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We welcome children and families from all social, cultural and religious backgrounds. We value the diversity of family structures and life-styles. We aim to create a rich and diverse pre-school environment to reflect the social and cultural diversity in our communities. We recognize that all children in the setting have a right to be listened to, respected, valued and protected, and we will tackle discrimination of any kind.

There is one main intake per year starting in September. 

Due to the numbers of children starting at this time and the need to ensure children are settled, children’s start dates may be staggered between the beginning of September up until the October half-term. Parents will be consulted regarding the timings of any staggered starts and the pre-school will attempt to accommodate the needs of families.  However, the pre-school’s decision on this will be final.

A January intake generally will only be available for the very youngest children who turn 3 between 1st July and 31st August of their first academic year with us, such that these children will be younger than two and a half years old on 1st January, or for children where it can be shown that this would be of benefit to the child or their family or where there are exceptional circumstances.  

Applications for a January start date will need to be made in writing to the pre-school leader and will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. 

In consultation with parents/carers we will endeavor to accommodate all children’s needs, being flexible enough to adapt to the changing needs of the child.

The pre-school provides information about how children with special educational needs and disabilities (abbreviated to SEND) are supported in the pre-school.  The information is published online as part of the 'Local Offer’.  The Local Offer should provide all the information parents need to support their children and make decisions about their care and education. 

The Local offer can be viewed at: http://familyinformationdirectory.dorsetforyou.com/kb5/dorset/fsd/localoffer.page 

We are flexible about attendance patterns and payment in order to accommodate the needs of individual children and families. Please refer to our payment policy.

However, it is a requirement that children attend a minimum of two sessions per week over two days, to make it easier for them to settle well within the pre-school, and to enable their key person to observe and plan for the child.  Any requests to reduce hours or to leave the pre-school setting must be made 4 term-time weeks in advance, and in writing or by e-mail. Failure to do this will result in you being charged for these hours for 4 weeks, or for us to retain 4 weeks’ worth of funding, whichever is applicable.


We make our Equal Opportunities Policy available to all. A copy is available in the pre-school lobby, or can be viewed online at:  http://www.stcatherinespreschool.org.uk/policies-and-procedures


We regularly consult with parents/carers to ensure that opening times are meeting the needs of the local community.


There are two introductory sessions exclusively for new children and their parents/carers prior to their start date when they can explore the setting, play and meet their key person, as well as an introduction evening for parents. We can also offer a home-visit from the Pre-school leader. This forms part of the Settling In Policy.


 Parents may register their child with the Pre-school at any time but should be aware that:     

- The pre-school only considers applications from those not attending any other pre-school setting, so that these children may be assured of receiving early years education. This does not include children in day care or nursery where a child is not using the pre-school facilities that may be at this setting. It is the responsibility of the parent to ensure this is made clear on the application.

-  Priority is given to those children due to start primary school in the next academic year, until their year group is full (approximately half the pre-school capacity), and then the following school year will be prioritised.

-  The Pre-school leader may exercise her discretion and agree to an admission if parents/carers can demonstrate there are exceptional reasons for their child attending the setting over another applicant.

-  Your child will need to be entered on the waiting list by the 15th January (the same deadline as primary school admission applications) to be considered for a place the following September.

- Letters will be sent out after Christmas to families wanting a place, if you have not heard from us by February, please contact the pre-school so we can re-send any forms if needed.

BACK-YEARING AND DELAYED RECEPTION CLASS ADMISSION: If you are applying to back-year your child or delay their admission to reception class, you must notify the pre-school by the end of February (in the year he/she was due to start school).  For further information about back-yearing or delayed entry, please read the guidance online at Dorset For You: https://www.dorsetforyou.gov.uk/school-admissions/out-of-normal-year-group-policy


1.  1.  Vulnerable Children.

                i.  A child in public care/looked-after child

ii. Children of families with confirmed refugee status

iii.Children of families who are known to be working with Children’s Social Care. Evidence needs to be present at the time places are being allocated.

                iv.Children with a medical condition, disability, or special educational need where written evidence is available from a senior clinical medical officer and the child’s general practitioner or specialist showing                      that it would be detrimental to the child’s health not to admit him/her to the pre-school. Details must accompany the initial application.

v.Children where one or both parents have a disability which would make travel to a different Pre-school difficult. Evidence from a registered health professional 

such as a doctor or social worker will be required. Details of this must accompany the initial application.

2.   2.  Siblings of children who are attending, or have previously attended the pre-school, and siblings of children currently attending St Catherine’s Catholic primary school. Sibling refers to brother or sister, half brother or sister, adopted brother or sister, step brother or sister, or the child of the parent/carer’s partner where the child for whom the school place is sought is living in the same family unit at the same address as that sibling. 

3.   3.  Date of registration with the Pre-school.

Early Drop-Off Club Admissions

The pre-school Early Drop Off Club is open to children attending the pre-school.

Please see below for our application form.  Click on the arrow on the right hand side below, to print, complete and then return to the address at the top of the form, or alternatively, feel free to e-mail the completed form to us.


St Catherine's Pre-school,
22 Feb 2021, 03:32