FAQ

General

Yes, Polstead Preschool is a registered charity with the UK Charity Commission. Our charity number is 1114438.

Polstead Preschool is run under a governing document called a constitution. The constitution is a set of rules that provide a framework for the decision-making and management of the preschool. Polstead Preschool is managed by a committee of volunteers nominated by the parents, who together form the trustees of the charity and the ‘registered person’ with Ofsted. Staff are appointed by the committee to ensure the day-to-day running of the preschool.

Yes, the government provides a set of statutory standards called the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) that all early years providers must meet. Speak to one of our staff if you want to know more about this framework.

Polstead Preschool is open 09:00 to 15:00 Monday to Friday in Oxfordshire school terms. In school terms we are closed on public holidays and for a further 5 days, referred to as INSET days. Our preschool will also be closed on a few days every year when our setting is used for voting. On very rare occasions, like extreme weather, we will also close our preschool.

Admissions

To apply for a place at Polstead Preschool you will need to complete an online registration for your child. In order to do so you will need to request a Polstead Preschool account as detailed on our admissions page. You will be asked to provide the necessary information and pay a £40.00 registration fee before your application will be progressed. You may not have to pay a registration fee so please see our fees page for further details.

Once you have successfully submitted an online registration for your child an order will automatically be created for the registration fee. You will need to checkout this order by following the link sent to you in a registration confirmation email. In the checkout process you will need to provide billing details and specify the payment method that will be used. The system will show a confirmation message when the order has been checked out correctly.

It is not impossible, but unlikely that a place in the preschool will be available for your child when you first register. Your application will probably be added to our waiting list until a place becomes available. Please contact our admissions coordinator to discuss wait times and what you can do to improve your chances of securing a place for your child.

Please bear in mind that it is not possible for us to give you an exact estimate of how long you will have to wait for a place to open up. Your waiting time will largely depend on the number of applications on the waiting list, the demand for preschool places, the requirements of current parents and how flexible you are with your own requirements.

Polstead Preschool will at all times try to offer you a place as soon as possible. If a place becomes available it is offered immediately. The majority of our children start at the beginning of the school year in September and offers for these places are generally made in the preceding May or June.

In general, places are offered to those persons who have been on the waiting list the longest but this is not always the case. For example, if a child that was attending Monday through Friday leaves, the person highest on the waiting list might be bypassed if they only require a Tuesday and Wednesday. In all cases though, the person being bypassed will be contacted to explain the situation and given the option to take more days to secure the place.

Yes, please! We would love you to pop in and see first-hand how our preschool operates. Come and experience our historic setting, meet our wonderful staff and have a cuppa and a chat while they take you on a short tour of the play areas and learning spaces. It is a great opportunity for you and your child to get to know the preschool a bit better.

Yes. Once an offer is accepted we ask the parent/carer to pay a deposit of £100.00 to secure the place. If the place is taken up as per the offer the deposit is refunded at the end of the child's placement. However, if the place is not taken up the deposit is not refunded.

A key person is a staff member of the preschool who will work with your child to understand him or her as an individual with unique traits, characteristics, strengths and learning opportunities. This person will work with you to ensure your child gets the most out of preschool with tailored learning and care.

Yes, parents are required to commit to a weekly attendance schedule for their children for a minimum of 2 school terms. The weekly schedule must have a minimum of 3 morning sessions or 2 full days.

Yes, but a full term's notice is required. For example, if a request is made to reduce sessions in term 3 this will only be effective from the start of term 5.

A child can be removed before the end of the notice period, however, fees will still be charged for the sessions that were committed to for the remainder of the notice period.

Fees

Yes. Currently childcare funding from the council does not cover all the costs of providing a service at our preschool so we do ask parents to pay a much reduced hourly rate to help keep our preschool going. Read more on our fees page.

This refers to the minimum period of notice you are required to give when withdrawing your child or reducing sessions. For example, if you give notice in a term the notice period will be till the end of the following term. The current, or next if on holiday, term’s information is displayed on the home page.

Polstead Preschool charges for unplanned closures that are beyond our control like polling days and closures due to staff sickness, bad weather or natural disasters. However, unlike most other settings, Inset days, school holidays and public holidays are not billed.

Government funding

You will need to read the Oxfordshire County Council guidance on free early education for 3 and 4 year olds, or you may qualify for 2 year old funding.

Yes. This was previously known as the Nursery Education Grant/Funding. Please see the UK early years education funding page for more information.

Funding is applied to days in the following order: Mon, Fri, Tue, Wed, Thu. For example: If a child attends 5 sessions per week of which only 3 are funded. The funding will be applied as follows: Mon - Funded, Tue - Funded, Wed - Non-funded, Thu - Non-funded, Fri - Funded.

Early Years Foundation Stage

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is a set of:

  • statutory standards - all early years providers like Polstead Preschool must meet these standards in order to enable young children to make the most of their talents and abilities.
  • non-statutory guidance - the EYFS provides guidance to early years providers on how to ensure a quality early years provision.

The overarching principles of the EYFS are defined as:

  • Every child is unique
  • Positive relationships
  • Enabling environments
  • Children develop differently

The EYFS focuses on the following 7 areas of learning and development:

  • Prime areas - Communication and language; physical development; personal, social and emotional development.
  • Specific areas - Literacy; mathematics; understanding the world; expressive arts and design.