Navigating the Enrolment Process at Our Nursery

There’s a lot to think about when your child starts nursery. And while our team of extraordinary people are on hand to make the process as smooth as possible both for you and your child, being prepared and understanding the enrollment process ahead of time will make the process a lot easier to digest and manage.

Published on May 13, 2024

Which is where this blog comes in.

The enrolment process at the nursery starts well before their first day – for you as a parent, anyway!

Enrolment starts when you choose the right nursery for your child and encompasses applications, timelines, and of course the new announcement of free childcare hours and what you might be eligible for. We’re going to be sharing all of this and more in this blog, so let’s get stuck in.

Choosing the Right Nursery

The right nursery is one which is a good distance from home, and which operates hours that you can work within in terms of drop off and pick up.

Aside from the logistics of your chosen nursery, your research should encompass things like the educational program, a typical nursery day, how the nursery keeps in touch with parents or guardians, and all sorts of safeguarding, health, and safety details that you need to know.

You should also find out early about costs and fees – before finally accessing information about availability and places.

How to Apply for Nursery

The nursery application process is managed on an individual basis.

At My Ohana, though we operate a series of nurseries, each is managed independently with regards to availability and operating hours. This means that applying for nursery needs to be done directly through your chosen nursery, with My Ohana requesting a registration and a consent form to help us operate the fairest and most inclusive policy possible.

When to Apply for Nursery

The general rule at play is that it’s never too early to at least enquire about nursery places for your child.

In fact, with the rollout of free childcare hours over the course of 2024 and beyond, we would encourage parents to be even more forward thinking when it comes to early correspondence with your ideal nursery – because the rise in free hours means a rise in demand.

All nurseries that accept these government funded places and hours are seeing a huge uptick in demand for places, and as such are becoming limited much earlier on. If you don’t register early, the chances of getting a place at your preferred nursery are slim.

Understanding Free Childcare Hours and Eligibility

Now to those free childcare hours we keep talking about.

In short, the free childcare hours refer to a government funded scheme which aims to make nursery places more accessible – and make it easier for parents to return to work.

Nurseries that partake in the scheme will have a set number of spaces for government funded children and will claim the cost of their childcare directly from the government. My Ohana is a part of this arrangement and is proud to be supporting an initiative that makes childcare more accessible.

To be classed as eligible…

·        Your child must be over the age of 2 years to apply for funded nursery hours in April 2024. If your child is younger than this then you will need to wait until September 2024 when the scheme is set to be rolled out to children aged 9 months and older - ultimately making core nursery hours available to all young children.

·        If you’re in a couple and sharing parenting duties, you both need to be working

·        Your combined income needs to be at least £8,760 per year, and less than £100,000 per year (after tax – essentially meaning that these amounts need to reflect your take-home income)

If these eligibility criteria apply to you, you need to head to the government website to apply for a code which proves your eligibility and ensures that you are registered for a place. It is only with this code that the nursery can redeem the cost of your child’s nursery place from the funding, so applying for this is crucial.

Preparing Your Child for Their First Day at Nursery

Once all of the above is sorted and you’re happy that you’ve got your code and chosen the right nursery, it’s time for preparation – both for you and your child.

At My Ohana, parents accompany their child to our onsite settling sessions, introducing them to the extraordinary people behind the scenes of our nurseries and allowing them to become familiar with the setting. The nursery manager will then create a bespoke settling-in process  for every child, recognising that everyone is different and that each child requires varying levels of support.

From there, preparation is all about understanding how the My Ohana systems work and what you can do to make the process easier. Ask our nursery team about ParentZone to familiarise yourself with our app, and ask about details like nappy provision, suncream for your child, and any dietary needs that they have.

Enrolling your child at nursery needn’t be an overwhelming or complex process – with the right guidance and preparation. We’re here to make the process easier, so don’t hesitate to get in touch.


We’ve been shortlisted for ‘Nursery Group Under 10 Settings’ in the National Day Nursery Awards 2022

Registered Company No: 2841130