Increasing Early Learning and Childcare funded hours

From August 2020, eligible 2 year olds and all children aged 3 and 4 can have up to 1140 hours of funded Early Learning and Childcare (ELC for short) a year.

You don't have to pay for it. 1140 hours is roughly the same amount of time as primary school hours when the hours are taken over term time.

ELC makes a big difference to children and boosts what they learn at home.

Benefits for children in a nutshell. Early Learning and Childcare:

  • improves language and social skills
  • encourages your child to learn and play with other children
  • helps them in their learning journey with benefits that they take forward into school
  • provides a wide range of experience to excite and interest them
  • encourages your child to be physically active whilst playing with other children
  • lets your child lead their own learning and go at their own pace

Benefits for parents: Early Learning and Childcare:

  • gives parents the time to train, study or work
  • provides time during the day to get other things done
  • offers parents extra time to look for work or increase their working hours
  • can give you ideas for fun learning experiences to try at home
  • helps to support your child's learning and development at home
  • is perfect for meeting other parents and sharing ideas

Your entitlement

Council nurseries and other registered partners such as Childminders, Playgroups and Voluntary/Private Nurseries deliver ELC in Dumfries and Galloway. You will be able to access your entitlement at a provider of your choice (depending on availability) by August 2020.

You can take the hours over term time (38 weeks per year), or all year round and can even split the entitlement between 2 providers for a blended approach.

  • The maximum hours in a school nursery per week is 30 hours.
  • Children can access no more than 10 funded hours in any one day.
  • All children accessing funded hours are entitled to one free meal each day.

Rollout programme

The increase in hours is being gradually rolled out across Dumfries and Galloway in four phases, hours have already increased in some areas and the full rollout will be completed across the region by 2020/21.

Find out more about the final phase below:

Further information

You can find out more through our Early Learning and Childcare Expansion Plan which takes account of the National guidance and is underpinned by the principles of quality, flexibility, accessibility and affordability.

The plan sets out the local context, and current position around Early Learning and Childcare, and outlines how the statutory duty to provide up to 1140 hours of nursery provision to every entitled child, will be met within Dumfries and Galloway. 

You can also email EarlyYearsSupport@dumgal.gov.uk to find out more.

Page last updated: 29/11/2019
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