Childcare and Early Years Education Extended Service
Guidance and criteria for an extended nursery place.
Aberdeenshire Council aims:
- to provide places that meet the needs and demands of children and their families
- to ensure that children in Aberdeenshire have the best start in life and that their wellbeing is supported at the earliest stages.
- to allocate places in a fair and transparent manner to all applicants.
For all nursery admissions the Council has a duty under the Children (Scotland) Act 1995 to ensure that the most vulnerable children or those in greatest need are allocated a place.
Allocation of extended day places will be in line with Aberdeenshire Council’s Admissions process and banding procedure. Both agency referrals and parental requests for extended day provision will be assessed and allocated in line with need, availability and in the best interests of the child. There is no automatic entitlement to this service.
Demand for extended places may exceed the supply therefore it is necessary to have a system for deciding on the allocation of places in an equitable way and to make decisions on the basis of need and where a positive impact is likely.
Parents seeking an extended service will need to fill in an extended hours application as well as the main nursery application form. This should provide further information about the individual family’s specific support needs.
Children under 3
Ultimately there will be 3 settings that will offer extended places to children from 6 weeks of age to 3 years of age. However children of this age have no entitlement to a place and there is no guarantee an offer of a place will be made.
These places always have to be prioritised due to the high demand. Schools which will offer these places are:
- Westfield School in Fraserburgh
- Carronhill School in Stonehaven
- Huntley, school site still to be identified
Westfield will be the first of the 0-3 sites to offer this service and will commence service delivery in May 2013. The remaining two sites will become available during 2014.
Applications for these settings will be considered by a Central panel initially, moving on to local area panels in the future.
The offer of a place will be dependent on the level of priority of need and the likely positive impact of the placement on the children and family. This decision will be reached based on a scoring system and not on the length of time an application has been registered.
This may mean that a new application could be prioritised above children already on the list, in those circumstances where the panel considers a placement to have a higher level of likelihood of impact.
An application list will be maintained of all families who have requested an extended place but have not yet been offered a place in the nursery.
Applications for an extended place can be considered at any time during the year and will be assessed upon receipt.
Parents/carers and the referring agency should be kept advised as to the progress of their application. However, as the order of applications may change on a regular basis, caution needs to be taken with regard to informing parents/carers/agencies as to their exact place at any particular point in time.
All existing applications on the list will be regularly reviewed with relevant agencies to ensure panels are aware of any change of circumstances.