It is our intention to make The Oak Tree accessible to children and families from all sections of the local community. We aim to ensure that all sections of our community have access to our setting through open, fair and clearly communicated procedures and our fees are available within our prospectus and prior to booking a child’s place.
In order to achieve this aim, we operate the following admissions policy.
- We ensure that the existence of The Oak Tree is widely advertised in places accessible to all sections of the community. It is also on the town website and regular advertisements are placed in the Whitchurch Parish Magazine and other similar publications, subject to availability and cost. Information has also been distributed to local health visitors and other sources of information.
- We ensure that information about our nursery is accessible. We have a written prospectus and website. One of our owners, Emma Longton is available to talk through our prospectus face to face and to show parents around the setting. We have had no indication of a requirement for this information in other languages, but should the need arise, we will endeavour to provide information in a format that any potential customer might require, be it another language, Braille, or through signing or an interpreter, subject to reasonable costs.
- Our opening times are 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday, 51 weeks per year. We offer sessions on a full day basis, with a 2 session minimum attendance. We celebrate an environment that supports working families and in that spirit prioritise allocation of spaces for children wishing to attend for 3 sessions or more per week.
- We are registered with Hampshire County Council to claim 2 year old funding, universal early years educational grant and 30 hours free childcare. We enable parents to claim this funding through stretched or standard funding models. For early years education funded only children (to a maximum of two children only) subject to space and availability, and to meet a particular child’s needs on individual request and subject to agreement, it may be possible to offer flexible start and finish times, for example start times of 9.30, 10.00, or 10.30 and finish times of 14.30, 15.00 and 17.30. For 30 hour free childcare, allocation priority will be given to children attending for 3 sessions or more on a ‘stretched’ offer. Children attending our setting for 2 sessions per week and claiming 30 hours free childcare are limited to 10 children only, per academic year.
- Universal early years educational grant and 30 hours childcare is given to children free. An additional cost for services including food, consumables and extra-curricular enhancements (FCE charge) apply for every free hour of childcare attended. Additional hours to complete a session are charged at our normal daily rate pro rata for the hours remaining. Food includes breakfast, morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack and tea, catering inclusively for individual dietary requirements. Consumables include nappies, sun cream, nappy cream, emergency Calpol. Extra-curricular enhancements include Forest School, French lessons, Mini Maestros, Sports Academy, outings within the town and celebrations. FCE is averaged out at an hourly cost and our current pricing is published in our prospectus, and can be explained at your personal show round and tour of the setting.
- We aim to help any family in crisis on a short or long term basis, subject to an individual child’s emotional needs or a family’s financial predicament. When necessary, registration fees, fee deposits will be waived and fees can be paid weekly, in order to allow a child to access our provision. We subsidise these families at our own expense. We are able to subsidise parents who are unable or unwilling to pay our FCE charge to a maximum of 2 children per year.
- Our session structure/allocation of spaces enables a quality approach to the Early Years Foundation Stage supporting effective key person functions and building strong attachments with the children in our care via our staffing model of employing full time, trained, permanent members of staff who in nearly all cases work full days. The Oak Tree is committed to offering outstanding childcare and education to the community it serves and the pricing of our service is based on our commitment to provide this full service. We are committed to pay the salaries and pension contributions of our permanent members of staff. We use quality, reliable contractors to deliver our service and commit to these suppliers to guarantee we can continuously provide what we offer. We are an inclusive setting and we cater for every child accessing every part of our service no matter how their individual needs may differ and our fees reflect this. In the event that significant numbers of parents are not able or unwilling to pay our FCE charge, we would be forced to withdraw from the 30 hour funding with Hampshire County Council, in order to remain in business.
- We describe our nursery and its practices in terms which make it clear that it welcomes fathers, mothers, other relations and other carers, including childminders.
- We describe our nursery and its practices in terms of how it treats individuals, regardless of their gender, special educational needs, disabilities, background, religion, ethnicity or competence in spoken English.
- We describe our nursery and its practices in terms of how it enables children with disabilities to take part in the life of the nursery.
- We monitor the gender and ethnic background of children joining the group to ensure that no accidental discrimination is taking place. We do this through our annual equality and diversity audit.
- We make our equal opportunities policy widely known.
This policy was reviewed in light of 30 hours free childcare and agreed in June 2017.
This policy was reviewed and agreed May 2018.
This policy was reviewed in light of the HCC blog in October 2018