Your early learning and childcare options
Children aged 3 and 4
When your child reaches the age of 2, you can add them to the waiting list of the early learning and childcare setting of your choice.
The Scottish Government is expanding funded Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) for eligible 2 year olds and all 3 and 4 year olds. This will increase the entitlement from 600 hours each year to 1140 hours from August 2020. The expansion prioritises a high quality experience for each child.
ELC can be accessed through childminders, private nurseries, council nurseries, community nurseries and playgroups.
Midlothian expansion projects
All eligible children will get 1140 hours of funded ELC from August 2020. However, before that, we are piloting some extended places at local authority and funded provider settings (including childminders).
These pilots tell us in advance which models work best for Midlothian and its families. Children without a place on the pilots will still get 600 hours of funded ELC.
When can my child start?
|The child turns 3 in||The child can start in|
|January||February (1 month and 1 day after 3rd birthday)|
|February||March (1 month and 1 day after 3rd birthday)|
|March to August||August (start of autumn term)|
|September||October (1 month and 1 day after 3rd birthday)|
|October||November (1 month and 1 day after 3rd birthday)|
|November||January (start of winter term)|
|December||January (start of winter term)|
How to apply
All early learning and childcare providers process their own applications for 3 and 4 year olds. Contact the nursery, childminder, partnership centre or other provider.
You can also download and print an application (PDF). Complete the form and take it to your preferred provider.
Where to find an early learning and childcare setting
You may choose the setting that best suits your needs, as long as they have spaces, and they meet the National Standards for early learning and childcare. All settings that offer funded spaces are registered with the Care Inspectorate, and grade ‘Good’ or above at their most recent inspection.
We ensure that each learning community has a mix of providers which offers you a choice. However you are not limited to a setting in your learning community: you may choose a setting outside your area, or outwith Midlothian.
- Children are not entitled to a particular pattern of attendance or a place at a particular setting, but will receive an offer of 1140 hours from 2020.
- Schools will have a transition arrangement to support children moving to primary 1 from all ELC settings.
Search in your area
- Primary schools that offer nursery classes
- Directory of early learning and childcare for 3-4 year olds
- Vogrie Outdoor Early Learning and Childcare Centre
Childminders can also provide places for your ELC funded hours. If so, they will tell you about funded places.
- Search for childminders (Scottish Family Information Service)
- Find a care service (Care Inspectorate)
For more information, contact Lisa Mackay, Midlothian Development Officer for Scottish Childminding Association [email protected]
- Early learning and childcare leaflet (PDF)
- Find out about plans to extend early learning hours by 2020