Why Prince William and Kate Middleton chose Willcocks Nursery School for Princess Charlotte

Princess Charlotte is growing up! Prince George’s little sister is set to start nursery school in the new year. Prince William and Kate Middleton announced the excited news on Monday, December 18, while releasing their 2017 Christmas photo. Charlotte, two, will be attending London’s Willcocks Nursery School, which is just a stone's throw away from her home in Kensington Palace, starting in January 2018. A spokeswoman for Kensington Palace opened up about the couple's choice, saying: "They felt it was ideal as a first step for Princess Charlotte's early education and they were impressed by the team that work there."

In a statement, the school said, "We are delighted that The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have chosen the Willcocks Nursery School for Princess Charlotte. We look forward to welcoming Charlotte to our nursery in January."

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><img alt=VIEW GALLERY William and Kate announced that their daughter Charlotte will begin school in 2018 Photo: Chris Jackson

The nursery was founded in 1964 by Diana Willcocks and is owned and run by headmistress Lavinia Taylor and her fellow teachers. The nursery school strives to maintain its ethos for high standards, excellence and good manners. 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."

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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 9 am to 12 pm 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 2 pm to 4 pm.

><img alt=VIEW GALLERY The two-year-old will be attending London’s Willcocks Nursery School, which is just a stone's throw away from their home in Kensington Palace Photo: Karwai Tang/WireImage

The nursery charges £3,050 (roughly $4,085) per term for children attending morning school, while afternoon school costs £1,800 (roughly $1,800) per term. If Charlotte attended both sessions, her nursery fees would total £14,550 (roughly $19,488) per year, but if she only attended morning sessions, her education would cost £9,150 (roughly $12,255) per year.

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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.

><img alt=VIEW GALLERY George started school in London back in September Photo: Chris Jackson

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."

Charlotte’s older brother George, four, began school at Thomas’s Battersea back in September. It was confirmed in January that the Cambridge family would relocate from their country home Anmer Hall to London’s Kensington Palace. At the time, the palace also noted in a statement that “Prince George will begin school in London in September, and Princess Charlotte will also go to nursery and eventually school in London as well.”

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