St Nicolas Preschool

01235 536061


Your time at St Nicolas Preschool begins in the September following your child's 3rd birthday, and we have one main intake a year - however if places are available in January, then Autumn born children who are three may be offered places - please indicate your interest on your application form if this is applicable to you. Children will attend Preschool for 1 year (starting from the September), after which they will have the opportunity of moving on to a main stream school of your choice. Our leaflet called Preschool Format and Admission Policy will explain this to you.

Funded Places and Fees

Children can be funded by the local Education Authority (LEA), either with universal entitlement (15 hours) or extended entitlement (30 hours). There is a maximum of 6 funded hours per day.

You can check what you are entitled to at the Oxfordshire County Council

Children are entitled to funded hours from the term following their 3rd birthday. Please note however, that if you choose to use your funded hours at another provider or wish to attend more than your funded hours per week, you will be charged £16.50 per 3 hour session, and that this fee is subject to change from time to time. Extended sessions (8.45-3.15) incur an additional fee of £3.50 per day. A lunch club is available for £3.50.

Preschool Admissions Policy

It is our intention to make our preschool and playgroup as accessible as possible, taking into consideration the partnership with St Nicolas Primary School. All children and their families will be welcome, regardless of gender, sexuality, disability, ethnic origin, religion or belief.


Children can be registered from the beginning of the term their second birthday falls, i.e.

1st Sept - 31st Dec (Autumn band) Register from 1st Sept
1st Jan - 31st Mar (Spring band) Register from 1st Jan
1st Apr - 31st Aug (Summer band) Register from 1st Apr

Closing date for applications will be 1st February before your child is due to start in the September. After that you will join the reserve waiting list.

Start date and sessions offered

We aim to start children in the September following their third birthday. At present the Local Authorities offer 15/30 funded hours per week to three and four year olds. Anything above your funded hours will attract an additional charge. You will be asked to submit a request regarding which sessions you wish your child to attend. Each funded session lasts for three hours up to a maximum of 2x3 hour funded hours per day (set times). The maximum amount of hours available per week per child is 32.5 hours per week term time only. Options offered are :

Lunch club can be added on to either morning or afternoon sessions (11.45-12.15pm)
Additional ad hoc days by request

We will do our best to accommodate all parental requests but cannot be guaranteed. We request that a minimum of three sessions (9 hours) per week are taken per child unless in exceptional circumstances.

Allocation of places

The first offers of allocation of places for the main September intake will take place on 1st March each year. Any places remaining will be continued to be offered to those on the reserve waiting list (according to the allocation criteria) until all places are taken.

All places are offered under a prioritising system taking into consideration:

  1. Children with an Educational, Health and Care Plan. Introduced in Sept 2014.
  2. Looked After Children for whom there is an agreement between a designated officer of the LEA that the preschool will more appropriately meet the child's needs than the child's catchment preschool.
  3. Children who have Learning Difficulties and Disabilities need to be admitted to an accessible school.
  4. Children of current staff of the preschool or St Nicolas Foundation Stage.
  5. A sibling currently at St Nicolas preschool or at St Nicolas Primary School and living within the St Nicolas Primary School catchment area.
  6. Applicants who live within the St Nicolas Primary School catchment area.
  7. A sibling currently at St Nicolas preschool or at St Nicolas Primary School and living outside the catchment area.
  8. Applicants who live out of catchment.

Places will be allocated using the above priority criteria to those who live the closest distance to the school first, irrespective of when the application is made.

If vacancies arise, they will be filled in the first instance from the reserve waiting list, (Children who are due to start primary school the following September), and offered under the same prioritising system as above.

Rising Three places

If there are still places available after offering all children on our reserve waiting list we may offer sessions to children in the term of their third birthday (called rising three places). Please note however - any rising three places will be allocated first to those who turn three in the autumn term and allocated according to our prioritising policy above, taking the eldest first.