09 Childcare practice procedures
09.01 Waiting list and admissions
The pre-school aims to ensure that all sections of the community receive accessible information and that the admissions procedures are fair, clear and open to all parents/carers who apply for a place.
- The pre-school is advertised in places accessible to all sections of the community, for example, websites, google, community magazine.
- Information about the pre-school is accessible, using plain English, in written and spoken form and where appropriate, provided in different community languages and in other formats on request.
- Children with disabilities are supported to take full part in all activities within the pre-school and the pre-school makes reasonable adjustments to ensure that this will be the case from the time the child is placed on the waiting list.
Children on the waiting list are eligible for places once they are two years old. Places are offered on the following basis:
- Priority is given to children who are eligible to receive either Funded Early Education Entitlement for two year olds (FEEE2) or Universal Funded Early Education Entitlement (FEEE) for all three and four year olds with the funding starting the term after their third birthday.
- Non-funded children who are on the waiting list. Those who have been on the waiting longest will be allocated places first.
- Parents/carers of siblings are encouraged to get their child’s name on the waiting list as early as possible.
- The number of children per session is approximately 40. This is dependent on space and staff ratios.
- The pre-school’s main intake for the year is September. In order for the pre-school to remain financially viable, typically places are unable to be held open for children who have a spring or summer birthday. However, they are given priority should places become available and usually have higher priority in the following Autumn term.
- If the parents/carers of an existing child (and the relevant primary school) decide that the child will defer entry to school, then the local authority checks that the pre-school has provision for the child to remain at the pre-school providing suitable funding is in place for the duration of their stay. This will be discussed and liaised with the parents/carers and primary school for the best outcome for the child.
- If a child is two years old and a place to start is offered but the parent/carer does not want the child to start yet, the child will be returned to the waiting list until another place becomes available. It is a mutual decision to defer a child if they are not ready and parents/carers are aware that that space may be allocated to another child. This may mean they have to wait until the next main intake the following September or the next available place.
- In a situation where the pre-school is full, the management will try and allocate the spaces in the fairest way.
- Funded places are offered in accordance with the Early Years Entitlements: Operational Guidance for local authorities and providers (DfE 2018) and any local conditions in place at the time.
- Where it is financially viable to do so, a place is kept vacant for an emergency admission.
- The pre-school and its practices are welcoming and make it clear that fathers, mothers, other relations, carers and childminders are all welcome.
- The pre-school and its practices operate in a way that encourages positive regard for and understanding of difference and ability, whether gender, family structure, class, background, religion, ethnicity or competence in spoken English.
- The needs and individual circumstances of children joining the pre-school are monitored on 09.01b Little Doves Registration Sessions Requested and Permission Form to ensure that no accidental or unintentional discrimination is taking place and that reasonable adjustments are made as required.
- 05 Promoting inclusion equality and valuing diversity policy is available to read on the website and widely promoted to all.
- Families are consulted about regarding opening times of the pre-school to try to ensure that a broad range of families' needs are accommodated.
- Where ever possible, there is flexibility about attendance patterns to accommodate the needs of individual children and families, providing these do not disrupt the pattern of continuity in the pre-school that provides stability for all the children and maintains the financial viability of the pre-school. Any ‘swaps’ in sessions are only considered on an individual basis and are not guaranteed.
- Places are provided in accordance with 09.01c Little Doves Parent and Carer Contract which is available to read on the website when the child takes up their place. The parent/carer is asked to confirm on the 09.01b Little Doves Registration Sessions Requested and Permission Form that they have read the contract. Failure to comply may result in the provision of a place being withdrawn.
- Children still pay for their session when on holiday or when they are sick to maintain their place. Long term absence will be considered by the trustees.
The following forms/tasks are given out/undertaken before or within the first few sessions of a child is starting at the pre-school.
- 01b Registration, Sessions Requested and Permission Form completed
- postcode verification seen
- birth certificate seen
- child’s personal Child Health Record book (red book) seen & checked
- build up session organised
- emergency contact details checked
- SEND/medical/allergies noted
- key person allocated
- name badge starter pack actioned
- permission to share with another pre-school/childminder sought, if applicable
- uniform discussed
- initial child profile given
- 2 or 3 and 4 year old parental questionnaire given
- EYFS 2021 2 year old starting check started, if appropriate
- 2 year old or 3 and 4 year old starting check started
- contact book given.
Children with SEND
- The manager must seek to determine an accurate assessment of a child’s needs at registration. If the child’s needs cannot be met from within the pre-school’s core budget, then an application for SEN inclusion funding will be made immediately.
- Children with identified SEND will be offered a place when one becomes available as with any other child. However, the start date for children with more complex SEND will be determined by the preparations made to ensure the child’s safety, well-being and accessibility in the pre-school. If a child’s needs determine that adjustments need to be made, the manager will outline a realistic timeframe for completion, detailing the nature of adjustments e.g. risk assessment, staff training, 04.09 Medical record/health care plan and all other adjustments required. The child’s safety at all times is paramount.
- At the time of registration, if the child is old enough to be in receipt of Universal Funded Early Education Entitlement (FEEE), the manager will check to see if a child’s family is in receipt of Disability Living Allowance. If they are, the manager will ask for evidence to enable the pre-school to apply for Disability Access Fund directly from the local authority. If the family is eligible but not in receipt of the allowance, the pre-school manager will support the family in their application. More information can be found at gov.uk/disability-living-allowance-children/how-to-claim.
- Preparation for admitting a child with SEND must be made in a reasonable amount of time and any delay in the child starting is scrutinised by the pre-school manager to avoid discrimination and negative impact on the child and family. During a preparation period, the family and relevant agencies and the local authority must be regularly updated on the progress of the preparations.
If information is provided by the parents/carers that a child who is starting at the pre-school is currently, or has had involvement with social care, the designated person will contact the agency to seek further clarification.
Parents/carers are advised that the pre-school’s policies and procedures are available to read on the Little Doves CP website.
Early Years Entitlements: Operational guidance for local authorities and providers (DfE 2018) https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/718181/Early_years_entitlements-operational_guidance.pdf