Changes to the nursery application process for the September 2020 intake
Parents applying for nursery places starting September 2020, January 2021 and April 2021 need to be aware of the following changes and how they will affect their application.
In order to give the maximum number of families the chance to have their full three terms in a community school nursery, the arrangements for allocating places have changed. Places will be allocated to September 2020 starters. After these offers have been made, any remaining places will be offered to children due to start in January 2021. April 2021 starters will continue to be considered later in the process with places only being offered where vacancies remain.
As well as ensuring the maximum number of families can have their full three terms in a nursery setting, this will also provide for a more settled learning environment with less movement between schools and less disruption caused by new joiners in January.
Many neighbouring authorities and non community schools in Merton already operate a system similar to what is now being introduced for Merton's community schools.
My child is due to start in September 2020 – what does this mean to me?
Changes to the nursery allocation process mean that there are more places available for September starters. If a place can be offered, your child will receive the full three terms in your allocated nursery. They will then move up to Reception at the same time as most of their peers.
My child is due to start in January 2021 – what does this mean to me?
The change to the allocation process means that you will only receive an offer if places remain after September allocations have been made. If a place cannot be offered, your child's name will be added to the waiting lists for the schools you have named.
My child is due to start in April 2021 – what does this mean to me?
The change to the allocation process will have limited impact on families applying for an April place. Under the previous process, April allocations were made later in the process and offers were only made if places were available. This remains the case and you will be advised in February 2021 if a place can be offered for your child.
You can apply online for a place in a community school nursery class from 1 September until the closing date on 28 February 2020. Online applications can still be made after the closing date until 15 May 2020, however they will be processed as 'late'. After 15 May 2020, you will need to complete a paper application. These are available from all Merton community schools and from the Civic Centre.
This section is about applying for 15 hours a week of free childcare ("universal entitlement") at a community school nursery. You may also want to look at preschools, day nurseries or childminders: Find a childcare provider.
Information on the extra 15 hours a week of free childcare ("extended entitlement") and who qualifies for this can be found here
Free early education and childcare for 3 and 4-year-olds
When to apply and important dates
Children born between 1 April 2017 and 31 March 2018
Late applications will not be considered until all on time applications have been processed and outcomes issued on 15 May 2020.
Children can usually start in nursery class from the start of the school term after their third birthday. You can work out the earliest date your child will be eligible to start from the table below.
|Date of birth||Eligible from|
|1 April 2017 - 31 August 2017||September 2020|
|1 September 2017 - 31 December 2017||January 2021|
|1 January 2018 - 31 March 2018||April 2021|
The closing date for applications to these intakes is 28 February 2020. Applications after this date will not be considered until all on-time allocations have been made in May 2020. Please ensure that your application has been submitted by 28 February 2020.
The key dates for the nursery class 2020/21 admissions process can be found in the following table.
|September 2019 to February 2020 ||Parents can contact primary schools to arrange visits.|
|28 February 2020 ||Closing date for receipt of online applications. Paper application forms must have been returned to your first preference school.|
|April to May 2020 ||Applications are ranked according to admissions criteria.|
|15 May 2020||Offer day. Parents will be notified of the outcome of their application.|
|Mid June 2020||Second round of offers issued.|
Children born between 1 September 2015 and 31 March 2017
The application process for these nursery class places has already been completed. However, you can still submit a late application. Please complete the In Year Nursery application form and return it to School Admissions at Merton Civic Centre.
|Date of birth ||Eligible from|
|1 September 2015 - 31 August 2016||September 2019|
|1 September 2016 - 31 December 2016||January 2020|
|1 January 2017 - 31 March 2017||April 2020|
For more information on which schools may have places please see our Vacancy Checker:
Nursery Vacancy Checker 21/2/20
If you have recently moved into the country, you will need to come Merton Civic Centre to complete your application, as we will need to see your and your child's passports.
For children born between 1 September 2015 and 31 August 2016 you will also need to submit a Starting Reception 2020 application. Further details on this application process are available on the Starting Reception page
Children born between 1 April 2018 and 31 March 2019
The application process for these places will begin on 1 September 2021.
The information on how to apply for a nursery place will be available on our website from September 2020.
|Date of birth||Eligible from|
|1 April 2018 - 31 August 2018||September 2021|
|1 September 2018 - 31 December 2018||January 2022|
|1 January 2019 - 31 March 2019 ||April 2022|
School Admissions Team