Prince George Is Off to Nursery School! All About His Royal Enrollment

It s time for Prince George to brush up on his royal ABCs!

Photo: Martio Testino /Art Partner/Sipa

It’s time for Prince George to brush up on his royal ABCs!

Prince William and Princess Kate announced Friday that they are sending the 2-year-old prince to a nursery school near their country home in Norfolk in the new year.

George is set to attend the Westacre Montessori School in East Walton, which is a short drive from the family’s grand country mansion, Anmer Hall.

According to a royal source, George will begin the program by the end of January on a part-time basis.

“There’s no set format, but it will be roughly around a couple of days a week,” the royal source tells PEOPLE.

Westacre Montessori is named after Italian educator Maria Montessori (who was the first woman in Italy to receive a medical degree), and encourages freedom of thought. Children are also taught in mixed age groups. The school, which is a converted chapel, costs $55 a day and is located on a private road.

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“We are looking forward to welcoming George to our nursery where he will get the same special experience as all of our children,” the school said in a statement issued by the couple’s office at Kensington Palace.

As a child, George’s father William attended the private Mrs. Mynors’ Nursery School in Kensington, which also followed the Montessori method. Kate attended the pre-school at Bradford Southend in Berkshire.

The move confirms what a friend told PEOPLE in this week’s issue – that Will and Kate “want to educate their children initially up there” in the country.

“They looked at a few schools and they thought it was the best for place George,” the royal source continues. “They felt in terms of education, the feeling, the teachers and the location – the whole thing made it the ideal fit for him.”

The school’s location in Norfolk is convenient for the family of four. William is mainly based in the area while he continues his job as a helicopter pilot in the East Anglia Air Ambulance service.

The announcement comes just as the royal family has released their adorable new holiday card, which showcases George’s playful spirit!

To read more about plans for family’s first Christmas, pick up this week’s PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday

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