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Applying for a place in a school nursery class

Child's drawing of a school bus

From the term after they turn 3, all children in Merton who are 3 and 4 years old are entitled to up to 15 hours a week of free early education (The Universal Entitlement). Places can be taken up in school nursery classes or with approved day nurseries, preschools, childminders or independent schools.

This section is for parents wishing to apply for a Universal Entitlement place in a primary school nursery class in Merton.

  • You can apply online for a place in a community school nursery class from 1 September until the closing date. Paper application forms must be used for late application and are available from the schools themselves. Wherever possible, we recommend applying online. You can make two choices of community school in your application.
  • If you wish to apply for a nursery class place at a voluntary aided (church affiliated) primary school or a primary academy (Aragon, Beecholme Primary School, Benedict Primary School or Harris Primary Academy Merton) you must contact the school directly and get their application pack and form.
  • If you want to apply for a place at an approved (funded) day nursery, preschool, childminder or independent school in Merton, you will need to find out about other providers of early education and apply directly to them.
  • To apply for a nursery class place at a school or other provider outside London Borough of Merton, please contact the relevant Local Authority for more information
  • As well as the Universal Entitlement, many working families can get up to 15 extra hours a week of free early education and childcare for their 3 or 4-year-old children, making up to 30 hours in total. Parents must check their eligibility for this Extended Entitlement via HMRC’s Childcare Service. For more information, visit

When to apply and important dates

Choosing which school nursery class to apply for

Guide to applying

Admissions criteria

Frequently asked questions

Children born between 1 April 2015 and 31 March 2016

Late applications will not be considered until all on time applications have been processed and outcomes issued on 11 May 2018.

Important dates

Children can usually start in nursery class from the start of the school term after their third birthday. You can work out the earliest date your child will be eligible to start from the table below.

1 April 2015 - 31 August 2015 Eligible from September 2018
1 September 2015 - 31 December 2015 Eligible from January 2019
1 January 2016 - 31 March 2016 Eligible from April 2019

The closing date for applications to these intakes is 28 February 2018. Applications after this date will not be considered until all on-time allocations have been made in May 2018. Please ensure that your application has been submitted by 28 February 2018.

The key dates for the nursery class 2018/19 admissions process can be found in the following table.

Date Activity
September 2017 to March 2018 Parents can contact primary schools to arrange visits.
28 February 2018 Closing date for receipt of online applications. Paper application forms must have been returned to your first preference school.
April to May 2018 Applications are ranked according to admissions criteria.
11 May 2018 Offer day. Parents will be notified of the outcome of their application.
June 2018 Second round of offers issued.

Children born between 1 September 2013 and 31 March 2015

The application process for these nursery class places has already been completed. However, you can still submit a late application. Please complete the In Year Nursery application form and return it to School Admissions at Merton Civic Centre.

1 September 2013 - 31 August 2014 Eligible from September 2017
1 September 2014 - 31 December 2014 Eligible from January 2018
1 January 2015 - 31 March 2015 Eligible from April 2018

For more information on which schools may have places please see our Nursery Vacancy Checker.

If you have recently moved into the country, you will need to come Merton Civic Centre to complete your application, as we will need to see your and your child’s passports.

For children born between 1 September 2013 and 31 August 2014 you will also need to submit a Starting Reception 2018 application. Further details on this application process are available on the Starting Reception page

Children born between 1 April 2016 and 31 March 2017

The application process for these places will begin on 1 September 2018.

The information on how to apply for a nursery place will be available on our website from September 2018.

1 April 2016 - 31 August 2016 Eligible from September 2019
1 September 2016 - 31 December 2016 Eligible from January 2020
1 January 2017 - 31 March 2017 Eligible from April 2020

Alternative childcare options

If you want to consider alternative early education and childcare provision, please visit:

See also

Related links

Contact us

School Admissions Team
Civic Centre


This page was last updated on Thursday 22 June 2017

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