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All You Need To Know

Funded early learning and childcare for 3 and 4 year olds

All 3 and 4 year olds are entitled to a maximum of 1140 hours of early learning and childcare which is funded through the council.

The number of funded hours and start dates depend on your child's date of birth. Registration for the 2020/21 academic year is taken place on 26 and 27 February 2020. Details of when your child will be eligible to start is detailed below.

Start dates for free childcare

Date of child's birthday

Start date

Funded hours

1 March 2016 to 28 February 2017

Year 2
20 August 2020

1140 hours

1 March 2017 to 31 August 2017

Year 1
20 August 2020


1140 hours

1 September 2017 to 31 December 2017

Year 1
5 January 2021

678 hours
 

1 January 2018 to 28 February 2018

Year 1
12 April 2021

342 hours

How to register

Registration for the next school year (2020/21) will take place on Wednesday 26 and Thursday 27 February 2020. You need to register for a place with your preferred provider on these dates. Most parents/carers register with one provider, but you can register with two providers as long as the total number of hours doesn't exceed your child's entitlement detailed above.

You will need to take the following information along with you when you go to register your child/ren.

  • date of birth (birth certificate)
  • home address (a recent council tax or utility bill)

Choosing a provider

You can send your child to the provider of your choice.  Council nurseries and other registered partners deliver the funded provision in Dumfries and Galloway, however the list of providers may be subject to change.

You're welcome to arrange visits to providers to find out what's on offer before making your choice.

The Care Inspectorate inspects all providers to make sure they meet national standards. They publish inspection reports so you can find out what quality of care you can expect:

Search childcare provider inspection reports

You can also visit the Scottish Family Information Service website to find out more about services near you.

How places are allocated

Places at council nurseries are allocated based on priority groupings, from 1 (highest priority) to 8 (lowest priority):

1.   Year 1 and Year 2 children with additional support needs including, children who have deferred entry to school and Looked After children.

2.   a) Year 1 and Year 2 children residing in families within the nursey zone where both parents/carers or lone parents require the place for work/training purposes.
b) Year 1 and Year 2 children residing in families within the nursey zone with siblings already in the setting.

3.   Year 2 Children within the nursery zone.

4.   Year 1 Children within the nursery zone.

5.   Children out with the nursery's zone who are applying to the same nursery they attended in their first year and who have siblings in the school/nursery.

6.   Children out with the nursery's zone who have siblings in the school/nursery.

7.   Children out with the nursery's zone who are applying to the same nursery they attended in their first year.

8.   Children out with the nursery's zone

What happens next

Providers will write to tell you their decision. Parents/carers registering in February this year will be informed by the end of May/start of June.

Following registration, If your details change you must contact the provider(s) as soon as possible so that any amendments can be made to your personal details on your application form or if you want to request a change to the number or pattern of sessions you've asked for.

If you decide that you want to change your provider, you must complete a Transfer Request form. The provider needs 2 weeks notice if your child has already started with them and the form must be sent to us at least 10 days before the transfer takes place.

You have to complete a Leavers Form if you no longer want your child to attend a provider or you're leaving the area. Ask the provider for a copy of this form.

You may qualify for support with childcare costs in certain circumstances:

Additional entitlement for older children

Most children start school when they're between 4 years 6 months and 5 years old but it's possible to start children later in certain circumstances. These children may be entitled to an extra year of funded early learning and childcare.

Page last updated: 01/07/2020
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