Early Learning and Childcare Application Process
Parents/carers can apply for a Local Authority school Early Learning and Childcare (ELC)/Nursery place online. The application period is from 12 noon on 30 January 2023 to 14 February 2023.
Before you apply please read the ‘Early Learning and Childcare Guide: 1140 Hours 2023 -2024’ guide below.
Parents/carers whose child does not have a place in the current session (August 2022 - July 2023) will need to apply using the online form.
Parents/carers with a child/children continuing at their local authority school Early Learning and Childcare (ELC)/Nursery setting (continuers) do not need to reapply. ELC/nursery staff will contact parents/carers whose children are eligible to continue to discuss which sessions are required.
How to apply
To apply for a funded ELC place in a Local Authority ELC/Nursery setting, parents/carers must complete the online application during the application period.
This process is for local authority school ELC/Nursery applications only.
If you would like your child to attend a funded provider ELC setting (childminder, playgroup or private nursery) applications should be made directly to that provider.
When applying online for a place in a Local Authority school ELC/Nursery setting you will need to provide evidence of your child’s date of birth (for example their birth certificate or passport) and evidence of where you live. This can be uploaded onto the online form when you apply. We will accept photographs of documents as long as we can see the whole document clearly.
When to apply
From 12 noon on the 30th January 2023, parents/carers will be able to access the online form from the Aberdeen City Council website. The application period is from 12 noon on the 30th January to 14th February 2023.
Please be aware that the application window closes from 15th February until 3rd April 2023. You will not be able to make an application during this time.
Parents/carers only need to apply for children who do not have a current place at a Local Authority ELC/Nursery setting.
Applying for a place – what you need to know
Before you apply for an ELC/Nursery place at a local authority school please note the following:
Parents whose child/children are eligible for another year in ELC/Nursery do not need to apply online if they wish to remain in the same setting. School staff will contact current parents to discuss which sessions are are required/available.
If a parent wishes to change the school ELC/Nursery setting their child is attending in their pre-school year then they are no longer classed as a ‘continuer’ and a new online application must be made.
In this instance, parents are advised to choose a session at their current school ELC/Nursery setting to ensure their child receives a place should we be unable to offer a place listed in your application form.
Aberdeen City Council want to deliver ELC that is flexible and offers choice to families. Parents/carers will 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.
The online form will allow you to indicate if you wish to use a blended place.
From August 2023, children whose fifth birthday falls between 22nd August 2023 and the end of February 2024 will be automatically entitled to an additional year of funded ELC. No application for deferral will be necessary, however, we will gather data which may be shared with the Scottish Government.
Parents of children born on or between 1 March 2018 and the school commencement date, 22 August 2018, are not entitled to defer their child's start at primary school as the child has reached school age. However, there may be exceptional circumstances where a further year in early learning and childcare would be more appropriate than providing the child with education in primary school. In these cases, the ELC/Nursery staff should discuss options with the family and contact the Early Years Team for further guidance.
Our ELC guide outlines any Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and all models.
The ELC guide will be uploaded by Monday 30th January 2023 outlining any FAQs and all models available.
Aberdeen City now has outdoor nurseries at Duthie Park and Hazlehead.
Both have an outdoor focus in their education and provision, but each offer unique and varied experiences for children, families, staff and wider communities.
For an insight into the world of an outdoor nursery through the eyes and experiences of children and families, please see the information poster and video links below:
For more information on outdoor ELC please contact the Outdoor Nurseries team: firstname.lastname@example.org
Gaelic Medium Education
Gaelic Medium Education is free, Council run bilingual education option.
Gaelic medium education in ELC/Nursery, Sgoil-Araich, is an option at Gilcomstoun School / Bun-sgoil Gilcomstoun.
You do not have to be a Gaelic Speaker to send your child to Gaelic medium education.
More information can be found on Gilcomstoun School Sgoil Gilcomstoun or please contact email@example.com
If you wish to apply for an ELC/Nursery place please complete the online application form.
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!
Where can I access ELC hours?
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/Nursery Settings
- Private ELC/Nursery Settings
- Gaelic Provision
- Outdoor Provision
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 Early Learning and Childcare?
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 2020 to 28 February 2021 – Ante-Pre-School Year
1 March 2019 to 28 February 2020 – 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 ELC.
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
1 March 2020 to 31 August 2020
From Term 1 August to December
1 September 2020 to 31 Dec 2020
From Term 2 January to March
1 Jan 2021 to 28 Feb 2021
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 of £17,005 or less
- Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit and an income of £7920 a year or less
- Support under Part 6 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
- Universal Credit with household take-home pay of £660 a month or less (equivalent to £7,920 annual income)
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.
Early Learning and Childcare for Children with Additional Support Needs (ASN)
For more information please consult page 11 of the ELC Admissions Policy 2023 below.
How to apply for an early learning and childcare place
Local Authority Nurseries
Children already attending a Local Authority ELC/Nursery place
Parents whose child/children are eligible for another year in ELC/Nursery do not need to apply online if they wish to remain in the same setting. School staff will contact current parents to discuss which sessions are required/available.
If a parent wishes to change the school ELC/Nursery setting their child is attending in their pre-school year, then they are no longer classed as a 'continuer' and a new online application must be made.
In this instance, we would advise parents to choose a session at their current school ELC/Nursery setting to ensure their child receives a place should we be unable to offer a place listed in your application form.
Children who are not currently attending a Local Authority ELC/Nursery Setting
To apply for a funded place in a Local Authority ELC/Nursery setting, parents/carers must complete an online application, which will go live on 12 noon on Monday 30th January 2023.
This application process is for local authority school ELC/Nursery applications only.
When applying online for a place in a Local Authority school ELC/Nursery setting you will need to provide us with evidence of your child’s birth certificate and evidence of where you live. This can be uploaded onto the online form when you apply. We will accept photographs of documents as long as we can see the whole document clearly.
If you wish your child to attend a funded provider (childminder, playgroup or private nursery) application should be made directly to that provider.
Applications for a place in a Funded Provider ELC 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 ELC guide.
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.
Parents/carers also have the choice and flexibility to split their funded hours between up to two different ELC settings (including a childminder). This is referred to as a blended model. If you want to split your child's funded hours please check with your preferred provider at the time of application to ensure they can accommodate you.
You can split your hours between a Local Authority ELC/Nursery setting and a Funded Provider or Funded Childminder.
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 FIS@aberdeencity.gov.uk.
Some of our Local Authority ELC settings will continue to offer 600 hours. If you wish to attend any of these settings and access your funded hours, 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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Frequently Asked Questions
For further information please visit: Frequently Asked Questions: Apply for a nursery school place 2022/23