In Nursery, we provide outstanding education for children aged between 3 and 4 years. Our team consists of highly qualified and experienced Teachers and Early Years Practitioners. Our two classrooms and large garden offer exciting, challenging and stimulating experiences.
Birchwood Nursery has provided Nursery education for children aged under 5 in the community for over 70 years and is very well known in the local community with succeeding generations attending the Nursery.
15 Hour Funding
We offer 15 hours funded education per week for 3 and 4 year olds. We can offer morning sessions Monday to Friday 9.00 a.m. - 12 noon, Monday to Friday afternoon sessions: 12.45p.m.-15.45p.m. We also have a flexible offer where your child can attend over 2.5 days - Option A (Monday and Tuesday 9.00a.m. - 3.00 p.m. and Wednesday 9.00a.m - 12 noon) or Option B (Wednesday 12.45 p.m. - 3.45 p.m. and Thursday and Friday 9.00 a.m. - 3.00 p.m.)
Parents who require extended hours above the funded 15 can pay for wrap-around care which includes breakfast and tea time sessions. We aim to be flexible to meet the needs of our children and their families.
Please follow this link for details of our wrap-around care fees.
30 Hour Funding
Since September 2017, the government provides an additional 15 hours of funded childcare each week to some working parents of 3 and 4 year olds. This means that these parents are able to access 30 hours of free childcare per week.
Do I Qualify for 30 hours Funded Childcare?
You, and your partner, need to meet the following criteria in order to be eligible for 30 hours funded childcare:
- Earn or expect to earn the equivalent to 16 hours at National Minimum or Living Wage over the coming three months.
- This equates to £142.56 a week (or c.£7,413 a year) for each parent over 23 years old or £133.76 a week (or c.£6,955 a year) for each parent between 21 and 22 years old.
- This applies whether you are in paid employment, self-employed or on zero hours contract.
- The parent (and their partner where applicable) should be seeking the free childcare to enable them to work.
- Where one or both parents are on maternity, paternity, shared parental or adoption leave, or if they are on statutory sick leave.
- Where one parent meets the income criteria and the other is unable to work because they are disabled, have caring responsibilities or have been assessed as having limited capability to work.
- Where a parent is in a ‘start-up period’ (i.e. they are newly self-employed) they do not need to demonstrate that they meet the income criteria for 12 months.
What is covered by the 30 Hour Funding?
We offer a core 30 hours to children attending Nursery, Monday to Friday 9.00 a.m. to 3.00 p.m. Parents are required to pay for a cooked school lunch, which is £2.41 per day.
These places are in limited and are in high demand. We therefore suggest that you
- Apply for your eligibility code via the online eligibility tracker at www.childcarechoices.gov.uk. You can do this 16 weeks before your child's 3rd birthday, however if you currently receive tax free childcare we advise you call the helpline on 0300 123 4097.
- Add the 11 digit 'eligibility code', along with your National Insurance number to your application form in order for us to be able to claim the 30 hours place. If you receive your 'eligibility code' after submitting your application, then please bring it into the Nursery office in order for us to complete your application. You will be asked to complete a Parent Declaration Form to enable to us to process your application and to offer you a 30 hour place.
Additional hours can be purchased for Breakfast Club between 8.00 a.m. and 9.00 a.m. and Tea Club between 3.00 p.m. and 5.00 p.m.
Your child is eligible to start Nursery in the Autumn Term of the school year they will reach their fourth birthday (their fourth birthday must fall between 1st September and 31st August). Children can remain in the Nursery School until the term they reach their fifth birthday.
Please visit our Admissions Information page for further details and to access our online application form.
How do I secure a 30 hour place?
These places are limited and are in high demand. We therefore suggest that you:
- Speak to the Nursery/Preschool staff about places and register your interest.
- Apply for your eligibility code via the online eligibility checker available at: www.childcarechoices.gov.uk. You can do this 16 weeks before your child’s 3rdbirthday, however if you currently receive tax free childcare we advise you call the helpline on 0300 123 4097.
- Bring in the 11 digit ‘eligibility code’ (along with your National Insurance number and child’s date of birth) so we can claim the 30 hours place. You will be asked to complete a Parent Declaration Form to enable us to process your application.
- Decide if you will need extra paid sessions e.g. breakfast, tea or holiday sessions
Please note that you will need to reconfirm your eligibility to the 30 hours free childcare every three months. Failure to do so will terminate your eligibility. If your circumstances change, you may lose your eligibility but your child will retain the 30 hour place until then end of the current term (the grace period).
When could my child start in a 30 hours place?
Your child can start in their childcare place the term after they turn 3 years old and have received a valid 30 hour code, whichever is later. Term dates are 1st September, 1st January and 1st April. Therefore a child with a date of birth of 10/06/17 who obtains their code before 31/08/20 would start in September 2020.
If you have no 30 hour places remaining, what options do I have?
All 30 hour places for September 2023 in the Nursery School (children whose date of birth falls between 1st September 2019 and 31st August 2020) have been allocated. If you have a 30 hour code you can ask to be placed on our waiting list should a place become available during the year. You will need to keep your eligibility active by reconfirming (see above).
You may wish to consider shared provision whereby you accept a 15 hour morning or afternoon place at Birchwood Nursery and use a local child minder to provide the remaining 15 hours. You will need to provide your eligibility code to both parties.
If your child’s date of birth falls between 1st September 2020 and 31st August 2021, you should speak to Birchwood Preschool about their 30 hour availability. You should also clearly indicate on the application form for Nursery admission for September 2023 that you want a 30 hour place and provide your eligibility code.
Settling into Nursery
Starting nursery school is a big step for most children and so a settling in process is really important. The time you spend helping your child to settle in will really benefit them in the long run – it will mean your child will be happier, more confident, be ready to learn and enjoy coming to nursery.
We make a home visit as an informal, friendly opportunity to introduce ourselves and get to know you. This first meeting is where the relationship and partnership begins.
We hold induction sessions for new parents, where we talk about the way we work and allow opportunities for questions and sharing information.
Children attend for one hour initially to allow time for key workers to talk to parents and for children to become familiar with the indoor and outdoor areas, the staff and the routine.
If all goes well, we invite the children to stay at nursery on their own for the next session, but we are very flexible. We acknowledge this separation can be as upsetting for parents as it is for children.
These are some of the ways you can help:
- If your child has spent time away from you (e.g. with other members of the family or with a childminder, with a friend) – tell us how your child got on. Did she or he find anything difficult? What helped to comfort your child?
- During settling-in, please try to be “available” to your child. Let them come back to you when they want to. Make sure your child knows where you are, and can come back to you easily.
- Please make sure that your child knows you are leaving – if you “slip away” when your child is busy, then your child may look round, expect to see you, and be really upset that you are not there.
- If your child gets upset or sad, don’t worry. What matters is that your child can be comforted by their key person and helped to settle. If your child sees that you are upset or anxious, then they will get upset too.
- If your child can’t be comforted by your key person, then we will ask you to come back in. We do not want your child to have a bad experience and get really upset in nursery.
Thank you for your support. If you have any questions or worries then please talk to your child’s key person.