Apply for a nursery school place 2020/2021

Aberdeen City Council ELC Expansion Update

The Scottish Government recognises the negative impact of the pandemic on the Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) expansion programme and has temporarily removed the statutory duty on local authorities to deliver 1140 hours of ELC to eligible two year old children and all three and four year old children from August 2020. This takes into account the challenges around social distancing with very young children as well as delays to the capital programme and recruitment, resulting from the negative impact of the pandemic.

For session 20/21 it is our aspiration to deliver the current entitlement of 600 hours of ELC in our local authority settings. 

For session 20/21 Funded Providers (including Private Nurseries, Childminders, Pre-school/Playgroups) in partnership with Aberdeen City Council may be able to offer up to 1140 hours of funded ELC. To find a Funded Provider please go to the Family Information Service.

Early Learning and Childcare in Aberdeen 

Aberdeen City Council is committed to offering high quality ELC to all three and four year olds and eligible two year olds. Early Learning and Childcare is about learning and development through play, exploring and most importantly – having fun!

If your child is attending ELC for session 20/21 you may be wondering what this will look like. ELC settings will ensure that children play together in groups, and that where possible those groups are consistent. This will avoid children coming into contact with too many other people at once. Each setting will also have strict policies on hygiene in place and children will be helped to wash their hands regularly. They may also make more use of outdoor space. 

We have prepared a short video for families about how we are delivering high quality ELC safely in Aberdeen:

What is changing?

From August 2020 the Scottish Government is increasing the number of funded hours your child can access from 600 to 1140, you can also use your funded hours in a more flexible way.

The increase to 1140 hours means around 30 hours per week during school term time or around 22 hours if taken through the year.  It is important to emphasise that Parents/Carers do not have to use the full entitlement of 1140 hours.

Where can I access ELC hours?

From August 2020, any provider who meets the new National Standard and who has a contract with Aberdeen City Council can offer funded hours.  Hours can be offered at:

  • Local Authority ELC Settings
  • Private ELC Settings
  • Childminders
  • Playgroups
  • Gaelic Provision
  • Outdoor Provision

The biggest change is the way you can use your funded hours – there is now much more flexibility.  Your child may be able to access:

  • Full days
  • Part days
  • Term time
  • Up to 50 weeks per year (depending on which provider you choose)
  • Split placements or a combination of more than one provider (for example a private nursery and childminder)

When does my child become entitled to 1140 hours? 

Early Learning and Childcare for 3 and 4 year olds

Your child is eligible for an ELC place if his/her birthday is between the following dates:

1 March 2017 to 28 February 2018 – Ante-Pre-School Year

1 March 2016 to 28 February 2017 – Pre-school Year

Children are entitled to an ELC place in the school term following their third birthday. Children in their immediate pre-school year are entitled to a whole year of Early Learning and Childcare. 

Children who are turning 3 are entitled to an ELC place for the following number of terms if their birthday falls within the following dates:

Child’s Date of Birth ELC Entitlement Duration
1 March 2017 to 31 August 2017 Three terms From Term 1 August to December
1 September 2017 to 31 Dec 2017 Two terms From Term 2 January to March
1 Jan 2018 to 28 Feb 2018 One term From Term 3 April to July

Early Learning and Childcare for 2-year olds

Eligible 2-year old children are entitled to up to 1140 hours of funded ELC. This is from the term after their 2nd birthday until the term after their 3rd birthday when they are entitled to universal ELC.

Children age 2 are eligible for 1140 hours if their family is in receipt of one of the following benefits and allowances:

  • Income support
  • Job Seekers Allowance (income based)
  • Any income related element of Employment and Support Allowance
  • Incapacity or Severe Disablement Allowance
  • State Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit (CTC), but not Working Tax Credit and your income is less than £16,105
  • Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit and your income is under £7,320
  • Support under Part V1 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • Universal Credit and your household take-home pay, is £610 or less.

Or if the child is age 2 or over and is or, since they turned 2 has been (in terms of legal status):

  • Looked After by a local council
  • The subject of a Kinship Care Order; or
  • The subject of a Guardianship Order; or
  • Has a care experienced parent. 

How to apply for an early learning and childcare place

Local Authority Nurseries

If you would like to apply for a local authority nursery place for your child you must complete an application form and email this, along with proof of date of birth and address for your child to 

The initial application deadline was 7th February however you can still apply for places after the deadline. We accept late applications thought the school session but if your application is late then you will reduce your chances of being offered a place. 

You can choose up to 3 settings in order of preference. You do not need to submit a separate form to each school. 

Funded Providers

Applications for a place in a Funded Provider Early Learning and Childcare setting can be made directly to your chosen provider. 

Funded Providers are private nurseries, playgroups and registered childminders, who are in partnership with the local authority, to deliver the expanded funded hours. 

Contact your chosen Funded Provider to discuss if places are available. Each setting will offer a different model of provision and we encourage all parents/carers to check with their providers and look at the options in their area.

Details of all funded ELC settings, who are registered with Aberdeen City Council to provide ELC, can be found at the back of the application. 

All Funded Providers meet the National Standard and deliver high quality learning and childcare. 

The Family Information Service website contains comprehensive and up to date information of all ELC Providers: childminders, private nursery settings and playgroups. 
A list of funded providers is also available in the ELC application form.

Split Funded Hours 

Parents/carers also have the choice and flexibility to split their funded hours between up to two different settings (including a childminder). This is referred to as a blended model. If you want to split funded hours please check with your preferred provider at the time of application to ensure they can accommodate you. 

You can split your 1140 hours between a Local Authority ELC setting and a Funded Provider or Funded Childminder.
1140 hours in weeks: 

  • 38 weeks annually / 30 hours per week 
  • 46 weeks annually / 24 hours and 57 minutes per week 
  • 52 weeks annually / 21 hours and 55 minutes per week

It is your responsibility to find a Funded Provider or Childminder and agree a place with them.  

Please be aware that any hours taken at a local authority setting will be deducted from your entitlement at a Funded Provider or Childminder.  To access a list of Childminders please email 

Some of our local authority ELC settings will continue to offer 600 hours. As stated previously, 1140 is an entitlement, you do not have to use all of your hours – this is optional. If you wish to attend any of these settings and access your full entitlement, you have the option to do a blended provision (as described above). 

Please indicate on your application form how you wish to split your funded hours. 


If you need more information, please contact the Early Years Team on 01224 764654 or email:


For enquires to the Early Years team

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