We are committed to meeting the needs of all children including those with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. We would ask parents to discuss the identified needs with the school prior to starting so that appropriate intervention and support can be planned and implemented. Advice from the LA or other agencies may be requested to ensure the school can meet any needs appropriately.
All three and four year olds and some two year olds in England are currently entitled to free, part-time early learning, care and development.
Children can be added to our waiting list from birth.
Application forms can be downloaded from the link below. Alternatively, you are welcome call in and collect a form from the Nursery or the Primary School.
Any completed forms should be returned to the Nursery or the main school office.
Arrangements for selecting pupils who apply and the allocation of places are written in the Admission to Community and Voluntary Nursery Schools and Units including Oversubscription Criteria which is available to view below.
Please click on this link to download our Nursery Application Form
The Nursery hold Open Afternoons to allow prospective parents the opportunity to view our wonderful Nursery. Details of these are on the home page of our website.
The next Open Afternoon is Saturday 5th November 2022, 10:00 – 11:30am.
For further information please see our Frequently Asked Questions or view our Admission Policy located in our Nursery Policies section. The Parents Guide to Early Years Provision in County Durham gives further useful information, this is located in our Nursery Brochure section.
Free Early Years Services for 3 and 4 Year Olds
All 3 and 4 year olds in England are entitled to free, part-time early learning, care and development. It lasts for up to 2 years, until children reach statutory school age.
All children can currently attend Oxclose Nursery on a part-time basis for 15 hours a week, for 38 weeks of the year.
When does my child qualify?
- Child born between 1 September – 31 August: September term intake
- Child born between 1 September – 31 December: January term intake
From September 2017, the Government now offer 30 hours of free childcare per week for parents of three and four year olds, to help them continue or take up employment.
Oxclose Nursery School offers places for children who are eligible for the 30 hours entitlement.
Guidance from the Department for Education states that parents will need to meet the following criteria to be eligible:
- They earn or expect to earn the equivalent to 16 hours at National Minimum or Living Wage over the coming three months. This equates to £120 per week (or £6,000 per year) for each parent over 25 years old or £112.80 per week (or £5,800 per year) for each parent between 21 and 24 years old. This applies whether you are in paid employment, self-employed or on zero hours contract.
- Where one parent meets the income criteria above and the other is:
- unable to work because they are disabled, have caring responsibilities or have been assessed as having limited capability to work.
- On maternity, paternity, shared parental or adoption leave, or if they are on statutory sick leave.
- Where a parent is in a ‘start-up period’ (ie. they are newly self-employed) they do not need to demonstrate that they meet the income criteria for 12 months.
- If the parent is a non-European Economic Area (EEA) national, they must have recourse to public funds.
Who will not qualify?
A parent will not meet the criteria when:
- Either parent has an income of more than £100,000.
- Either parent is a non-EEA national and subject to immigration control (and has no recourse to public funds).
What happens if a parent loses eligibility?
They will receive a “grace period” – this means they will be able to keep their childcare for a short period. Once the “grace period” has lapsed, the parent will be entitled to the universal 15 hour entitlement.
Check your eligibility
You can check whether you are eligible on the 30 hours free childcare eligibility check https://www.childcarechoices.gov.uk/.
Parents who need assistance to apply (or who do not have access to the internet) can call the Childcare Service Customer Interaction Centre on Tel: 0300 123 4097 and apply by phone.
If you are eligible for 30 hours you will be given an 11 digit eligibility code. You need to provide us with this eligibility code as well as the National Insurance number and date of birth of the person who registered online and your child’s date of birth.
You will need to reconfirm your eligibility every three months but a reminder will be sent to you by HMRC by text and/or email.
Free Play and Learn for 2 Year Olds
Oxclose Nursery School is currently offering Play and Learn sessions for 2 year olds. Free Play and Learn for 2 year olds is a free childcare place for 2 year olds at a local nursery. You can apply for a free place if one of more of the following apply:
- are from households where a parent is in receipt of any of the following benefits:
- Income Support
- Income-based Job Seekers’ Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
- the Guarantee element of the State Pension Credit
- or Child Tax Credit, provided they have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190, as assessed by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC)
- or are in receipt of Working Tax Credits (including those in receipt during the four-week period immediately after their employment ceases, or after they start to work fewer than 16 hours per week) with a household income of less than £16,190 as assessed by HMRC
- are looked after by their local authority
- have a current statement of special educational needs or an Education, Health and Care plan
- have left care through special guardianship or an adoption or residence order
- are in receipt of Disability Living Allowance
If you qualify your child could take up their free ‘play and learn’ sessions the term after their second birthday:
- Child born between 1 April – 31 August: September term intake
- Child born between 1 September – 31 December: January term intake
- Child born between 1 January – 31 March: April term intake
They will be entitled to receive 15 hours per week, term time only.
How do I apply?
You can visit the Parent Portal: https://education.durham.gov.uk/parentportal/, where you can instantly check whether you are eligible. If you are eligible you will receive an email with your eligibility code. Please bring this code to nursery. Some parents cannot check their eligibility on the Parent Portal. You will need to contact the Childcare Places team on 03000 268 913 for an application form if the children are:
- Looked after by the council.
- Have a current statement of special educational needs or an Educational, Health and Care plan.
- Have left care through special guardianship or an adoption or residence order.
- Are in receipt of the Disability Living Allowance.
This application form is also available for download below.
If you don’t have access to a computer or need help to apply please contact the nursery on 01388 814970.
If you would like to find out more about free early years services through the local authority you can contact:
Childcare Places, Durham County Council, County Hall, Durham DH1 5UJ
Telephone 03000 268913
Applying for a school place if your child has an Education, Health and Care Plan or a Statement of SEN
Children and young people with an Education, Health and Care Plan (or Statement of Special Education Needs) follow a different admission and transfer process for a new school. Please continue to complete Durham County Council’s parental preference form, as part of the admission process to a new school. You continue to have a right to request a particular school and this will be considered alongside the information that we have about your child’s special educational needs. The information would have been provided as part of the Education, Health and Care assessment or following the review meeting.
The majority of Children with Special Educational Needs can be supported at any nursery school, nursery unit or Early Years setting.
Nursery provision is also available in certain Special Schools. Support for individual pupils is determined by Durham Local Authority through Education, Health and Care Assessment. The Durham Local Authority Admissions criteria stipulate that children are offered a Nursery place according to their age. However, children identified with Special Educational Needs are given priority irrespective of when they have their third birthday.
If you feel that your child has additional needs that we need to consider and that may entitle them to be given priority during the admission process, please let us know when you submit their application form.
Please view or download the Nursery Admission Policy, SEN Policy and Equal Opportunities Policy, which can be found in our Nursery Policies section.
If you would like to discuss your SEND requirements in detail please contact the school to arrange an appointment.
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