As your child approaches three years old, deciding whether to send them to nursery or not is a big decision. Once you have chosen a nursery, applying for a place and funding can also be a daunting prospect.
Often people are put off applying to a private or independent nursery because they assume, “we can’t afford that,” however, this is not the case as you could have 100% of your child’s nursery fees paid for by Early Years funding – to find out how to apply, read on….
Being unable to afford a nursery place is a common misconception that Sarah Tosh, nursery manager at the High School of Dundee Nursery, is keen to debunk.
Sarah explained: “We work in partnership with Dundee City Council so, like many other nurseries, we have a number of fully-funded places available. Parents can get 1,140 hours of free, pre-school education, and it’s their choice where they use it – whether in a local authority nursery; a private nursery; with a childminder; or with ourselves at the High School of Dundee Nursery – which many people don’t realise.”
Why apply for a nursery school?
The benefits of sending your child to nursery are endless, but it is very much down to parental choice whether to enrol your three-year-old into pre-school education. Sarah Tosh understands this.
She said: “Sometimes parents have a nice local playgroup or have sent their child to the same childminder from when they were a baby to three-years-old.”
“Nursery is a positive step towards a child’s independence. Here at the High School of Dundee Nursery, it’s all about socialising, making friends, having fun as they begin to learn through play and moving towards their next big step – going to primary school.”
Sarah also adds that the start of a child’s nursery days doesn’t have to mean the end of existing arrangements.
“We offer flexible booking patterns – families don’t have to take full-time places and leave the playgroups or childminders, they can attend both,” she says.
Why apply to the High School of Dundee Nursery?
As nursery manager at the High School of Dundee Nursery, Sarah knows all about the reasons parents choose to send their child there.
“Our overriding goal is to allow our children to learn through play within a fun, friendly and welcoming environment,” she says.
Based in a purpose-built building on the grounds of the school’s Mayfield Campus on Arbroath Road, the nursery has plenty outdoor space and, because of its close association and proximity to the High School itself, it has access to all its state-of-the-art facilities.
Sarah explained: “We have use of the huge outdoor spaces at Mayfield, the sports facilities, the dance studio, the gym hall, and the minibus for excursions. The children also benefit from scheduled time with the school’s teaching staff – not many people know that our nursery pupils have regular sessions with the PE and music teachers, this is over and above everything else we do.”
Even if you do not intend to send your child on to the High School of Dundee, you can still opt to apply for a nursery place there.
“We send pupils to a number of different local primary schools each year. However, being so closely associated with the school itself means that our nursery pupils who go on to our primary school have a really smooth and easy transition.”
How to apply for a nursery place and early years funding?
When applying for a nursery place anywhere in Dundee, there are two options to consider: term time or year-round. The new system, which was only implemented in the city last year, allows parents to apply for a funded term-time place, which will give them 30 hours per week for FREE. There are then options to buy additional sessions on top of these 30 hours.
Year-round funded places are also available and the High School of Dundee Nursery is happy to discuss with families how they can use their 1,140 hours of funding across the whole year.
Funding can be split between more than one nursery or with a childminder, giving parents flexibility and their child variety and familiarity.
Places are available at the High School of Dundee Nursery ahead of its next intake in January 2022, so if your child is approaching their third birthday before December 31, 2021, then now is the time to apply.
If your child is not three this year though, don’t worry, as applications are accepted all year-round, as Sarah explained: “We receive applications all the time, often families apply well before their child turns three.
“Parents don’t need to worry about applying for funding because, when we offer them a place, we send them a pack with a funding application form asking for their child’s date of birth and proof of address and then we organise the funding for them.”
You can apply for a place at the High School of Dundee Nursery online or by getting in touch with them. There is no fee or deposit to be paid up front, nor any obligation to send your child there after enquiring. If you have any questions before applying, email: firstname.lastname@example.org and Sarah and her friendly team will be delighted to answer them.
You can also call the nursery for a chat, visit the website for a virtual tour of the school, or organise a Zoom call with Sarah, an option which has proved popular with prospective parents wanting to have a look around.
Find out more about the High School of Dundee Nursery here or call 01382 202921.