The United Kingdom offers several types of early childhood education provisions. Nursery schools and nursery classes are offered during the regular school term free of cost to three and four-year-olds (but only for a couple of hours a day). A program referred to as "The Early Years Unit" is available during the school term for children three to five years. This program is also available at state-funded primary schools and infant schools.
Rather than kindergarten, children in the United Kingdom can attend a Reception class (or Class R) at the age of four. This class is offered on a full-time schedule during the school term. Reception class is considered the first class students take in the primary system (Scotland does not have a Reception class). In addition to these Department of Education and Employment-funded programs, Opportunity Groups are also available to families who have children with special needs. In the OECD report published in 2000, about 98 percent of three and four-year-olds in the UK participated in these preschool programs.