“In the Nursery and Reception classes, children learn by exploring, creating and playing together. Both inside and outside, the activities are well designed to meet the needs of these young learners.”
(Ofsted, June 2017)

At Castle Mead we believe in investing in our early education. We recognise that children in the Foundation Stage learn best and most effectively when they are given the opportunity to explore, investigate and learn about things that interest them. Carefully planned opportunities which are informed by the children’s fascinations ensure that children are actively engaged in their learning and development. Topics may last a day, a week or even a half term depending on where the children take their learning.

Adults in the foundation stage focus on what the children can do, their stage of development and what their next steps are in order to support them in meeting their full potential. This is an exciting way to learn and teach and we share the children’s learning journeys regularly with parents/carers.

At Castle Mead we pride ourselves on how included the nursery children are within the main school. The children play alongside the reception children during their independent learning times where they are provided with a range of multi-sensory resources in both the indoor and outdoor environment. The children are also taken into smaller separate groups where the adults focus on teaching particular skills. The children regularly use areas such as the school hall for lunch and the library and their confidence in sharing these learning spaces has been highly effective in the promotion of their independence and in supporting a smooth transition into school.

Admission Information

We are able to take children into the nursery from two years old. If you are in receipt of two year old funding then your child will be eligible for a maximum of 15 hours of Free Entitlement (subject to availability). If not, you will be charged at the current session rate. Free Entitlement for all children starts the term after their third birthday. We offer 30 hours of Free Entitlement (subject to availability and verification of the 30 hours code). Please note that having a place at Castle Mead Nursery does not entitle a child to a place at Castle Mead School and you will need to follow guidelines set out by Wiltshire Council and apply as per their current criteria.

Information about Entitlements

Free Entitlement is available between the hours of 08.45-12.30 and 12.30-16.15 Term Time only.  The Early Years Entitlement hours are funded through Wiltshire Council and are based on a termly headcount.

Wiltshire Council funding information can be found at:

For those families entitled to 30 hours of Free Entitlement, applications can be made using:


EYPP is to improve the overall quality of provision. Payable if your circumstances meet nationally set criteria – similar to Free School Meals and the Two-year-old funding.

DAF is to support disabled children (in receipt of DLA) access their free entitlements. It’s a one-off lump sum paid to the provider nominated by the parent.  We collect this information from your declaration form and apply on your behalf.


Fees that are not covered by Free Entitlement:




Current charge

2 year olds

Half Day 3.75 hours


2 year olds

Full Day 7.5 hours


3 & 4 year olds

Half Day 3.75 hours


3 & 4 year olds

Full Day 7.5 hours


Breakfast nursery session


£5.55 (includes breakfast)

After nursery session


£11.10 (includes tea)

Nursery hot lunch (if required)




Delivery Model / Charges

  • Nursery is open Term Time only and mirrors the school calendar. This information can be found here
  • Funded hours (where available) are set as 08.45-12.30 & 12.30-16.15. These are not dependant on parent/carer’s paying for additional non-funded hours & are delivered completely free of charge. They can be accessed in a continuous block including lunchtime. 
  • We offer funded hours to those eligible for 2-year funding, 3 & 4-year-old funding, including 30 hours Free Entitlement.
  • For those children eligible for 30 hours Free Entitlement please note that it is the responsibility of the parent/carer to re-confirm their eligibility every 3 months, as prompted by HMRC. If this is not actioned, your additional funding may be lost.
  • If you wish to move your child to a new provider mid-way through a funding period please contact to discuss as this can only be actioned under certain circumstances set out by Wiltshire Council e.g. house move.
  • A healthy packed lunched can be bought in from home or a hot lunch provided by school at a cost of £2.55 per day. Free School Meals are available for the eligible and can be applied for at
  • Hours not covered by Free Entitlement: 07.45-08.45 & 16.15-18.00. Charges for these can be found in the table on page 1.
  • Children in receipt of Free Entitlement must be in situ before the headcount week each term (dates available from the school office).
  • Where charges are incurred for hours in setting, these will be invoiced a term in advance. Half the bill will be due for payment before the 7th of each month e.g. in term 3 2023, half the bill is due to be paid before 07/01/2023 and half before 07/02/2023, with the exception of term 5 where the total bill is due for payment before 07/05/2023.  Payment can be made by bank transfer, Childcare Vouchers or Tax Free Childcare. Information on how to apply for Tax Free Childcare can be found using this link
  • Admittance re additional hours is dependent on payment and as a result your child may be denied access to the nursery until the bill is settled.
  • A four week notice period is in place for any changes to additional hours.
  • No additional charges will be passed to parents/carers in respect of enhancements where a child has SEND.


  • We do not charge a deposit for placing your child on the waiting list.
  • You will not be asked to pay a registration or admin fee for accessing funded/non-funded hours.

Other Items

  • A uniform is not required.
  • If your child uses nappies you will be asked to supply nappies/wipes and any creams needed.



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