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  • Low Hall Nursery School
  • Church Hill Nursery School
  • Low Hall Nursery School

3 & 4-year-olds

On this page:

  1. 15 hours for 3 & 4-year-olds
  2. 30 hours for 3 & 4-year olds
  3. 30 hours eligibility
  4. Daycare  for 3 & 4-year olds
  5. Food
  6. How do I put my child on the waiting list?
  7. When can my 3-year-old start nursery school?
  8. When will I know if my child has a place?
  9. Attendance
  10. Changing your pattern

15 hours for  3 &  4-year-olds

All families get 15 hours of free education and childcare per week in school term time. We offer either:

  • 5 x 3-hour morning sessions, 9am to 12 noon, or
  • 5 x 3-hour afternoon sessions, 1pm to 4pm

30 hours for 3 &  4-year-olds

Some working families can get an additional 15 hours of free education and childcare — a total of 30 hours per week in school term time. We offer either:

  • Mondays to Fridays from 9am to 3pm or
  • Mondays to Thursdays from 9am to 4pm plus either 9am to 12 noon or 1pm to 4pm on Fridays

30 hours eligibility

Eligibility is based on how much you earn. Check your eligibility and apply on the government website or scan the QR code.

Call the Waltham Forest Childcare Team on 020 8496 3566 if you need help to apply.

Daycare for   3 &  4-year-olds

Add morning or afternoon sessionsBreakfast Club (8am to 9am), Teatime Club (4pm to 6pm) to your free hours for a minimum of 2 days a week, either:

  • year-round (48 weeks a year), 8am to 6pm. In school holidays, year-round children attend our Holiday Play Scheme at Church Hill.
  • term-time (39 weeks a year), 9am to 4pm, to which you can add Breakfast Club and/or Teatime Club.

Fees and deposits

We didn't increase our prices for either 22-23 or 23-24. We have now completed our annual review of childcare fees and, due to an increase in operating costs over the last two years, the federated governing body of Forest Alliance of Nursery Schools have arrived at the difficult decision that while we can maintain the price of our core hours and Breakfast Club, we have to raise the fees for our Teatime Club and our Holiday Playscheme from 1st September 2024. This increase will ensure the ongoing financial stability of our wrap-around service.

  • Core hours (9am to 12 noon and 1pm to 4pm) cost £9 per hour
  • Breakfast Club costs £8 per session
  • Tea-time from 1st September 2024 will cost £18 per session at Low Hall, £16 per session at Church Hill
  • Lunch at Church Hill costs £3.50 per day for a hot meal.

We ask for a non-refundable £10 registration fee, and a deposit of one month’s fees, both due before your child starts (early July for a September start). The deposit is used against the final month's fees. Monthly fees are payable monthly in advance, on or around the 5th day of the month. Monthly payments are calculated over 11 months, so that you pay the same amount each month, irrespective of school holidays. 


  • Breakfast: we provide toast and cereal.
  • Lunch at Low Hall is a packed lunch. At Church Hill it is either a packed lunch or freshly-cooked hot school dinners.
  • Tea: we make a home-cooked snack tea.

How do I put my child on the waiting list?

As soon as your newborn child has a name, you can add them to our Waiting Lists for free:

  1. fill out our Application form
  2. select ‘Church Hill’ or ‘Low Hall’
  3. fill in the rest of the form and submit it. You must answer questions with a '*'.

This adds your child to the Waiting List of the school you have selected. Like primary and secondary schools, we offer places according to our admissions criteria, not time on the list. Find out more on the Admissions page.

When can my 3-year-old start nursery school?

3-year-olds are eligible for their free 15 or 30 hours of education the term after their 3rd birthday, and terms start on the 1st September, 1st January and 1st April.

However, most children leave us when they 'graduate' from us and go to primary school in July, so most of our places become available in September. This means that the majority of 3-year-olds start Low Hall and Church Hill the September after their 3rd birthday.

When will I know if my child has a place?

We contact all the families of 3 and nearly 3-year-olds on our Waiting Lists in the Spring before the September when they could start. Please confirm as soon as possible:

  1. if you still want a place at the school
  2. if you prefer a morning or an afternoon place
  3. if you are eligible for the free 30 hours, and if so, your eligibility code
  4. if you would like to pay for Daycare (additional hours) and if so, the pattern that you would like.

If we offer your child a place we will send you some forms to fill in to start the admissions process.


You are expected to bring your child to a 3-hour session every weekday. This way, they build stronger social bonds with other children and with staff, and this aids their development. They also get used to having a weekday routine, which is helpful for all the family as preparation for primary school.

Changing your pattern

We can only make changes to your child's daycare pattern if we have the space and the staff to guarantee their education. Any change that we are able to accommodate will be actioned the term after you make the request, and we require a minimum of 4 weeks’ notice. We use this time to make sure we will have enough staff in the school to take care of the children, as well as to sort out the admin. This is a time-consuming and complicated process, so we only allow 3 changes per academic year and once in every term. If you change pattern between accepting a place and a September start, this counts as your Autumn term change, so you will not be able to change again before January at the earliest.

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