Admissions are made to ensure that each setting operates to as near full capacity as possible, as set out by Ofsted registrations.
Admissions are made at the discretion of the management but places are available to everyone in the community who require day care or wraparound care for their children, whilst they are, primarily, at work. Admissions are available all year round without reference to ability or aptitude.
Once a visit has taken place, a parent / carer must register their interest by completing the nursery Registration Form & Parental Agreement, which is given out at every visit or available to download from the website. One form per child will be required. A Registration Fee will become payable when the form is handed in. This fee is still payable to be placed on the Waiting List. The Registration Fee is not payable for children taking up a government funded only place and taking no settling visits outside of the funded entitlement, settling visits may be taken during the funded only hours if required. Where no Registration Fee is taken then a Refundable Deposit will be charged at a similar rate. This will be refunded at the end of the term with us and as long as there are no other outstanding monies. The refundable deposit is payable at the start of every term and for the start of the new academic year (September) as the academic year is September to July. If a place cannot be found then it will be refunded within 2 weeks of our knowing this. If a place is offered but the parent chooses not to take this up then the deposit will not be refunded.
The completion of a Registration Form does not in itself guarantee an offer of a place, as this will be decided by the available places that we have on offer at that time. Place allocation is a complex matter and some sessions have limited availability which is dependent on the number of full time equivalent places being taken up. As a rule for every 4 Full Time equivalent 15 hours Enhanced Offer places we offer 1 ZERO COST place (4 places maximum). For every 8 Full Time equivalent 30 hours places we offer 1 ZERO COST 30 hour places (2 places maximum). Times of our ZERO COST sessions are shown in our Price Lists. All parents have the same right to access our ZERO COST sessions and these will be allocated in line with the rules below.
If there are more applications than places available then places will be allocated by the Manager, firstly to those who have completed the relevant forms and paid their fee or deposit (on a date received basis). Full-time and full-day places will take priority over part-time places and sibling places will take priority over new applicants. Employees children will be considered on the same basis. Where a place cannot be found then children will be placed on a Waiting List.
All new registrations will be acknowledged in writing. When a place has been confirmed then the child or children will be booked into the base room for their settling visits as per the agreed schedule. These will preferably take place in the weeks immediately before starting or in the case of funded only sessions, during the child’s / children’s first week. In emergency admissions then these settling visits may need to be altered to accommodate the child’s and parent’s needs. The first months fees will need to be paid in full before the child starts the nursery.
Once a child has started, daily feed back to the parents is made via the key person (if available) through a verbal handover and/or tapestry and this is continued throughout nursery. The child should be entered onto the electronic learning system (Tapestry) and observations begun straight away. A handover sheet and Tapestry are used in all rooms.
Waiting List Criteria
Children will remain on the Waiting List until a place becomes available. If we cannot find a place in the timescale required then Registration Fees will be returned.
Flexible Funded Childcare & Education Offer
““Government funding is intended to deliver 15 or 30 hours a week of free, high quality, flexible childcare. It is not intended to cover the costs of meals, other consumables, additional hours or optional activities. Providers can charge for meals and snacks, consumables and optional activities as part of the free entitlement delivery, as long as parents are not required to pay as a condition of taking up their child’s free entitlement place. Where parents choose to purchase additional hours of provision or optional activities, this is a private matter between the provider and the parent” Operational Guidance April 2017
Children may access some or all of their funded entitlement with us. Children attending 2 settings will have their 15/30 hours split between the settings. The decision about which hours go to which setting is not always the choice of the parent and does vary by Local Authority. We will advise of our understanding of this in your setting if you choose to make such a split.
Not all of our funded sessions are zero Cost and we have limited spaces available on this basis. We do not have a specific number of places we allocate at ZERO COST but we have to ensure that we balance our staffing with our numbers and overall attendance patterns, therefore this means we may not always have the session you require.
