It's an exciting time for Princess Charlotte, who is starting nursery in January. Prince William and Kate's daughter will attend the Willcocks Nursery School in London, a stone's throw away from their home in Kensington Palace. The palace revealed the news in a statement, with the nursery saying they are "delighted" to welcome Charlotte next month. Here's everything you need to know about the royal's new nursery…
Where is Willcocks Nursery School?
The school is a ten-minute drive from the Cambridges' family home in Kensington Palace, or a 15-minute walk. It's located in the hall of Holy Trinity Church, next door to the Royal Albert Hall and Kensington Gardens, and down the road from the Natural History Museum, Science Museum and Victoria and Albert museum, so Charlotte can expect various educational outings and visits to the park.
When will Charlotte start nursery?
The spring term starts on Thursday 4 January, with a one-week break in mid-February. Term finishes at the end of March for Easter, and resumes one month later on 26 April.
What is the school like?
The nursery was founded in 1964 by Diana Willcocks and is owned and run by headmistress Lavinia Taylor and her fellow teachers. In 2015, Tatler described the nursery as a "hidden gem" in Kensington, attended by children of "old English families and chic foreigners". The magazine added: "Kindness is evident everywhere, plus the nursery is a cooperative, so you know staff are in it for the long haul."
Classes are divided into morning and afternoon school, and while Kensington Palace has not revealed if Charlotte will do half days or full days, it's likely that the two-year-old will start by only attending morning sessions. Morning classes are held five days a week from 9am to 12pm and accommodate 32 children. Afternoon sessions are less structured, and have a higher staff to student ratio as they are designed for younger children. There are three sessions a week on Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays from 2pm to 4pm.
On its website, Willcocks says pupils experience "a fun and structured morning with lots of free play where children embark on the first stages of learning to read, write and to understand simple numbers with the minimum of pressure". Group activities include poetry, singing, acting and jigsaw-making, while 'circle time', which involves prayer and hymns, also takes place every day.
Prime areas that the school focuses on are personal social and emotional development, physical development and communication and language. Ofsted has praised the school, saying: "The educational programme is outstanding. Children actively participate in activities that relate to all areas of learning. Topic themes include outings in the local community and visitors to the nursery. This enables children to gain first-hand experiences that effectively consolidate their learning."
How much is Charlotte's nursery?
The nursery charges £3,050 per term for children attending morning school, while afternoon school costs £1,800 per term. If Charlotte attended both sessions, her nursery fees would total £14,550 per year, but if she only attended morning sessions, her education would cost £9,150 per year.