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Castle Gardens Primary School, Newtownards
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Castle Gardens Pre-School

Hello, welcome to Chuckles

We would like to welcome your children to our Pre-School situated in the grounds of Castle Gardens Primary School in Newtownards. We see the Centre as an extension of your children’s home.

Our aim is to provide a caring and stimulating environment where all children have an opportunity to develope fully and where your child can make new friends, and in an enjoyable way, develop confidently to take their next step in their education.  Our Centre is currently managed by a Committee which is made up of parents of the children present in the Centre.  The Centre's trained and dedicated staff offer excellent facilities for pre-school children.

The Centre's Committee is responsible for the fundraising and employment of staff.  Meetings of the Committee are held on a regular basis.  The Committee is made up of parents of children within the setting and we would encourage all parents to support our various activities throughout the year.


Admissions Criteria

Respective Functions of the Management Committee:

The Centre Committee draw up the admissions criteria and delegate to the Leader/Manager, who has overall responsibility for applying the criteria.

Session Times:

Our session times are Monday - Friday   9.00am - 12 noon

Admissions Criteria

It is our intention to make our Centre genuinely accessible to children and families from all sections of the local community irrespective of religion, gender, colour, disability or means.

When considering which children should be selected for admission, the Leader/Manager will only take into account information which is detailed on or attached to the application. Parents should ensure that all information pertaining to their child is stated and relevant to the pre-school’s admissions criteria stated on the application.

Preference will be given as follows:

  1. Children from socially disadvantaged circumstances who were born between 2 July 2015 and 1 July 2016.
  2. Other children born between 2 July 2015 and 1 July 2016.

Children from “socially disadvantaged circumstances” means a child whose parent is in receipt of (i) Income Support, or (ii) Income-based Jobseekers Allowance, or (iii) an award of Income Support which has been converted into an Employment and Support Allowance and the level of benefit remains the same, or (iv) Universal Credit. When parents apply for places for their child on this basis, they must have their Benefit Verification stamped by the Social Security/Jobs and Benefits Office to confirm that they are in receipt of a qualifying payment. This should then be sent by the parent directly to the provider of first preference.

In the event of over-subscription in any of the above criteria, the following sub-criteria will be applied in the order stated:-

  1. Children whose brother or sister has previously attended the setting
  2. Children who have a brother/sister (half-brother/sister) currently attending Castle Gardens Primary School
  3. Children referred by Social Services

In the event of over-subscription of the above sub-criteria, preference will be given to those children who live closest to the Centre, measured from the child’s home to the Centre using Google maps.

Should two or more children live an equal distance from the Centre, preference will be given on the basis of the initial letter of the child’s surname, as recorded on the birth certificate using the randomly selected set of letters outlined below:-

D M S R J Mc Q O’ K V F O P Z T U G A Mac B C L E W Y H

In the event of surnames beginning with the same letter, the subsequent letters of the surname will be used in alphabetical order. In the event of two identical surnames, the alphabetical order of the initials of the forenames will be used as listed on the child’s birth certificate.

Duty to Verify

An original birth certificate should accompany all applications. In addition, the Centre Committee reserve the right to require such supplementary evidence as it may determine to support or verify information on the application form.

If the requested evidence is not provided to the Centre by the deadline given, this will result in the withdrawal of an offer of a place. Similarly, if information supplied which appears to be false or misleading in any material way, the offer of a place will be withdrawn.

Waiting List Policy

The Admissions/Waiting List Policy is available directly from the Centre.


Building Together for the Future




Contact Us

Centre Leader / Manager: Mrs Julie McCullough

Contact Number:07933 360166


Find our more about us on the Chuckles website by clicking here