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Early Learning and Childcare Places

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 
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
January to December April - after the Easter holidays


How to apply for an Early Learning and Childcare place

Applications for Nursery
If your child was born between 01/01/2013 and 28/02/2015 and you would like to apply for a Local Authority Nursery place you must visit the school of your choice and complete an application form.

*** Please note that if your child is currently attending local authority nursery and you would like to continue at the same nursery for their pre-school year, then you do not need to reapply.

Application forms will be available from any primary school with a nursery class.

Forms are available from 16th January and should be returned to school by 27th January 2017 when the allocation process begins. Please take your child's birth certificate and proof of address with you to the school.

You can still apply for places after the deadline – late application does not guarantee a nursery place in the first allocation.

You can put up to 5 choices of nursery on the form: Please note you must only complete one form and you cannot apply for more than 5 schools.

If you have a childminder/carer in the area that you would like your child to attend nursery, please also complete a “Childcare Form” in addition to the application form.

Schools will collect application forms and pass them to the Early Years Team who will then allocate spaces.

You will be sent a letter during April 2017 advising if your child has been allocated a space, or if he/she is on a waiting list.

Once places have been allocated, all other applications will be kept on a waiting list. This list will be maintained by the Early Years Team until the end of June 2018. Early learning and childcare places within Aberdeen are allocated according to criteria set out in the Nursery Admissions Policy 17/18. The policy document and an information leaflet for parents are available to download from this web page.

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

If you are applying for an early learning and childcare place at a private nursery or a playgroup in partnership, you should contact the centre of your choice directly. A list of registered centres, including partner providers, is available in the Nursery Admissions Policy 17/18.

Spaces Available

There will soon be Early Learning and Childcare spaces available at Holy Family School, it is likely that these places will be available before the end of the 2016/17 academic session.

To register an interest please complete a nursery application form and submit to the Early Years Team, Frederick Street Centre, Aberdeen, AB24 5HY. You will be advised when places are available.

For further information contact the Early Years Team on the details below.


Return to Schools, Education and Learning home page.


  • Early Years Team
    Ground Floor
    Frederick Street Centre
    Frederick Street

    AB24 5HY
    Phone: 01224 764654

Frequently Asked Questions