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Nursery - applying for state nursery

(10 Posts)
popsycal Mon 15-Mar-04 20:47:54

I really ought to know this.......but!!!

Ds is the youngest in his year group and is only 19 months but will start nursery in september 2005 (eeek)

I want him to go to the nursery near the childminders (also near my work) for a variety of reasons. We also hope to move into that area in the next year too.

Do nurseries have 'catchment areas'? And how soon have you all put your kids down on the list?

It feels so wrong since he is so little still but I am conscious that I may be too late if I wait any longer.

Any advice is greatly appreciated

mez75 Mon 15-Mar-04 20:59:47

I think they do have catchment areas, I have put DS who is 15 mths name down for school nursery because it is a very good nursery and im not the only one on the list. I do have a grievance with the whole catchmentthing. It is a RC nursery that I want DS to go to BUT we are on the opposite side of rd for catchment although I am practising catholic there, I was baptised there, we were married there, DS was baptised there yet DS is only number 5 in the priority list i.e. non catholic kids 5 miles away have preference over him. this really winds me up. Sorry I'll shut up now I have got that off my chest. Anyway I was told the earlier the better.

Tommy Mon 15-Mar-04 21:02:11

I don't know if it's the same everywhere, Popsycal, but I got the distinct impression when I went to look round a couple of nurseries that you don't need to be in the catchment area - if indeed it applies to the nursery class.
I looked at them around DS1's 2nd birthday and didn't have any problems getting his name down for any of them. You don't have to to sign his name in blood at this stage (although I don't know when you would have to do that )and it can't hurt to get his name down now.

Bozza Tue 16-Mar-04 09:53:26

Put DS's name down when he was a baby (although as things turn out he won't be going). I think ours goes on catchment and birthday.

Twinkie Tue 16-Mar-04 09:54:55

We had to take a bill in to prove that we lived in the correct area for DD to go to our nursery - not actually helping now she needs to go to school though!!

fio2 Tue 16-Mar-04 09:57:07

At the state nurseries here you have to put their name down after their 2nd birthday. Get in early, they get booked up really quickly!! Dont forget though most private nurseries do funded places now and playgroups. My daughter got a funded place at a private nursery and they were far less fussy about her not being potty trained etc. Also they have mealtimes there so they learn to eat in a group environment. They follow the same cirriculum too, set by the early years wotsit

Fennel Tue 16-Mar-04 10:04:55

I think legally you only have to put their name down 12 weeks before the beginning of the autumn term or 6 weeks before the beginning of the spring term. they aren't allowed to fill up the lists before then, and then they have to use specific criteria (which they tell you). so you could easily leave it a year without any worries.

But it can help putting them down a bit earlier than the minimum, dd1 went a term earlier than expected as they had spare places.

as the others said, it's probably easier getting them into a specific nursery than a school as lots of kids are still in private childcare at this age.

roisin Tue 16-Mar-04 19:51:24

The nursery will have a separate admissions policy to the school (and a closing date for admissions) but it will be very similar. They will have a catchment area, and this will probably be one of the major factors in determining admissions.

Some schools admit names early, but this is mainly in order for them to get 'a feel for' the birth rate in the area ... it doesn't give you priority on admissions.

Some state nurseries are over-subscribed ... it just depends on your location.

PS You really ought to know all this

clary Wed 17-Mar-04 11:53:39

Popsycal,don't know if it's the same everywhere but here's my experience... nursery school attended by DS1 won't take names until the child is 2 (so everyone rings up on the child's 2nd b/day! that's how fab it is!). I don't think it has a catchment area as such as it takes chldren from a wide area (we are 2-3 miles away) but it does have areas it "traditionally" takes from - ie those where schools have no attached nursery class. IMO a separate nursery school is much better than a class at a big school anyway for lots of reasons. But as others said, why not ring up and ask as some take names earlier than 2yrs old, and yours may. HTH

Jaybee Wed 17-Mar-04 12:56:36

I think I would contact the nursery and ask them what their admissions procedure is or ask a parent whose child already attends how they got their child into the nursery.
The nursery that my two went to which is attached to their school has recently changed their intake policy. They used to be over subscribed and to guarantee a place you had to queue on the registration day - my dh queued from 5.00 am in the morning and was still only No. 21 in the list.

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