Tell us how you would use the extended Early Learning & Childcare hours


 Parents and carers are being asked to fill in a new survey about how they would use the 1140 hours of free Early Learning and Childcare (EL&C) they will be entitled to by 2020.

The EL&C hours are almost doubling

This Scottish Government is almost doubling the entitled hours available in EL&C settings such as nurseries and childminders for all three and four-year-olds and eligible two-year-olds.

By 2020 the entitlement will be 1140 hours

The move will see the hours increased from 600 to 1140 hours, a change from around 16 hours to about 30 hours of free EL&C per week. Parents will have the option to use it during term time or it could be spread all year round to cover holiday periods as well.

Please give use your views

Midlothian’s cabinet member for education, Cllr Jim Muirhead urged as many parents and carers as possible to give their views.

The hours could transform lives

He said: “This is one of the biggest projects the council will be undertaking over the next few years, one with the potential to transform lives.

We want a service to fit your needs

“It’s vital we design a service that is flexible, high quality, fully accessible and meets the needs of Midlothian’s families.

 “While there are still questions to be answered about the best service model to adopt, what we do know is that early learning is of enormous benefit to children’s emotional, social, physical and mental development.”

Contact details

If you have any questions about the survey, please email :

Evonne Robinson's son Ayden is in a pilot project

One parent already enjoying the benefits of an extended hours pilot project at Moorfoot Primary School is Evonne Robinson. Her three-year-old son Ayden is “loving” being at nursery and attends the same hours as the normal school day.

The extra hours are good news for the family

Evonne says the extended hours mean she and her husband don’t have to rely so much on her parents for childcare and now don’t have to consider cutting their working hours.

Ayden may be ready for primary aged 4 years

She adds:  “Because Ayden is a January/February baby, it means you’ve got the decision about whether to send him to school at four, like his older brother, or keep him back until five. We’re hoping that being at nursery will mean he can go at four, although obviously we’ll take advice from the nursery too.”

Evonne and Ayden are pictured.



6 Nov 2017