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Age For Children To Start Nursery 2011?


zozza76
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Hi

 

I am new to Manchester LEA this year but not sure if this is a new policy for them or all nursery providers. I understand that Manchester are to stop January intakes in nursery from september. Does anyone know the legalities behind this?

 

Do we admit children who have just turned 3 in September or wait until they are 3 years and 3 months and admit them gradually over the year?

 

I'm soryy if the above doesn't make any sense - my brain is mashed! Hoping someone may be able to help me?

 

Zoe

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I am assuming you are a maintained setting.. and not PVI ..

 

cannot help but it does make a difference.. PVI can make own decisions on intakes... so will not know what is happening in a ,maintained nursery.

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I'm not in Manchester but very close by. A maintained nursery near me and most I know take children who are three by Aug 31st. They do still have Jan intakes but only if there is sufficient space, so not guaranteed. I would think the Aug 31st date would apply in this case but LAs do seem to interpret rules in different ways!

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Thanks all for your replies. I have found out that it is 3 years we should take them by. That means in sept we will have some children starting that are only just 3. This is not a problem but I do have concerns beacuse we are a full time nursery. The LEA have also said they want all children in by Oct 6th for census so that does not leave much time for staggered intakes and settling in!

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Hi Zoe,

 

I know exactly the anxiety you must be facing. Having a child who is barely 36mth in a full time nursery setting can be very challenging.

 

You are correct when you mention that there is a Head Count in October. However, this does not mean that children need to be in full time. It simply refers to the date when you register the number of children that have officially taken up a place in the nursery and are attending on a regularly basis to secure the Free Education Entitlement Funding (FEE).

 

Although Manchester moved to a single intake a while ago you will find that the flexibility of how schools manage the gradual admission is determined by the school.

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I am 'down south' but am intrigued by this ruling :o

 

What happens to children who have their third birthday between Sept - Dec? They are entitled to their funding but if January intakes are stopped what happens to these children? do they have to wait until the following September when they could be 4 or almost 4 and missed out on two funded terms??

 

Do you mind me asking what you mean by 'full time' nursery? I thought settings had to offer flexibility to parents and that they are under no obligation to access the full amount of funding available if they feel their child is too young/ not ready for 15 hours.

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I might be barking up the wrong tree here, but are you talking about a school nursery? In which case it isnt uncommon for them to have a single intake in September like the rest of the school. Certainly in may last school we did, so some children would have just turned 3 and some would be nearly 4 and may have accessed their entitlement elsewhere first. We were also a full time nursery. I worked with the single September intake in schools for 10 years.

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I am 'down south' but am intrigued by this ruling :o

 

What happens to children who have their third birthday between Sept - Dec? They are entitled to their funding but if January intakes are stopped what happens to these children? do they have to wait until the following September when they could be 4 or almost 4 and missed out on two funded terms??

 

Do you mind me asking what you mean by 'full time' nursery? I thought settings had to offer flexibility to parents and that they are under no obligation to access the full amount of funding available if they feel their child is too young/ not ready for 15 hours.

I am in a pre-school, but looking at my confirmed admissions we shall be full in September and won't have spaces for January or April first time funded children to take their 15 hours entitlement. My question is does anyone know if it is written down somewhere that they have to have it ?

 

This has only occurred this year due to a change in our school admissions to a single point of entry.

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I am in a pre-school, but looking at my confirmed admissions we shall be full in September and won't have spaces for January or April first time funded children to take their 15 hours entitlement. My question is does anyone know if it is written down somewhere that they have to have it ?

 

This has only occurred this year due to a change in our school admissions to a single point of entry.

no they dont have to take it...education is only insisted upon the term after their 5th birthday...and this does not have to be in a school setting of course. We have loads of home ducated children in our area. My daughter never did full time at pre-school, we always had far too many other things to do! :o

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no they dont have to take it...education is only insisted upon the term after their 5th birthday...and this does not have to be in a school setting of course. We have loads of home ducated children in our area. My daughter never did full time at pre-school, we always had far too many other things to do! :o

Hi Finleysmaid,

 

I think I haven't explained myself well here. If a setting takes a child on, is there an expectation that that setting has to be able to provide the full 15 hour entitlement , when the child is funded?

