What happens to my application?

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You will receive a confirmation email regarding the safe receipt of your application. Please follow the instructions the email contains carefully, for example if we ask you to provide evidence of your eligibility for a University of Oxford nursery place. Whilst on our waiting list, you will receive a twice-yearly email to remind you of the need to keep your application details up to date. You will also receive monthly updates from our Bright Horizons nursery team, if you chose to opt in to these newsletters.

Check with your department directly. You will still make your application in the same way, and then we will ask your department for written proof that they wish to nominate you for this scheme.

Yes, you can update your application at anytime and it will not affect your place on the waiting list. Please go to the application portal you used to make your initial application. Keeping your application up to date makes the waiting list more accurate and therefore wait times shorter. If you no longer require a place please delete your application.

We currently have 450 FTE places for eligible staff and students, 332 of which are in the University’s own nurseries. It is not always easy to predict when you might be offered one of these as a number of variables can affect availability, for example your choice of nursery, the age of your child or your preferred attendance pattern. However, please rest assured that we will contact you as early as possible when a place does become available. Your offer will be made via email, with a minimum three day window given for you to accept.

Please note that most nursery places will be offered during the summer as we receive notifications of school leavers for that year. If you have requested a nursery place between June and September, you will be notified in early summer if a place becomes available for you. You will receive a confirmed start date as soon as we can confirm the dates that the older children will be leaving for school.

Many parents ask us about their position on the waiting list. In reality, this information is not always helpful and can lead to false expectations, since a position can move down as well as up (if someone with a higher priority than you applies after you, for example). Additionally, you may be very high on the waiting list but until there is a place available that meets your preferred nursery choice, attendance pattern etc., you could stay in that position for some time.

We encourage you to accept a place if it is offered to you and is one of your three choices, as it may be some time before another place is offered. Please note that if you decline three offers that meet your requirements, we will remove your application from the waiting list. Similarly, if you do not respond to two offers in a row, or you repeatedly push back your start date once an offer has been made (more than three times), your application will be removed from the system.

Should your circumstances have changed, please update your online application in order that we can make you an appropriate offer. This will not affect your place on the waiting list. Parents with children already in nurseries can request an increase in days by making a new application.

We operate a waiting list and your child/ren will be added to this as soon as you submit your application. Priority for the allocation of places is given to the following groups:

  • Parents or children with a disability – please send documentary evidence to Childcare Services to inform us of how the disability impacts on your family’s ability to access childcare;
  • Siblings, where an older sibling remains in attendance on a University nursery placement. Childcare Services will have a record of this on their database and so no further action is required;
  • Sponsorship, where a college or department has nominated an applicant for this scheme;
  • Student parents – please email a copy of your Student Enrolment Certificate to Childcare Services in order for this priority to be applied to your nursery application.

If you need to withdraw your application for any reason, please do so using the online portal. This helps us to ensure that parents who continue to require nursery places are offered to as soon as possible. In the event that you need additional assistance, for example if you have experienced pregnancy loss, please do not hesitate to contact our team, who will do their utmost to assist. Childcare Services can be contacted on: childcare@admin.ox.ac.uk 

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Nursery Enquiries

01865 613935



Finance Enquiries

01865 289841