Got a question that hasn't been answered elsewhere? See below for the most commonly asked questions. Please also feel free to contact us if you need any more information about the nursery school.
1. What age can children join the nursery?
Children can join the nursery in the September following their second birthday. We group children with others in the same academic year and they stay as a class for the whole time that they are with us.
2. How much does a session cost?
We offer a range of different sessions so please see our fees page for more information.
3. How soon do I need to register my child to obtain a place?
Due to high demand for spaces we recommend that you register your child a year before you want them to start. If you want a place sooner than this complete an application form and we will advise you on our current availability.
4. Do you provide food?
We provide children with a snack of seasonal fruit and crackers in the middle of each session. We also provide a basic breakfast of cereal and toast to children attending the breakfast club.
With regards to lunches, we believe that parents are better placed to provide their child's lunch. Parents can ensure that their child's dietary requirements are met, particularly with regards to those who have allergies, intolerances and religious or dietary requirements. We have also found that home made lunches are of a higher quality than those prepared in commercial kitchens. They are also foods and flavours that the child is used to at home, meaning that they are much more likely to eat it.
5. How do you help children settle?
Children are invited to an induction session with a parent before they start attending. The purpose of this session is to familiarise the child and parent with the nursery environment and to meet the staff. In the first few weeks of term we generally find it better if parents drop off their children quickly and confidently and to expect a few tears on their departure. Most children settle after a few minutes once the parent(s) have left.
6. What is your view on discipline?
We believe that the secret of successful discipline is providing a stimulating and motivating environment, establishing warm relationships between staff and children and setting clear boundaries. With these factors in place children are more likely to take direction well but if an issue does arise a gentle reminder of what is expected is usually all that is needed.
7. What's the difference between Sandpit House and Kinder Lodge?
Sandpit House runs in the same way as Kinder Lodge. Both settings are split into four different rooms (Art-room, Classroom, Playroom and Gym) and benefit from a large garden. Children move around the nursery at set times with their class, benefiting from the different learning opportunities in each area.
Children at both nurseries are grouped in classes by their academic years and stay with that group for the two year period. They will have they same teacher for the first year who will stay with them throughout each session. Then in the second year they get a different teacher, just like they would at school.
The difference between the nurseries is the opening hours. The full day at Sandpit House will run from 9am to 4pm (and can be extended 8am to 9am for breakfast club) whereas Kinder Lodge will run as standard from 9am to 5pm (and extended 8am to 5pm).
8. Is my child entitled to 15 hours free childcare?
All three and four-year-olds are entitled to 15 hours of free childcare a week for 38 weeks per year until they either go into reception class or reach compulsory school age. This free entitlement is usually paid from the term after your child turns three.
The scheme is not adequately funded by the Government and settings receive the same amount per child (just over £4 per hour) regardless of the service they offer. The funding does not take into account whether it is a pack-away setting run by volunteers in a church hall or a private nursery school in its own purpose built premises with high ratios of qualified staff. Accordingly, many settings are unable to offer all parents fully funded places as to do so would be economically unviable.
9. I only want to use my 15 free hours (i.e. I don’t want to pay anything). Can I do this at the nursery of my choice?
Probably not. Parents have a limited choice of nurseries which offer all children fully funded places (i.e. that there is no additional cost payable to the nursery school). Many private nurseries will only offer one or a very limited number of fully funded places which means that you may not be able to get a place at the nursery of your choice only using your 15 hours free childcare.
In many cases, if you want to send your child to your preferred private nursery school there will be some fee to pay, whether it’s labelled as a voluntary contribution or by paying for a longer session.
10. Do Mount Carmel parents benefit from the free 15 hours (Early Years Entitlement funding)?
Yes. When a privately funded child turns 3 they benefit from the Early Years entitlement funding which effectively reduces the cost of each session. For these children the first three hours of every session is funded by the Early Years entitlement scheme or if they are staying for a full day they can use more of their hours per day. As our privately funded sessions are longer than three hours parents pay the amount set out in the schedule of fees for the remainder of the session.
Parents can apply for a private place by completing our registration form found on the “Apply now” page and places are allocated in the February before the September intake. Due to the high demand for places at our nursery school we recommend that applications are made at least 12 months in advance of your child starting nursery.
11. Can I apply for a fully funded place at Mount Carmel Kindergarten (i.e. with no additional fees to pay)?
You are able to apply for a fully funded place for your child, however, the likelihood of us being able to offer one is very low. Availability for the fully funded places are extremely limited due to the high demand for private places.
We make a significant loss on every fully funded place that is offered, meaning that we must give priority to those parents paying for a private place. When deciding whether to offer a fully funded place to a child we take into account family circumstances, including the receipt of benefits and whether a child is looked after by the local council.
Prospective parents wishing to apply for a fully funded place must complete the Government funded place application form which is available from the nursery school. Parents will be notified whether their application has been successful at the beginning of the academic year and so we strongly recommend that you make alternative arrangements in the likely event that we are unable to offer a Government funded only place.
Find out more
Please explore our website to find out more about Mount Carmel Kindergarten.