Nursery Admissions and Early Education

boy playing in Nursery

Monmouthshire has twelve Local Authority maintained school nurseries and children can be admitted from the term following their third birthday (provided there are spaces available).  Term dates are defined as 1st January, 1st April and 1st September regardless of when school holidays fall.  Children are required to attend 5 sessions per week and will be given either a morning or an afternoon place.  Monmouthshire Early Years uses the following criteria in priority order:
1 - Children who have identified Special Educational Needs or referred through Social Services.
2 - Sibling priority; for siblings already in the nursery unit – not in main school (except Magor Nursery which includes sibling priority in the main school), at the time of admission. For these purposes siblings will be treated as meaning children living in the same household.
3 - Geographical proximity – After taking account of categories (a) and (b), priority will be based on closeness to the preferred nursery measured by the most direct route by road. Measurements will be undertaken using a Digital Information Mapping system. Places for children living Out of County will be allocated on condition that their LEAs fund the places.
* Application forms for children to attend School Nursery units can be obtained from the school that the nursery belongs to or from the School and Student Access Unit on 01633 644508.
* You will be asked to provide children's birth certificates to verify dates of birth and any appropriate document considered necessary to verify home addresses and your completed application form needs to be returned to the Headteacher of the school nursery to which you are applying.
* Applications to attend non-maintained approved nurseries, playgroups or Cylchoedd Meithrin can be obtained directly from the settings.  Contact numbers can be found on this website by using the Childcare Search Facility.
Early Education Funding:
* There are also a number of private day nurseries, pre-prep schools, playgroups, crèches and cylchoedd meithrin (playgroups using the medium of Welsh). Many settings are approved providers of Early Education. (You can see the full list here.) This means that they follow the Foundation Phase curriculum and are inspected by Estyn to ensure that the education they offer is of an acceptable level.
* Funding is available from the beginning of the term following the child's third birthday (Term dates are defined as 1st January, 1st April and 1st September regardless of when school holidays fall).
* The funding is currently set at £7.00 per session (2 hours), for 5 sessions a week, as long as these sessions are on different days.   Your child is permitted to attend each setting for the 2 hours with no costs to yourself but if you wish your child to stay for the full session available, you will be required to pay the additional charges yourself.   For example, if the playgroup or nursery charges £8 per session, you will be required to pay the £1 per session yourself.  The funding is comparable with the funding school nurseries receive per part time pupil. 
* Providers will be required to complete a claim form detailing the children registered at the setting and confirming their dates of birth. Invoices must be received within three weeks of the start of term. Parents should not be asked to sign parental application forms prior to six weeks before the start of term.
* Providers will be required to verify children's dates of birth by examination of the child's birth certificates.
* Providers will be funded once a term and the Authority will aim to pay providers within four weeks of receiving the claims. The majority of Approved Day Nurseries and Playgroups will require full payment for the sessions that your child attends. When they have received their funding from the LA, you will be reimbursed.
* Catchment areas for school nurseries do not apply. Parents may choose either a school nursery or non-maintained approved setting in Monmouthshire.
* There will be no adjustments to funding once the provider has received it. Therefore if a child leaves the setting during the term, the provider can keep the grant to maintain staffing levels for the rest of that term, but if the child is admitted during the term, they will not affect the level of grant to providers and parents will not incur any charge for the educational aspect of the provision.
* If a child is attending an school nursery for 5 mornings a week, and attending an approved playgroup for 5 afternoons a week, funding cannot be claimed from the playgroup, as the funding for that child is with the school nursery.
* If a child attends an approved playgroup for 3 mornings a week and a different approved playgroup for the other 2 mornings, funding can be claimed at both settings for the sessions attended. Funding cannot exceed 5 sessions in total.
* Cross border funding agreements have been negotiated with Blaenau Gwent, Newport, Powys and Torfaen LAs. Cross border funding agreements are also in place for certain areas of Herefordshire and Gloucestershire. Those parents wishing to claim Early Education grants at approved settings in these authorities should contact the Early Years Section on 01633 644534.
* The forms (invoices) submitted by providers will be subject to checks by the Local Authority to verify the total claims against pupil details.
Please note: Monmouthshire County Council do not provide any financial support for childcare places, which includes parents who receive benefits of any kind.  There may be, however, some support available through other avenues, details of which can be found here.  Please also note that the Early Education funding in Wales is different from the Early Education entitlement in England, which pays for thirty hours of early education or childcare for two and three year olds.  This does not apply in Monmouthshire. 
* If you require further information about nursery admissions, early education funding or any of the points here, please contact The School and Student Access Unit on 01633 644508 or by emailing [email protected]