19 January 2024

Early learning and childcare funded place applications 2024/2025

From August 2021, all children became eligible to receive up to a maximum of 1140 hours of funded Early Learning and Childcare per year, or a pro rata amount, from the term after their third birthday.

Parents/carers can choose whether these hours are accessed in a local authority nursery or within a playgroup, private day nursery or childminder, which has been commissioned by the local authority.

Children born between August 20, 2019 and April 13, 2022 are entitled to free early learning and childcare in the 2024/25 school term.

If your child turns three-tears-old:
• by August 31, 2024 they are eligible to access the August term 2024*
• before the start of October term, they are eligible from October 28, 2024
• before the start of January term, they are eligible from January 6, 2025
• before the start of April term, they are eligible from April 14, 2025

*Your child must have had their third birthday the day before the new term starts.

Please note the start of term dates change each year. 

Funded places for session 2024/2025 are available at both local authority nurseries and with playgroups, private day nurseries and childminders, which has been commissioned by the local authority.  

Information and the online application form for local authority nurseries, commissioned playgroups, private day nurseries and childminders will be available from January 22 – February 2.

These can be obtained online from https://www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/schools/information/early-learning-and-childcare-information

All Early Learning and Childcare settings that provide Early Learning and Childcare funded places are regulated by Education Scotland and the Care Inspectorate, and are quality assured by Aberdeenshire Council.

Parents/carers should note there are separate approaches for applying for funded places in school nursery classes and for applying for funded places in commissioned playgroups or private day nurseries.

These are as follows:

For entry to a local authority school.
For children who become eligible to commence their Early Learning and Childcare funded place in the 2024/2025 session, applications should be submitted online between January  22, 2024 and February 2, 2024.  

A list of all provision is listed in the ‘Applying Early Learning and Childcare for Your Child – Application Booklet’.  

Booklets are available from the website at https://www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/schools/information/early-learning-and-childcare-information  

Evidence of the child’s date of birth (original birth certificate) and evidence of home address (for example a recent utility bill or recent bank statement) will be required, once you have received confirmation that your child has been offered a place.

For entry to a commissioned playgroup, private day nursery or childminder (funded providers)
Parents/carers should first apply directly to the commissioned playgroup, private day nursery or childminder of their choice from the January 22, 2024.  

Once a place has been secured, Parents/carers will then be asked by their funded provider, to apply online for a funded place for the confirmed number of hours.  

This funding will be paid direct to your chosen funded provider by Aberdeenshire Council.  If the parent/carer does not apply for a funded place, your chosen provider may ask parent/carers to pay full price.