Finding the best nursery school for your child can be a stressful and even daunting experience.

Knowing what to expect before you begin at a new setting can really help relieve any stress or anxiety that you or your child may be feeling at the start of a new nursery adventure. Set out below is a rundown of how it works, from the first Open Afternoon to your child starting with us.

Step 1
We hold Open Afternoons throughout the school year. You can arrange to attend by calling us on 01233 770316 (during term time) or sending us an email to:

The Open Afternoon allows you to visit the setting, ask any questions you may have, meet the staff and observe the environment, with no obligation to sign your child up.

During this visit you will be given an information pack to take away, along with an application form should you decide to proceed with us. If you are unable to attend, please get in touch and we will find an alternative date. 

Step 2
If you decide Smarden Nursery School is the right setting for you, we will need you to fill in the application form. The form tells us what sessions you would ideally like and when you would like your child to start (subject to availability).

Once the application form has been returned to us, we will be in touch to confirm availability or suggest alternative options. We will also arrange a convenient time for you to come back in to fill in the registration paper work, this usually lasts up to 1 hour. The paperwork visit is a good time for your child to familiarise themselves with the setting and the staff but with the comfort of knowing that you are nearby.

Step 3
Once you have registered your child with us they are entitled to two free settling sessions. Children have their first settling session for one hour and the second for one and a half hours. Parents can choose to attend part or both of the sessions with their child. Please bring your 'All about Me' paperwork to go through with your child's Key Person. Our main aim is to make the transition into nursery a happy, positive one, for both child and parent.

Step 4
Your child will start their new chapter with us at Smarden Nursery School! Please speak to the lead teacher or your Key Person with any queries you may have. A Key Person is a named practitioner who will help your child feel safe and secure; they will respond to your child’s needs and help them settle into the new environment.  Your Key Person will communicate directly with you and let you know how your little one has been getting on.


Age 2

15 hours free childcare
Some 2-year olds may be eligible to receive up to 15 hours of government funding, known as the ‘free for two scheme’ (FF2) which is subject to meeting certain eligibility criteria.  Funding may be accessed at the start of the term after their 2nd birthday. For more information please speak to Laura Pickard (admin assistant) or click here


Age 3 & 4

The universal entitlement
All children become eligible for up to 15 hours of free early education from the start of the term after their 3rd birthday. Children can access any or all of their 15 hours between the hours of 9am-3pm, Monday to Friday.  If your child attends more than the free 15 hours, you will be invoiced for the additional hours at our £6.00 per hour rate. For more info Click Here


Age 3 & 4

Children of working parents (the extended entitlement)
Some children may qualify for up to and additional 15 hours free early education which is subject to meeting certain eligibility criteria.  For more information please Click Here




We charge a £50 deposit (administration fee) upon acceptance of a child’s place at nursery school (Fee paying places only).



Opening times:  We operate for 38 weeks a year, term time only and close on Bank Holidays. We are open Monday to Friday, 9am -3pm.

Our current hourly rate is £6.00.  This is reviewed annually and any increase is applied from September each year.  Our fees do not include any outings, celebrations or entertainment beyond our usual activities.  The following fees apply subject to availability:

Full day session 9am- 3pm (3/4 year olds only)  - £36.00
1st AM option: 9am -12pm - £18.00
1st PM option: 12pm – 3pm (3/4 year olds only) - £18.00



No refund will be given in the event of a child’s absence due to illness, holiday or any other reason.



Should the nursery school be unable to open due to bad weather or any other unforeseen circumstances, parents will be refunded any chargeable sessions or have an appropriate discount applied to their next invoice.   Should a closure occur mid-way through a session there will be no refund issued. Alternative sessions will be offered in place of any missed funded sessions in the event of any closures.


Late pick-up:

Children must be collected promptly at the end of their session. Failure to collect within 10 minutes of the session end will incur a late collection fee of £15.00 with a further £5.00 for every 5 minutes thereafter.



Children are welcome to wear non-uniform clothes to nursery school.  However if you prefer, we also have our own range of high quality polo shirts and jumpers available to buy.

Polo shirts £8.00/ sweatshirt £10.50/ hoodie £12.50

We do ask parents to provide a change of clothes as we like to play outside no matter what the weather and sometimes indoor activities can get a little messy!

In all cases we request that all items of clothing are clearly named.