Setting them off on the right course


Term-time bookings, Funding terms and Term dates

Little Darwins is open for 51 weeks of the year apart from all Bank Holidays and 3 days between Christmas and New Year.  We close  on Christmas Eve (or the last working day before that) and re-open on the first working day after the Near Year bank holiday.  If Christmas Eve falls on a working day we close at 3pm.


Little Darwins offer term-time only places from 9am to 3pm for children aged 3+ for those wishing to access Early Years funding on a termly basis.  Term-time bookings are for 38 weeks of the year.  The universal funding available for children in Early Years settings is for 38 weeks which normally follows a pattern of 14 weeks in the Autumn term, 11/12 weeks in the Spring term and 12/13 weeks in the Summer term with the balance between the Spring and Summer terms always depending on the date of the Easter weekend.  If you work in the education sector and need to book additional days to cover any of your working days which don't match our terms there may be spaces available for your child(ren) on days outside the term dates, bookings/staffing permitting.  If you need extra days please speak to the Office, Manager or Deputy.


To those unfamiliar with it all, confusion can arise when reading the academic calendars published on the Essex County Council website displaying 39 weeks but it should be noted that schools only have to decide where to set their 5 training days and are otherwise free to set their term dates anywhere within the perameters of the ECC calendars so long as children attend for 190 of the possible 195 days in an academic year.  They do not have the limitations of the specific weeks/term allowances set for Early Years funding and they do not have to match other schools and are mostly dependent on the year's training programme so their terms can and do vary widely, both from year to year and from school to school and nurseries cannot hope to match other educational settings.


We also have a training day in each term where children, whose funding covers the whole of their session i.e. 9am - 3pm will not attend.  This may apply to your child even if your funding is stretched across the whole year.  Please ensure you make alternative childcare arrangements on these days.  If you have any queries regarding whether this applies to your child please speak to the office.