Early Learning and Childcare
Funded by the Scottish government through your local council, high quality early learning and childcare helps give your little one the best possible start. It will help with your child’s language and social skills, encouraging them to learn through play with other children.
How many hours of funded early learning and childcare can my child get?
If you have a 3 or 4 year-old, you can get up to 600 hours of funded early learning and childcare a year.
Depending on what type of service you use, that gives your child about 16 hours a week if you use it during school term-time, or around 12 hours a week if you use it year round.
By August 2020, The Scottish Government is increasing the number of hours you child can get to 1140 hours a year, giving you more choice on when and where you can use it. That’s about 30 hours a week during school term time or around 22 hours a week if you take it year round.
The increase in funding to 1140 hours is being phased in between now and August 2020, if you’d like to find out what’s happening in your area, your local council will be able to tell you more.
To see what your local council currently offers use the ‘choose your council’ drop down tab on the MYGOV website.
When can my child access funded early learning and childcare?
All three and four-year-olds across Scotland qualify for funded early learning and childcare, and so do some two year olds – those who meet the eligibility criteria.
The date your child can start using early learning and childcare support depends on their birthday. You can find out more about start and stop dates on MYGOV. Your council might also have their own rules on when your child can start so it’s best to check with them to find out how it works in your area.
Can my 2 year old get funded hours?
Some 2 year olds are entitled to funded early learning and childcare. If your child is 2 or over and, since turning 2, has been:
- Looked after by a local council
- The subject of a kinship care order
- The subject of a guardianship order
If you get one of the benefits below:
Then you can contact your local council to find out how it works in your area.
- Income Support (IS)
- Job Seeker's Allowance (income based)
- Any income related element of Employment and Support Allowance
- Incapacity or Severe Disablement Allowance
- State Pension Credit
- Child Tax Credit, but not Working Tax Credit and your income is less than £16,105
- Both maximum Child Tax Credit and maximum Working Tax Credit (which you get when you’re working 16 hours a week or less).Support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
- Universal Credit and your household take-home pay*, is £610 a month or less
* "Take-home pay" is the money your household receives from work after tax, National Insurance and any pension contributions have been taken off. Your award letter will tell you how much your take-home pay is for the claim period. This should be £610 or less.