Admissions Policy

HSCS: 1.1, 1.2, 1.9, 1.14, 1.15, 1.18, 1.23, 2.9, 2.10, 3.4, 3.8, 3.11, 3.14,
3.16, 4.5, 4.11,

Willow Den at Spartan’s cares for up to 18 children between the ages of 3 years and not yet at primary school.

Willow Den at Falkirk Wheel cares for up to 32 children between the ages of 3 years and not yet at primary school.

The registration numbers are outlined in our Care Inspectorate registration and is the overriding policy in respect of admissions.

Admissions are prioritised as follows:

  1. Children resident in Local Authority area already attending the setting and intending to use their additional year of funding, in order of date of birth
  2. Children resident in the Local Authority area and have a sibling already attending the setting.
  3. Children resident in the Local Authority area in their pre-school year in order of their birth date, oldest first.
  4. Children resident in the Local Authority area who have reached their third birthday, in order of their birth date, oldest first.
  5. Children who are not Local Authority area residents.

All staff involved in the Admissions Process aim to ensure that all children and their families are treated fairly and equitably irrespective of their gender, race, ethnicity, disability, religion or belief, or sexual orientation of parents. Willow Den is committed to fairness, equality and inclusion, further details can be found in our Inclusion and Equality Policy.

Criteria for securing a place

Prior to a child attending nursery, parents must complete and sign the registration form in the online nursery management system and complete the All About Me.

These forms provide the nursery with personal details relating to the child. For example, name, date of birth, address, emergency contact details, parental responsibilities, dietary requirements, collection arrangements, fees and sessions, contact details for parents, doctor’s contact details, health visitor contact details, allergies, parental consent, and permissions. It is the responsibility of the child’s parent/carer to ensure this information is submitted and that the ELC team are kept up to date with any changes.

Funded Early Learning and Childcare

To be able to provide funded places for eligible children, childcare settings registered with the Care Inspectorate must form a partnership with the relevant Local Authority as per the National Standard, this allows the funding to follow the child.

Willow Den at Spartans is in partnership with the City of Edinburgh Council to offer funded Early Learning and Childcare places.

Willow Den at The Falkirk Wheel is applying for partnership with Falkirk Council to offer funded Early Learning and Childcare places.

Funding the Following the Child and the new National Standard

The Scottish Government has placed quality at the heart of the expansion in funded early learning and childcare entitlement for all 3 and 4 years, and eligible 2 year olds, to 1140 hours from August 2020.

To enable this, a ‘provider neutral’ Funding Follows the Child approach has been introduced alongside the national roll-out of the expanded entitlement in 2020. The approach is underpinned by a National Standard that all providers delivering the funded hours – regardless of whether they are in the public, private or third sector, or childminders – will have to meet. This will provide reassurance to parents and carers that any provider offering the funded hours will be able to offer their child a high quality ELC experience.

It will also place choice in parents’ and carer’s hands, enabling them to access their child’s funded entitlement from any provider that meets the new National Standard, has a place available and is willing to enter into a contract with their local authority.

Funding start dates

In Scotland all children aged 3 and not yet attending primary school are eligible for a funded early years place. The funding eligibility is specific to each local authority. In the City of Edinburgh, e.g. this funding is from the beginning of the term after their third birthday e.g. August, January or April.

Willow Den does not offer funded places for 2-year-olds. The table below explains when funding might commence (Local Authority dependant)

Date of birth falls betweenEligible from
1 March – 31 AugustAugust start of term
1 September – 31 DecemberJanuary start of term
1 January – 28 February April start of term
Reviewed: July 2024