15 funded hours for 2 year olds are available for eligible families (see government criteria on their or our website), either with or without additional hours. Our only other charge is for a hot lunch at £2.50 if you attend for funded only hours. There is an option to provide a healthy packed lunch* (conditions apply) Hours can be taken flexibly over a minimum of 2 days, over 38 weeks. Please note though that if attending for funded only hours, this attendance pattern may be changed once 3 yr entitlement starts, as our spaces in our Pre-school rooms are managed term by term. Although we aim to offer continuity of care for your child at all times.
At the age of 3 years your child is eligible for the universal 570 hours of funded education which we offer flexibly as an enhanced stretched offer over either 38 /48/51 weeks of the year. Our various sessions are shown in the tables in our Price Lists and where parents choose to access an Enhanced Offer, over and above the basic government funded provision, then there is an additional charge that covers these additional services. These services include, but are not limited to, snacks, lunches, trips outside the nursery, parties for children, equipment or gifts that the children take home such as for Mother’s or Father’s Day, Christmas, nappies, wipes, sun cream and other such specific activities that the nursery buys in specifically for children. You are not obliged to take up these additional services and you can access your funded only hours at ZERO COST over the 38 weeks. Any additional hours outside our funded delivery are charged for but if you are attending all year round then we ensure your funded entitlement is accounted for on your invoice as a numerical sum. This sum equates to your ‘free’ entitlement from the government and the balance relates to the fees for your remaining childcare. Your invoice may vary each term or month because funding is allocated by the local authority in differing term lengths. However we do try to annualise invoices whenever possible. Additional services are shown as a weekly cost but are invoiced monthly over a period of months between September and July.
A further 570 hours of extended entitlement childcare are available for eligible families from September 2017. The eligibility criteria for this is available on the governments or our website. It is the parents responsibility to check their eligibility through HMRC and they must provide an eligibility code to the Local Authority prior to being able to take up the extended offer. We offer our ‘30 hours’ in a similar way to our 15 hours as 1140 hours stretched over 48 weeks of the year, (with enhanced resources) giving an average of 24 hours per week. As with our 570 hour offer we are able to offer limited places at ZERO COST for 51 weeks of the year, using our usual admissions criteria. Our various available sessions are shown in our price list. Invoicing and funding will be handled the same way as described above.
Should your eligibility for 30 hours change then the company reserves the right to offer you an alternative place, with an altered attendance pattern, based on the Universal Entitlement as places are allocated dependent on the total number of hours in the settings. We will always endeavour to ensure continuity of care for your child in order to support their remaining with the setting but have limited spaces for some sessions.
Grace Periods have been put in place to support families where their circumstances and therefore their eligibility might change. These are:
|Validity end date:||LA audit date:||Grace Period End date:|
|1 Jan – 10 February||11 February||31 March|
|11 Feb – 31 March||1 April||31 August|
|1 April – 26 May||27 May||31 August|
|27 May – 31 August||1 September||31 December|
|1 September – 21 October||22 October||31 December|
|22 October – 31 December||1 January||31 March|
Complaints Procedure for the Government Funded Entitlement
If you consider that your funded place has not be provided correctly, or the terms of your contract have not been fully explained, then you should make a complaint, initially in writing to the Manager of your setting, who will either handle this directly or pass along to her senior for a response. If you still do not get a satisfactory answer to your complaint within 4 weeks, then you may address your complaint directly to the Director, Alison Lane and you will receive a response within 2 weeks of it being received.
If you still consider the complaint has not been dealt with satisfactorily then you may contact the Local Authority in which the setting operates (Worcestershire or Birmingham) and follow their complaints procedure. It is the responsibility of the Local Authority to ensure we are delivering our funded hours within the national guidelines and whilst we might not offer our funding in the way you might like to access it, the Local Authority can help you in finding a setting that might better suit your needs, if this is the cause of your complaint.
Ofsted are not concerned with, or have time to deal with, issues relating to funding or fee charges that are made for childcare or education. Their responsibilities lie clearly with the regulation and inspection of the welfare and safeguarding requirements and the children’s learning and development.
Any other complaints about funding should be made directly to The Ombudsman via gov.uk or your local MP.
Review of Policy
This policy is reviewed annually.
Review date – July 2018