Admissions

Introduction

It is the aim of the Pre-school to give genuine access to all children and their families based on the ratio of children to staff authorised by Ofsted. We welcome children who are 3 or will be turning 3 during the term they wish to start. We are a community resource and do not discriminate between children’s backgrounds or place of residence when allocating places. If additional support is required for a child to attend the setting, or if a child has special medical needs, the pre-school will work with the parents/carers and other relevant professionals prior to admission and will aim to accommodate individual needs.

Purposes

• To ensure a fair system of admitting children to the Pre-school
• To ensure that all places are filled
• To ensure that all children receive the appropriate induction to the Pre-school

Guidelines

• Pre-school’s polices & procedures are available to everyone.
• We welcome children who are 3 or will be turning 3 during the term they wish to start up to the age of 5.
• It is preferred that children are toilet trained before starting Pre-school.
• All enquiries should be directed to the Pre-school Administrator.
• Parents are informed about our procedures for allocating places.
• We do not offer discounts to siblings.

Waiting list and allocation of places

The Waiting List is kept by the Pre-school Administrator and is kept in date order based on the date the waiting list application form is received by the pre-school.

If parents decline a place because the timing of the offer was unsuitable, they will be moved to the waiting list and placed in date order according to when the form was received.

Places are allocated during the summer term (Term 5) for the following academic year. Places are offered in the date order of the names on the Waiting List. Places will be offered in the September and January. Only if places become available will we offer places in the Summer Term.

It is advisable to confirm the sessions you require as soon as possible to avoid disappointment. All sessions are subject to availability.

All parents will be asked to complete a Registration form and an Information form for their child.

Refundable Deposit

The Pre-school will ask those families who will be receiving their free hours when their child starts, for a £25.00 refundable deposit. This must be paid at the same time as returning the Registration and Information form to Pre-school. Once the deposit and forms have been returned, your place will be confirmed. If you do not start on the agreed start date, your deposit will not be returned. If your child starts on the agreed date your deposit will be refunded to you within 28 days after your child starts at pre-school.

Opening hours

Pre-school is open Term Time only (TTO) 38 weeks of the year. Our opening hours are:

Monday: 9-12, 9-1 or 9-3
Tuesday: 9-12 or 9-1
Wednesday: 9-12, 9-1 or 9-3
Thursday: 9-12, 9-1 or 9-3
Friday: 9-12 or 9-1

We are open for a total of 26 hours a week

Free Funded hours – (universal 15 hours)

Every child will be entitled to a maximum of 15 hours free childcare for 38 weeks of the year from the term after their 3rd birthday. We offer a maximum of 4 free funded hours on a Tuesday and Friday and up to 6 free funded hours on a Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. Bank holidays are not funded by Bristol City Council. If your free hours fall on a Bank holiday you will lose these hours, they cannot be reallocated.

Free Funded hours – (Extended 15 hours)

From September 2017 all 3 & 4 year olds in England from working families who are eligible will have access to the extended entitlement of 15 hours (certain eligibility criteria will apply). Together, the universal offer and the extended offer will make the ’30 hours free Childcare’. Please visit childcarechoices.gov.uk for further information and to check your eligibility. Parents will have to apply via HMRC for the extended 15 free hours and renew their circumstances/eligibility every 3 months. Parents will be given a ’30 hours’ code which they will need to give to the Pre-school.

For further information please visit www.bristol.gov.uk/30hours

Hourly Rate & non-funded sessions

Any ‘additional’ hours will be charged at our hourly rate of £6.00p/h and will be invoiced on the first day of your child starting pre-school (not including the settling session) for the whole of the term (Autumn/Spring or Summer). Invoices must be paid on receipt but if you would like to pay in instalments, please speak to our Administrator to arrange.

Attendance

The Pre-school will aim to be flexible about attendance patterns in order to accommodate the needs of individual children and their families (Please also refer to our Settling policy).

We do ask parents to inform the pre-school if their child is going to be away for any reason. No refunds are given for non attendance for those parents paying for additional hours.

We prefer children to attend for at least 3 mornings per week so that each child can develop positive relationships with the staff, particularly the key person, and the other children. This enables the staff to identify and implement appropriate play and learning experiences in all areas based on each child’s needs and experiences as required by the Early Years Foundation Stage.

Tax Free Childcare

Tax free childcare is an online payment account which is topped up by the Government which parents use solely to pay their childcare costs. To be eligible parents must be in work (including self employment) and each earning at least £120 per week and not more than £100,000 per year. Please visit Childcarechoices.gov.uk for further information.

Voluntary Contribution

The Pre-school invite families to make a voluntary contribution of £1.50 per session (a 6 hour session counts as 2 sessions) This voluntary contribution helps towards extra activities which are not covered by the hourly funding from Bristol City Council. The hourly funding received from Bristol Council pays for part of the staff salary costs and premises rental costs.

You will receive a letter at the start of each term (September, January and April) indicating the amount we are inviting you to contribute. If you wish to pay this you can do so by cash, cheque or BACS. Please note you cannot pay the voluntary contribution using tax free child care (childcare vouchers), as this should be for paid childcare only.

Trips

The pre-school occasionally go on external trips usually at the end of term (previous visits have included Bristol Zoo and Wild Place). We will notify parents of any trips and costs to be paid.

Withdrawing a child from pre-school – paid for hours

Careful consideration should be given by all parents who have accepted a pre-school place to start in the term prior to the payment of the Free funding.  Should they wish to withdraw or defer the child within this term full payment for the term (usually 6 or 7 weeks) is required. This is because the pre-school budget is set at the beginning of each year on the understanding that all places are filled to ensure the sustainability of the provision.

Withdrawing a child from pre-school - Free funded hours

Bristol City Council asks parents of 3 & 4 year olds to make a termly commitment. Parents should be aware that if they decide to remove their child from pre-school during the academic year, the pre-school will only transfer their funded hours to another setting if the parent gives one terms’ notice (usually 6 weeks). We would consider allowing a parent to break their contract if there are life changing circumstances (e.g parent has lost their job, moving house out of area, serious illness etc)

Starting Pre-school

The Pre-school team very much welcome the opportunity to get to know the children before they start and also for the children to become familiar with the pre-school surroundings. We invite the family to two or three short visits during the term before they are due to start.

On their first day, your child’s key worker along with one other member of staff will visit you at home. This will be an opportunity to discuss anything regarding your child’s entry to pre-school. This meeting should last no more than half an hour. On their second day, we will welcome you and your child to Pre-school at 9.00am where you will both be invited to stay for an hour and a half. Thereafter your child will attend pre-school on the days agreed.

Appeals process

If you have a complaint about any aspect of our delivery of the free hours, please contact the Family Information Service at Bristol City Council on askcyps@bristol.gov.uk to discuss further or call 0845 129 7217