Grants available for early learning providers

If you’re an early learning and childcare (ELC) provider in the private or voluntary sector, you can apply to Midlothian Council for a capital grant to provide financial support with your ELC expansion plans.

Funded early learning hours increasing

From August 2020, eligible two-year-olds and all three and four-year-olds will be entitled to up to 1140 hours per annum of high-quality early learning and childcare in settings such as private nurseries, childminders, council nurseries and third sector providers. This figure is almost double the current 600 hour entitlement and means that we need more high quality ELC provision in Midlothian.

Open to private and voluntary sector

The capital grant is available from Midlothian Council to create additional ELC places in preparation for the extended entitlement. The grant scheme is open to all ELC settings in the private and voluntary sector that are in partnership with Midlothian Council to deliver funded hours and new ELC settings in the private and voluntary sector who would like to come into partnership with Midlothian Council to offer funded hours. Each application will be considered initially on its own merits, and then in the context of the other applications received. The cost per additional place may be considered when comparing applications.

Closing date

There will be one application round for capital grants with an expectation that successful projects will be completed and in use by August 2020 at the latest. Closing date for all applications is 12pm on Wednesday 8 May 2019. Late applications cannot be considered.

Plenty of guidance

The council has a duty to ensure best value in the spending of public funds. This means restrictions will be in place about what grants can be spent on. More details can be found in the guidance notes.

Get in touch

If you have any queries please email:

The council cannot give advice on individual proposals, but general, objective support will be given.

How to apply

Download and fill in the forms below:

Applications must be made by a legally constituted organisation. You can sign and email your completed application to the early years team at the above email or send it to: Early Years Expansion, Midlothian Council, Fairfield House, 8 Lothian Road, Dalkeith, EH22 3ZG

More help available

This scheme should be your funder of last resort and you must consider all other reasonable and sustainable alternative/additional sources of funding that may be available to support your proposal, including business development loans, grants and match funding opportunities. The council’s Economic Development service may be able to support you with accessing additional funding sources.

Economic Development details

For further information please contact them on:

17 Apr 2019