nursery school

(redirected from nursery schools)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus.
Related to nursery schools: Montessori

nursery school,

educational institution for children from two to four years of age. It is distinguishable from a day nurseryday nursery,
 day-care center,
or crèche
, institution for the care of the children of working parents. Originating in Europe in the late 18th and early 19th cent.
..... Click the link for more information.
 in that it serves children of both working and nonworking parents, rarely receives public funds, and has as its primary objective to promote the social and educational adjustment of children, rather than to provide a daytime child-care service. The first nursery schools were opened in London in 1907. Pioneers in nursery school work in the United States were the State Univ. of Iowa; Teachers College, Columbia Univ.; Smith; and Vassar. Early American nursery schools were often sponsored by and affiliated with local universities. The Eliot Pearson School (opened in the 1920s as the Ruggles Street Nursery) is one of the oldest schools of its type and is still affiliated with Tufts Univ. Few public school systems include nursery education; the facilities offered are chiefly private, philanthropic, or cooperative.


See H. M. Christianson, The Nursery School: Adventure in Learning and Living (1961); K. H. Read, The Nursery School (5th ed. 1971).

Nursery School


(kindergarten), an institution for the public education of preschool children that is found in most countries and is usually the first stage in the system of public education.

The first school for young children was organized in 1802 by R. Owen in New Lanark, Scotland. F. Froebel first applied the term “kindergarten” to a preschool institution in Germany in 1837. The first nursery schools in Russia were opened in the 1860’s, and by 1914, there were 150 such institutions, caring for 4,000 children.

The organization of nursery schools as mass institutions began in the first days of the Soviet state’s existence, and under Soviet power a very broad network of nursery schools has been organized. In order to satisfy the toiling people’s demands for the public education of their children, the goal of expanding the network of preschool institutions as much as possible was included in the Program of the CPSU. Local soviets of working people’s deputies, enterprises, departments, and kolkhozes have opened nursery schools. In addition to nursery schools, since 1959 creches (day nurseries) have been organized for children from two months to seven years old. The ministries of education and their local agencies direct the work of all preschool institutions. At the end of 1970 there were 83,100 nursery schools and creches, caring for 8,099,700 children.

The content of educational work in nursery schools is defined in the state Program of Education in the Nursery School. Instruction is conducted in the children’s native language. In the nursery schools the physical, mental, moral, aesthetic, and work education of children is carried out in accordance with their age-group characteristics. The children are put into groups of 20-25 according to age. The youngest group consists of four-year-olds, the middle group, of five-year-olds, the oldest group, of six-year-olds, and the school-preparatory group, of seven-year-olds. The children spend ten to 12 hours per day at the nursery school. There are boarding schools for children whose parents work rotating shifts or have jobs that require travel. Parents take their children home from such schools only on visiting days.

In the nursery schools, a child’s life is given structure, and there is an alternation of games, lessons, work within the child’s abilities, and rest. One of the most important tasks of the nursery school is to pay attention to the health and proper physical development of the children, which are promoted by an appropriate daily routine, planned diet, strengthening the child’s body, preventive measures, gymnastic exercises, and medical supervision. The nursery school’s routine allocates a great deal of time to various games, including instructional ones that develop speech and hearing, numerical skills, and color and shape recognition. Revolutionary holidays and memorable dates are marked by festive and lively musical-theatrical morning performances.

The children’s lessons acquaint them with the phenomena of nature and community life. They study drawing, modeling with clay, designing, and singing, and they master the rudiments of reading and writing and elementary mathematical concepts. The process of studying develops language and thought skills in the children. Gradually, their first learning habits are formed: the ability to listen and understand the teacher’s explanations, to follow directions, and to complete assignments. The children learn to observe and love nature and to respect people’s labor. The work of the nursery school prepares the children for school.

Specially trained teachers are assigned to the nursery schools. They develop close ties with the children’s families and educate parents in pedagogical methods. Visual aids (pictures, albums, filmstrips, and movies), methodological literature, and reference books are published for preschool workers. The journal Doshkol’noe vospitanie (Preschool Education) deals broadly with questions of bringing up children in nursery schools.

Preschool institutions in other socialist countries are also part of the public education system and are maintained at state expense. Most nursery schools in capitalist countries are supported by private individuals or by church and community organizations. In the USA there are preschool institutions founded by parents on a cooperative basis. The content of the educational program of these nursery schools depends on the pedagogical views of their organizers and directors.


Programma vospitaniia v detskom sadu. Moscow, 1970.
Doshkol’noe vospitanie: Bibliograficheskii spravochnik, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1965.
Spravochnik po doshkol’nomy vospitaniiu, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1967.

nursery school

A school for children of about 3 to 5 years of age.

nursery school

a school for young children, usually from three to five years old
References in periodicals archive ?
This is the first time JICA has carried out a technical cooperation project targeting nursery schools, but it has a long track record of dispatching volunteers (Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers and others) in the field of early childhood education.
By EDITORIALThe development of a scheme of service for nursery school teachers is well-informed, if long overdue.
We will have records that will be saved for 30 days in the nursery school, we will have records in the Healthcare Directorate so as to be able to react if the parents have concerns", added Barbalov.
But this means ensuring private nursery schools and primary schools which provide nursery places have the same funding as local authority nurseries, which currently receive more.
Between them, they are set to lose PS700,000 a year - and all 27 nursery schools across the city face similar cuts.
A Department for Education spokesperson said: "It is right that we look at how we can make funding fairer across the early years sector - alongside this we want to look at how we can make maintained nursery schools, which have higher running costs, sustainable in the long term.
Schools adjudicator Jill Pullen had rejected the council's plan to reduce the reception intake from 120 to 90 at Reinwood Infant and Nursery School this September and the school places row rumbles on.
The ministry issued warning letters to 199 nursery schools last year.
Many nursery schools, observers say, accept too many children and cut corners by employing fewer teachers and nurses.
By surveying problems in nursery school childcare support programmes, determining the knowledge and skills required to provide these support programmes, studying the expertise needed by nursery school teachers to provide childcare support, and examining childcare support that is currently being provided, we may be able to identify theories and skills that can help nursery schools provide better and more consistent childcare support in the future.
It means maintained nursery schools in Warwick, Whitnash, Kenilworth, Stockingford, Bedworth Heath and Atherstone will all retain their Department for Education status, but will also offer support to other providers of early years education.
The purpose of this paper is to illustrate, through the use of official documents and photographs taken during an extended visit to one school in 1940 and other Texas schools between 1939 and 1940, how the work of the WPA Emergency Nursery Schools attempted to meet its stated goals.