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How to Apply

Applying to Blackhall Nursery


Application form  

An application form is available for download - Application form Nov 2018.pdf

Before completing an application form, we strongly recommend that you read our Admissions and Welcome Policy and Place Offer Timetable (below).

The following is a statement from the City of Edinburgh Council:

"Additional Support Needs:

An additional support need comes from anything which is a barrier to learning.   The education authority has many legal duties towards children with additional support needs.   Information about this is contained in a booklet called In On The Act: Information For The General Public which is published on the education authority website at www.edinburgh.gov.uk/inontheact - or contact the additional support for learning team on telephone number 469 3444."


Admissions and Welcome Policy and Procedures

Blackhall Nursery is in partnership with the City of Edinburgh Council's Communities and Families Department to provide free pre-and ante-pre-school early years education. 

In meeting its standards of care, Blackhall Nursery follows the Scottish Social Services Council Codes of Practice for Employers of Social Service Workers and Social Service Workers.

We are a community nursery, managed by a volunteer Parent Committee and Board of Directors.

We employ a staff team of excellent early years professionals to run the Nursery on a day-to-day basis.

We aim to be a centre of excellence in the provision of a happy learning-through-play environment.   

Places, The Waiting List and Applications

  1. Blackhall Nursery offers children either a morning or an afternoon place of five 3 hour 10 minute sessions per week, term-time only (600 hours).   From 2018-19 we will be piloting the delivery of 1140 hours (6 hours per day during term-time) to a small group of children and working towards the delivery of this entitlement to all eligible children from 2020-21. We do not offer part-week places.
  2. Application forms are available from the Nursery or can be downloaded from this website - see pdf link above.  Applications can be submitted only on or after your child's second birthday.  Forms should be returned to the Business Manager, Blackhall Nursery, Ravelston Park Pavilion, Craigcrook Road, Edinburgh EH4 3RU.
  3. Applications will be treated on a first-come, first-served basis, with the exceptions detailed below.   You should receive an email acknowledgement of your application within two weeks.   Please email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it if you do not receive an email. 
  4. We are trying to meet a specific need for a pre-school catchment nursery feeding into Blackhall Primary School, so priority may be given to children who live in the Blackhall catchment, as defined by the City of Edinburgh Council’s Communities and Families Department, or to those with siblings at Blackhall Primary.
  5. Pre-school children will be given priority over ante-pre-school children.
  6. We depend on a per capita grant from the Council, so require your place at Blackhall Nursery to be your sole funded place i.e. you may not also have a funded place either at a local authority nursery or at a partner provider private nursery.   We do not accept fees. 
  7. When we are able to offer your child a Nursery place, you will be notified by post in the term prior to the August/September start.  If a place becomes available during the course of the year, we will contact you first by phone, then in writing, to offer the place.
  8. Once you accept a place for your child, further information will be sent to you about open days, start dates etc.
  9. If you decide not to accept a place offer at this stage, but wish to keep your child's name on the waiting list, please indicate this clearly by email or by phone. 
  10. If you are offered a place at Blackhall Nursery for your child, but decide to turn it down and remain on the waiting list, please note that your child will only be offered a place after the start of the academic year if there is no other eligible child on the waiting list.
  11. Please note that the Nursery has one waiting list for all places, and does not distinguish between morning and afternoon places.

The Welcome, Familiarisation Visits and Settling In

  1. Blackhall Nursery welcomes all children regardless of ability, race or gender.
  2. We will endeavour to cater appropriately for children with additional support needs, in consultation with parents, carers and relevant agencies.  Children with additional support needs may be given priority in the allocation of Nursery places, as may children whose first language is not English.
  3. We hope to make your child’s settling in process a smooth one by offering the following opportunities:
    • an Open Morning in the summer term 
    • an induction session in the summer term
    • staggered start dates so that smaller groups of children start together
    • the opportunity for you to stay with your child until s/he is settled
    • the opportunity for your child to ease gradually into Nursery by staying for a shorter period that the 3 hours 10 minutes initially
    • regular consultation with staff to establish good settling-in practice between the parent/carer, the child and staff, as appropriate.

We look forward to welcoming you and your child(ren) to Blackhall Nursery.

Notes: - These are for your guidance and information only

  • Usual practice, based on the Waiting List, is that pre-school children are offered either a morning or an afternoon place and three year olds (ante-pre-schoolers) are offered afternoon places.
  • A place at Blackhall Nursery does not guarantee you a place at Blackhall Primary School.   Those who live within the Blackhall School catchment apply directly to the school in the November prior to the year in which your child is due to start school.   Those who live outwith the catchment must make a separate application to the Council for a place.   Nursery staff will advise you on the process at the appropriate time. 
  • Children with January/February birthdays may currently choose to have a deferred entry place at school.   This means you may wish to apply for an extra pre-school year at Blackhall Nursery.   Staff will advise you on the process at the appropriate time. 

Place Offer Timetable

We start the place offer process before Easter in order to give parents as much visibility as possible.  Place offers will usually be made in March to the first batch of children on the waiting list with a 2 week window for replies.  Once the responses have been received, another batch of places will be offered and this process will continue until all available spaces have been filled. 

Parents are asked not to contact the Nursery to ask about places until after the end of April as we will not be able to give you any useful information before that point.  

N.B. Parents are advised to apply to more than one nursery  

Help with finding child care

The Care Inspectorate website www.careinspectorate.com offers a list of registered child minders in your area and also provides access to inspection reports and quality grading.  On the Care Inspectorate home page select "Find a service in your area", then from the drop down list under "Type of Service" select "Child Minding".