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Early Learning and Childcare Places

Aberdeen City Council has a statutory duty to provide Early Learning and Childcare places. These may be free places at local authority nurseries or funded places at registered pre-school education centres in the private, voluntary and independent sectors.

A child may start nursery in the school term after his/her third birthday. The Standards in Scotland's Schools etc Act 2000 defines the three school terms as follows:

  • Autumn term: August to December
  • Spring term: January to March
  • Summer term: April to July

Children in their immediate pre-school year are entitled to a whole year Early Learning and Childcare. Children in their ante pre-school year are entitled to a place in the school term following their third birthday as follows:

Month of Birth  Entitled to a place from 
January to February April – after the Easter holidays
March to August August – after the Summer holidays; children may start once they have reached the age of three
September to December January – after the Christmas holidays


If you want to apply for a local authority Early Learning and Childcare place, a place at a private nursery or a playgroup, you should contact the pre-school centre of your choice directly.

Early Learning and Childcare Places within Aberdeen are allocated according criteria set out in the Council's Early Learning and Childcare Policy. The policy document and an information leaflet for parents are available to download from this web page.

A list of registered pre-school education centres, including partner providers, is available in the Early Learning and Childcare Policy.

If you require further information, please contact the Early Years Team at the address below.

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  • Early Years Team
    Ground Floor
    Frederick Street Centre
    Frederick Street

    AB24 5HY
    Phone: 01224 764654

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