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Admissions Policy

The Willow Tree Kindergartens provide Steiner Waldorf Early Years education based on the philosophy of Rudolph Steiner.


  • The settings are open to any child aged 3-5 (the term during which a child has their 5th birthday). 


  • Where space is available children aged 2 and a half will be considered for admission, subject to the Manager’s assessment of readiness to attend.


  • Where space is available children who are school age* will be offered a place at Willow Tree St Werburghs.

(*the term following their 5th birthday up until the end of the academic year during which they turn 6)


No child, individual or family will be unlawfully discriminated against on the grounds of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage or civil partnership, pregnancy or maternity, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation.


Any outstanding balances must be settled by parents/carers before admission, or for a child to continue accessing existing places at this setting.


Application Process


Application for places at Willow Tree must be submitted in writing on our application form.  Applications for the following academic year that are received by the 15th March will be prioritised on the waiting list. Where spaces are available after this time applicants will be invited to meet the teacher and may be offered a place.


Waiting lists for the Willow Tree Kindergarten are operated using the following criteria:


  • Children already attending the setting and requiring additional hours

  • children of staff and trustees of the Willow Tree Kindergarten.

  • siblings of children already attending the Willow Tree Kindergarten or siblings of children who previously attended Willow Tree Kindergarten, subject to approval by the Trustees.

  • Other applications are ranked by distance from Kindergarten and organised in terms of eligibility depending on where the birthday falls in relation to the start of the academic year in September.

If a place is offered it is followed by an education meeting with the child and parents/carers. A business meeting with relevant forms completes the application process.


  • Education meetings for September are normally conducted the previous Summer

  • Education meetings for mid-year intakes are conducted as soon as possible after the application (where there is a vacancy)

  • If there is no vacancy the applicant will be given the option of joining a waiting list

  • Education meetings are conducted by the kindergarten teacher; a Trustee or a kindergarten assistant may be present

  • The decision to admit a pupil is made by the Trustees



The Willow Tree Kindergarten is a mainstream setting.


  • It admits children with Special Needs where it has the appropriate facilities and resources available and where it is in the best interest of both the child and the existing class.

  • It admits children with disabilities where it has the appropriate facilities and resources available.


If additional support is required for a child to attend the setting, the setting will work with the parents/carers and other relevant professionals prior to admission and will aim to accommodate individual needs.


Nappy changing facilities at our settings are limited.  The needs of children in nappies will be discussed prior to their starting, to ensure their needs can be met.  Where children are still working towards using the toilet, it is preferable that they wear pull ups and have some independence in using the facilities.


Class size


The Willow Tree has a maximum of 18 children aged 3-5* per morning session, and 12 per afternoon session (*and 5-6 years - Willow Tree St Werburghs). On the register there will be a maximum of 25 children.  Our Ofsted registration allows a maximum of 4 children aged 5+ to attend our setting (Willow Tree St Werburghs).


Deposits and finance


On the offer of a place, families must pay a deposit of £150 in order to secure that place for their child.  The deposit will be refunded following a child’s exit from Kindergarten, provided full payment has been provided, and the family have provided full notice (please see exit policy).  Where families subsequently decide not to take up the place prior to their child starting Kindergarten, the deposit will be retained by Willow Tree Kindergarten.


Deposits will be kept in a separate bank account, and families will receive a receipt of payment.


All 3 and 4 year olds in England are currently eligible for the Universal Free Early Education Entitlement. Willow Tree charges a consumables fee for any hours accessed under the scheme.  Please see our Fees and Finance sheet for further information on hours, the FEEE scheme, consumables fees, and fees for additional hours.

For further information on fees and a copy of our Fees and Finance Sheet please contact the administrator on

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