3.1 Priority groups

There is a long waiting list for childcare and Childcare Services therefore operates a priority system for the allocation of places. The priority groups are:

  1. parents or children with a disability
  2. lone parents (this only applies where one parent is caring for the child.  It does not apply where parents live and/or work apart)
  3. Those with a sibling already in a University nursery or at a community nursery with a University placement
  4. those who have been nominated under the sponsored priority scheme.
  5. Student parents.

The priorities are hierarchical – i.e. those with disability are the highest, working down to students and ordered within the individual priorities by the date the application was received.  Thereafter, all non-priority applicants are offered places (when available) according to the date when they applied.


3.2 Exceptions to the allocation procedure

In the case of a genuine emergency need for childcare (such as the serious illness or death of a close relative) an exception to the allocation procedure may be made.  In such cases, parents should contact the Head of Childcare Services.

3.3 An offer will be made to an applicant as soon as it is possible to do so bearing in mind the relevant factors – nursery choices, required attendance pattern, age of child. 

3.4 If an applicant is made 3 offers which meet their nursery choices which they decline, their application will be removed from the waiting list.  They will have the option to reapply at a future date

3.5 Applicants who are ‘Placed, still waiting’ - i.e. those that have been offered and accepted a place at one nursery (possible second/third choice) but wish to remain on waiting list for their preferred nursery are able to do so subject to the preferred nursery being within the same nursery provider as the initial placement (All University nurseries are run by Bright Horizons).  If parents wish to change to a nursery with a different provider, this will be by joining the waiting list with a new application after starting the placement for which they have received an offer.

Exception:  Where parents wish to a Montessori nurseries (2 years plus only) but are wishing to have childcare before that point, they are able to submit a standard application via the online portal for the first nursery.  They should then contact Childcare Services office to place a second application for the Montessori nursery.  This second application will be limited to nurseries  within the Montessori Group.    The application will be withdrawn if, after the child has turned 2, the parent wishes their child to remain in their existing nursery.