What is a free preschool education place?
As from August 2014, children aged 3 and 4 are entitled to 600 hours free early learning and childcare per year. This was previously known as preschool education and was for 475 hours. It's now being offered to parents on a more flexible basis. Clover Country Nursery can provide these hours and the following are the conditions that apply (through legislation and Midlothian Council):
1. A session is 3 hours and 10 minutes, and every child is entitled to 5 sessions a week for 38 weeks a year;
2. You must take a minimum of 2 sessions with Clover Country Nursery;
3. You can take up to 2 sessions in day, giving you 6 hours and 20 minutes a day;
4. You can take the whole 15 hours and 50 minutes over 2 days (or more) a week, giving up to 8 hours a day (Clover
makes up the balancing 10 minutes free of charge). The 8 hours per day over 2 days is only available where the
whole 15 hours and 50 minutes is with Clover Country Nursery;
5. If you need extra hours in a day, we can do this at a cost of £5.00 per hour (or see example below);
6. Where you are taking only the free early learning & childcare, we charge £1.50 per day to cover the cost of snacks
7. The subsidy paid to Clover Country Nursery by Midlothian Council is £3.70 per hour, giving £2220.00 for the full
600 hours. This is pro rata depending on the number of sessions taken with Clover Country Nursery.
Jenny works 2 days a week, and Rebecca, her 3 year old daughter, is attending Clover for all 15 hours and 50 minutes of free early learning & childcare. Jenny has taken 2 full days with Clover Country Nursery costing £337.33 per month (based on 50.6 weeks and divided by 12 months)as from September 2014. Rebecca is entitled to the full £2220.00 subsidy. This amount divided by 10 months (September to June to coincide with the school year) gives a fee reduction of £222.00 per month. The fee due to be paid on a monthly basis for September to June inclusive by Jenny is £115.33. July & August are £337.33 as there is no subsidy over the summer holiday period. Please remember the £2220.00 will be pro rata depending on your child's entry point during the year.
Please read on for a more detailed explanation, or call Riona More, Manager, on 01875 833375 for a chat.
Free early learning & childcare
Clover Country Nursery is in partnership with Midlothian Council to provide free early learning & childcare for children aged 3 and over. You can live anywhere to take advantage of this option with Clover, not just Midlothian.
What is partnership?
Clover is one of a number of private nurseries in Midlothian who have chosen to provide early learning and childcare for children aged 3 and over. We have a contract with Midlothian, but don’t receive any remuneration for the nursery. All the funding is for your child. The reason for us being in partnership is to offer an alternative way of receiving early learning & childcare, thus increasing parental choice, a fundamental element of the education system.
What does ante preschool year and preschool year mean?
Ante preschool is the first year your child can access funding from Midlothian, usually aged 3. Preschool is the second year, usually aged 4. Every child has the right to 2 years of funded education, prior to joining Primary 1, in your school of choice. These terms are now outdated but have yet to be replaced with suitable alternatives, so we are keeping them in the meantime.
I don’t live in Midlothian – can I still come to Clover for my child’s early learning & childcare?
Yes. Where you live does not affect your right to access early learning & childcare as cross border funding applies. If you decide you would like to come to Clover, we provide you with the appropriate paperwork for completion and we deal with all administration.
How does it work?
Your child is entitled to 15 hours and 50 minutes per week, for 38 weeks of the year, of early learning & childcare when they reach age 3. This is calculated as being five sessions of 3 hours and 10 minutes per week.
You are entitled to attend a maximum of 2 different sources of early learning & childcare at any one time e.g. your local authority school nursery and Clover. The entitlement to 15 hours and 50 minutes per week for early learning & childcare is split accordingly. For example, if your child is attending your local authority nursery 2 morning (or afternoon) sessions per week, you are using 6 hours and 20 minutes of your early learning & childcare entitlement. You can then claim all or part of the balancing 9 hours and 30 minutes with Clover, depending how many sessions you are with us.
Clover Country Nursery receives payment for your child's free place from Midlothian Council. Based on the full 15 hours and 50 minutes per week, the amount paid to us is £2220.00 for the year. This is pro rata depending on the number of sessions you claim, and which point of the year your child joins (please see below).
We deduct the payment we are due to receive from Midlothian Council from your fees to ensure your child is receiving free early learning & childcare immediately, and you are not having to pay fees and then receive a refund at a later date. This is to ensure education is free at point of delivery, as required by law.
When can I start claiming my child’s free early learning & childcare place with you?
There are 3 entry points during the academic year. These are the start of the year i.e. August, the start of the term following Christmas/New Year and the start of the term following Easter. Please ask and we will be able to advise you. Mid year entry is not allowed. Therefore, you should be able to claim for your child’s free place at the start of the term following their 3rd birthday.
However, we should stress that your child may well be able to start at their local authority nursery immediately following their 3rd birthday i.e. there is no need to wait until the start of the next term. This is dependent on your local authority’s own policy and varies from region to region, so please check with them.
You can register your child at your local authority nursery any time after their 2nd birthday, and we would encourage you to do so. It means that the school can allocate a place for your child (although they may not be able to tell you until closer to the time whether you have been given a morning or afternoon place) and can plan accordingly.
What if I feel my child is not ready for Primary 1 at the end of their 2 years of free early learning & childcare?
To give you an example of the age range of children who will eligible to join Primary 1 in August 2014 – all children who were born in March to December 2009 plus children born in January and February of 2010.
If your child’s birthday falls in January or February of the year in which they are due to go to school in August, you have an automatic right to ask for your child’s entry to Primary 1 to be deferred to the following year. This should always be discussed with ourselves and your child’s school. We will be able to guide you through the process. Further preschool funding may be available, but unless you live in Midlothian, the responsibility for funding any further preschool education passes to your own local authority, hence the need to speak to your child’s school.
If your child’s birthday is in December or earlier, a strong case for not going to school needs to be made. However, you do have the legal right to defer your child's entry to school if you decide this is what you would like for your child.
Clover Country Nursery, Fala, Pathhead, Midlothian, EH37 5SY
Tel 01875 833375 email firstname.lastname@example.org
Tel 01875 833375 email email@example.com