you’ll need to apply by January that year. The dates change slightly each year but the deadline for applications is usually early to mid-January.

Apply for a school place

family livesTalking to your child about culture

As your child grows up they may have questions about their own heritage, culture or that of their friends. Family Lives has lots of helpful tips and advice on staying culturally connected.

Children’s centres

Nottinghamshire's Children's Centres offer a range of services for children and families with children under five. Support is available for those who need 1-1 support with their child’s development, environment, health and/or wellbeing.


Any parent to be, or with a child under 5, can use their local children’s centre. Children centres offer:

  • Breastfeeding support groups
  • Under ones' groups
  • Stay and play groups for under 5s


Children’s Centres can also offer one to one and group support with:

  • preparing for a baby
  • the emotional health of your child
  • helping you to play and bond
  • children’s behaviour
  • your child’s development, including listening and communication
  • feeding your child
  • increasing confidence of mums, and helping them get back into work
  • domestic abuse


Find out more and find your local children’s centre

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Communicating with your child

Language for Life

Language for Life provides advice for everyone in Nottinghamshire, to help children learn to talk and communicate.

Find out more about Language for Life


Hungry Little Minds 0-6months

Hungry Little Minds provides some ideas for simple fun activities, for children from new-born to five, to help your child develop.

Visit the Hungry Little Minds website


Advice for parents with English as a second language

Book Trust Logo

Booktrust Home Time for 4 and 5 year olds:

Looking for something fun as a family? Enjoy storytime with free online books and videos, play games, win prizes, test your knowledge in our book-themed quizzes, or even learn how to draw some of your favourite characters.

Please note: This site sometimes links to third party sites, including YouTube, so children should not use HomeTime unsupervised.

Visit Home Time for 4 and 5 year olds


World for Life and National Literacy Trust Logos

Words for Life by the National Literacy Trust

Provides parents, children and young people with activities and support to improve their language, literacy and communication skills from home.  With age suitable activities to encourage chat, play, read, watch, listen, write and make.

Visit Words for Life for 3-4 years and Visit Words for Life for 5-8 years


family livesTalking to your child about culture

As your child grows up they may have questions about their own heritage, culture or that of their friends. Family Lives has lots of helpful tips and advice on staying culturally connected.

Small Steps: challenging behaviour in children

Small Steps provides support for families with children who may have Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), or behaviour indicative of these conditions

Small Steps website

Notts Help Yourself

Notts Help Yourself

Notts Help Yourself is a great place to help you find information about a whole range of organisations and services, including:

  • activities, groups and events in your local community
  • childcare providers
  • support for children and young people aged 0 – 25 with a special educational need and / or a disability
  • health and social care information and support for adults and children
  • workplace health schemes.


Community groups in your area can support your child through play, development and learning. You can take part in local parent and toddler groups, swimming groups, informal parenting groups, and messy play.

Visit Notts Help Yourself

Inspire Libraries

Inspire Children and Families

Our Inspire libraries offer a range of activities for parents and children, including rhyme times, singing, storytelling, reading challenges, and more. Our libraries also offer a wide range of books to delight, inspire and encourage a love of reading and learning in children.


Activities and events run throughout the year to promote reading, and children of any age are welcome. It’s free to join the library and borrow books.

Inspire libraries: children and families





The Bookstart Treasure Gift is for children aged 3-4, and contains a picture book, advice on sharing books and gift envelope:

More about Bookstart

Childcare: nurseries and childminders

Day Nurseries and childminders care for children from 6 weeks old. Day nurseries provide full day care for children aged 0-5 years old.


Each nursery will have separate rooms for different age groups, which contain age appropriate toys, and equipment.  


Childminders are self-employed childcare professionals working in their own home. Childminders can usually care for a maximum of six children under 8 years old. They are inspected and regulated by Ofsted.


Each Childminder may offer different opening times, and many can be flexible to cater for your needs by sometimes offering childcare in the evening, or even overnight care. Many childminders can offer funded childcare places for 2, 3, and 4-year-old children.


Notts Help Yourself

Find out more about childcare choices on Notts Help Yourself website.

The healthy family team

Red Book

The healthy family team provide support to mum’s with children under 5, offering them support, where needed, with physical and mental health, feeding, behaviour, toilet training, attachment and relationships.


Some three-year-old children may be offered a review, where this is needed, if the child needs additional support.


Parents are given a record after the birth of their child, often called ‘the Red Book’. This book has important information about the baby’s health and development and includes advice and people to call for support.


Healthy Family Team advice line

You can contact the healthy family team using the advice line

Mental health, domestic abuse, substance misuse, support and advice

Family Lives

Family lives, which used to be known as Parentline, offers a confidential helpline, text message and email service for parents in England and Wales with children under 5.

Visit Family Lives website for contact details

Happy Maps logo

Happy Maps

Information and advice for parents of all ages from babies to young adults.

If you're worried about your child's behaviour or mental health and not sure what's normal ? Or wondering whether to see your GP?  Or you've been referred to specialist services but there is a long wait ..... or perhaps you've been told the problem isn't quite serious enough to be referred. Then this website can provide you with some support, visit the pages for parents of preschool children and primary school children:

Supporting survivors of domestic abuse:

Nottinghamshire police

Other organisations who offer support and help

Home Start

Home Start

Home-Start is a local community network of trained volunteers and expert support helping families with young children through challenging times.

Substance misuse

Alcohol and drugs misuse: help and support

Autism East Midlands

Autism East Midlands

AEM offers support and information for families and individuals, play and leisure services, outreach, and training for parents and carers

Children with Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND)

The Local SEND offer brings together useful information across education, health and social care within one website, for children with special educational needs and disability


TailfeatherTV You tube channel for SEN Early Years Children

It has been co-written and is presented by young adults with learning disabilities especially for babies, toddlers and young children.

TailfeatherTV episodes each have a different theme and are presented in an App-Style format.

​Viewers are taken into the 'main screen' to meet 5 lovable characters who represent a different fun area for children to explore:

Dance, Sing, Sign, Learn, and Play....


Co-written and presented by brilliantly talented young adults with learning disabilities including dancer, Andrew Self (The Greatest Dancer 2019, Mencap Boogie-thon 2020, BBC Breakfast 2020, BBC Radio2 Michael Ball Show 2020), TailfeatherTV is UNIQUE and paves the way for inclusion and diversity in broadcasting

The TailfeatherTV team hope to engage, excite and inspire young minds

Click Here for to start watching our episodes 

Tailfeather TV


Find Us on Facebook

Facebook is monitored during office hours Monday - Friday, however if your enquiry is serious, urgent or involves personal details, we advise you to contact the team on 0300 500 80 80 or email:

Follow Us @NottsCC


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