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Hi Finleysmaid,

 

I think I haven't explained myself well here. If a setting takes a child on, is there an expectation that that setting has to be able to provide the full 15 hour entitlement , when the child is funded?

doh sorry been a long week ! in our case it often happens that we are unable to fulfill the 15 hours...the parents can access another setting though... we now warn our parents that places are usually available in september but they may not be able to increase over the year...so if they decide to only access 3 sessions then they are probably stuck with 9 hours until the next september.

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... we now warn our parents that places are usually available in september but they may not be able to increase over the year...so if they decide to only access 3 sessions then they are probably stuck with 9 hours until the next september.

 

Snap! but we now have a 'new trend' starting.

 

A child joining in September but not 3 until November. Mum wants full 15 hours from January when funding kicks in. She feels her child is ready for 3 morings a week from September BUT to absolutely guarantee more hours will be available in January she has asked to pay for 15 hours from september but not 'use' it all :o

 

Not sure about this! If it takes off we could technically end up with very few children in on certain days and lots of 'empty but paid for places' xD

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Snap! but we now have a 'new trend' starting.

 

A child joining in September but not 3 until November. Mum wants full 15 hours from January when funding kicks in. She feels her child is ready for 3 morings a week from September BUT to absolutely guarantee more hours will be available in January she has asked to pay for 15 hours from september but not 'use' it all :o

 

Not sure about this! If it takes off we could technically end up with very few children in on certain days and lots of 'empty but paid for places' xD

yeah! sounds like a result to me! no excuse for learning journeys not to be up to date then until january! :(:(

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Snap! but we now have a 'new trend' starting.

 

A child joining in September but not 3 until November. Mum wants full 15 hours from January when funding kicks in. She feels her child is ready for 3 morings a week from September BUT to absolutely guarantee more hours will be available in January she has asked to pay for 15 hours from september but not 'use' it all :o

 

Not sure about this! If it takes off we could technically end up with very few children in on certain days and lots of 'empty but paid for places' xD

 

 

Not sure about this trend - obviously with my business head on it's great, however, just because some parents can pay to protect what they want for their child this could mean they exclude the less well off and I don't think that's so good, or am I just being super sensitive?

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Not sure about this trend - obviously with my business head on it's great, however, just because some parents can pay to protect what they want for their child this could mean they exclude the less well off and I don't think that's so good, or am I just being super sensitive?

no i think you are being honest :o but i cant keep places open and if there is not an immediate need then i would have to go for the money option xD

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Im with panders on this one, and it would be interesting to see what would happen if a parent who could not get a place because other parents were buying up places but not using them, challenged this approach.

 

It effectively means that the entitlement isn't actually free, if, in order to get a place, you have to pay for it early and not use it. Not very fair to families who cant afford to do that.

 

Plus how do you then explain it in admissions policy?

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but there is no legal requirement to attend pre-school so if a parent books 5 sessions and chooses to use 3 or 4 each week then that is their freedom of choice surely. Please do not get me wrong I do not promote this as a mothod of booking...but it is something that has occured. Entitlement has to be free at the point of delivery...if you cant deliver then there can be no problem :o

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If a setting takes a child on, is there an expectation that that setting has to be able to provide the full 15 hour entitlement , when the child is funded?

The child is entitled to access the whole of their 15 hour entitlement, but not necessarily with your setting. They may decide to go elsewhere for the part of the 15 hours that you can't offer provided it is another PVI setting.

 

I think openness and honesty is going to be crucial in the relationship between parents and providers. If we know that we are unlikely to be able to offer a child their full entitlement for some time because of the single intake or other factors then we should be up front about it and facilitate parents to find a setting that will be able to do so, if that is what they want. A very tricky thing to get right!

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