All three and four year olds and some two year olds in England are currently entitled to free (funded) part-time learning, care and development.
Children can be added to our waiting list from birth. To do this, parents/carers can telephone the Nursery to arrange a suitable time to visit and complete the necessary forms or an admission form can be sent out by post. An admission form can also be downloaded below.
Alternatively, you can place your child’s name on our waiting list by entering your details below:
Free Funded Early Years Services for 3 and 4 year olds
All 3 and 4 year olds are entitled to a universal offer of 15 hours per week for 38 weeks of the year. It lasts for up to 2 years, until children reach statutory school age. We take children throughout the year with priority given by age (older children have priority).
Subject to availability of places, we provide some flexibility in choice of sessions including mornings, afternoons, beginning of the week (Full days Mondays and Tuesdays and Wednesday mornings) or end of the week (Wednesday afternoons and full days Thursdays and Fridays).
When will my child qualify?
Children qualify for free Nursery education the term after their 3rd 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
Occasionally, depending on availability, we are able to offer some sessions to ‘Rising 3s’, that is children that have turned 3 years old. Terms and conditions apply; please contact school for more information.
30 hours funded childcare for 3 and 4 year olds
The Government offers 30 hours of free childcare per week, for parents of 3 and 4 year olds, to help them continue or take up employment. Aclet Close Nursery School offers a 4.5 or 5 days option for parents that meet the following Department for Education criteria:
- 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 £100,00.
- 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 here: 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 Nursery 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
Under the ‘play and learn’ scheme, some 2 year olds are entitled to 15 hours of free (funded) education, term time.
You can apply for a Nursery place if one or more of the following apply:
1. 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
2. are looked after by their local authority
3. have a current statement of special educational needs or an Education, Health
and Care plan
4. have left care through special guardianship or an adoption or residence order
5. are in receipt of Disability Living Allowance
How do parents apply for a place?
If you have received a golden ticket, please bring it into Nursery – we will check the code and tell you when your child can start.
If you don’t have a golden ticket, you can check your eligibility at: https://education.durham.gov.uk/parentportal/
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
Subject to availability, we also offer private sessions.
- Our fees for 2 year olds are £15 per 3 hour session.
- Our fees for 3 and 4 year olds are £12 per 3 hour session.
We also have breakfast and lunch clubs – please contact us for more information.
Special Educational needs and Disabilities (SEND) Admission to Early Years
The majority of children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities 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 SEND 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. If you would like to discuss your SEND requirements in detail please contact the school to arrange an appointment.
Further information can be found in our School Policies section. Please view or download the School Admissions Policy, SEN Policy and information on Equal Opportunities.
Children attend Aclet Close Nursery School until they move to Reception Class in the September following their 4th birthday. We work very closely with all Primary schools in order to provide a smooth transition for children and families.
Children and young people with an Education, Health and Care Plan 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
If you would like to discuss your SEND requirements in detail please contact the school to arrange an appointment.
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