Register your interest (to visit)
Please complete this registration form to tell us about the age of your child/children and how many days (if known) you would like. Visits to our nursery are on most days. There is currently high demand and we encourage you to register as early as possible; it may take up to 6 months from the point of registering, until you visit (sorry!).
- Sydenham Park nursery; our visits are generally at 930 for the under 3’s and 945 for pre-school visits.
- Sydenham Hill nursery; our visits are generally at 1030
We love showing prospective parents around our nurseries because it’s such a unique experience with each family. We will show you around the nursery and the room that your child could join, explaining what we do, how things work. We ask you to;
- please bring your child/children with you
- ID and..
- of course we welcome your partner/relative!
After registering and visiting you are welcome to join the waiting list for a place at your chosen nursery. , Waiting lists for each nursery are independent of each other. Please note that from January 2020 there is an admin fee of £35 to join each waiting list. Read our application process to learn more.
Applying for a place at Cuddly Bear
The Waiting List
Once you’ve registered your interest and visited, you may then join the Waiting List. Do this as far in advance as possible. We’ll ask you to complete a ‘Waiting List Form’ with a £35.00 non-refundable fee (and from January 2020, the fee is £35.00 for each Waiting List at each nursery). Joining the waiting list does not guarantee a place, but it means that we know you are interested and we try our best to accommodate your request.
The Waiting List is based on:
- Waiting List date order
- Siblings already at Cuddly Bear (priority)
- Availability within your child’s age group based on the given start date / nursery
Our Waiting Lists may change if; families move out of the area, or; existing Cuddly Bear families change their days, or; children leave to start school. The sooner you apply, the better the chance of getting the days that you want. Tip; Monday and Friday are often our quieter days, Tuesday – Thursday is the most popular option.
When can my child start?
When your child can start depends on the criteria mentioned already, but it is likely that we will not have a place for your child immediately or even within 6 months as we seem to be a popular choice for parents! We tend to offer places in January, March/April and September, with settling-in period of around 2 weeks beforehand. We aim to keep you updated and of course we don’t mind you contacting us to check in.
- Keep in contact with you regarding your requirements
- Contact you as soon as a place becomes available
Sometimes we know a place will not be available and will tell you if we think this is the case. This is because there may be several families ahead of you for your child’s age group, or existing Cuddly Bear families have requested a change to their days, which might impact your original request as they get priority. You can choose to leave the Waiting List or remain on it until a place is available.
Offering a place
We try to offer places with as much notice as we can – as much as 4 months’ notice, but if a family is moving out of the area it may be as little as a month, or less. The offer of a place is based on your position in the Waiting List, your requested start date and the availability in your child’s age group. It is useful (though we realise, not always practical) if you can be flexible with the days you want at nursery. Sometimes we offer you a place which doesn’t match your criteria ie 3 days not 4; you can decline and continue on the Waiting List, or, accept and request priority for that day, once it becomes available.
From time to time we may withdraw the offer if you change your requirements, ie:
- You delay the start date
- You are offered 4 days as originally requested, but then decide on less days
Once you receive our written offer of a place for your child, you will need to accept it in writing within the given deadline and pay the deposit amount stated (one month’s fees in advance). If you do not, the place is offered to the next family on the waiting list. This tends to be on email so make sure we are in your contacts list..!
Settling-in your child
In the run up to starting at Cuddly Bear, we work out a settling-in plan for your child, usually over a 2 week period prior to your child’s first full day. We take a child-centred approach so it is likely that the plan will change according to your child’s needs and how your child settles. And it is likely that we will ask you lots of questions to get to know your child, so completing all the paperwork in advance, being present with the Room Leader on your first settling-in session and being flexible to adapt the plan if/when it changes, is vital to a successful transition.