Entitlement to funded Early Learning and Childcare (Nursery)

All eligible children aged 3 years to 5 years and some two year olds are entitled to 1140 hours of Early Learning and Childcare in all Local Authority Nurseries and Funded Providers.

Where can I apply for a funded Early Learning and Childcare place in Dundee?

You can apply to all Local Authority Nurseries, private and voluntary sector providers and some childminders working in partnership with the Local Authority.

Local Authority Nurseries

All eligible children aged 3 years to 5 years and some 2 year olds, who are enrolled in a Local Authority nursery, are offered up to 1140 hours of free Early Learning and Childcare.

Should you have any questions, please contact cis@dundeecity.gov.uk 

A list of the Local Authority Nurseries are available to download here.

Private or voluntary sector funded providers or childminders working in partnership with the Local Authority

Funded providers working in partnership with the Local Authority are providing funded places up to 1140 hours for eligible children.

List of ELC funded providers working in partnership with the Local Authority.

Please contact your preferred funded provider for more details of the placements available as these will vary across all providers. Families who have already applied, will hear directly from their child’s preferred provider.

Various models of 1140 hours provision are available including:

Local Authority

  • School term time only (around 30 hours per week)
  • 49 weeks of the year (around 23 hours and 20 minutes per week)

In all Local Authority Nurseries, families have the opportunity to top up these funded hours with hours they pay for themselves.  For further information about this please discuss this directly with the nursery.

Private or voluntary sector funded providers or childminders working in partnership with the Local Authority

  • Various models – information is available from each funded provider

In many funded providers, families will have the opportunity to top up these funded hours with hours they pay for themselves. For further information about this, please discuss this directly with the funded provider.

Applying for a funded Early Learning and Childcare (nursery) place in a Local Authority Nursery

If you have not already done so, you can apply for a funded Early Learning and Childcare place at a Local Authority nursery. You can download the application form here Please email or hand in the completed application form to your first choice of nursery.

Staff in each Local Authority nursery can advise families on the service they can provide, so please contact them directly.  

Places will be allocated in May so you should aim to have your application submitted before Friday 21 March 2024 for an August 2024 start.  If your application is submitted later in the year, your child will still be considered for a place but there may be fewer places available in your chosen nursery.

Applying for a funded Early Learning and Childcare place in a private or voluntary sector provider or childminder working in partnership with the Local Authority

Applications for a funded Early Learning and Childcare place at a private or voluntary sector provider or childminder working in partnership with the Local Authority should be made directly to the individual services. Information about the various models of provision offered by them is available from each provider.

The contact details for funded providers working in partnership with the Local Authority are available to download here

Do families have to use all the funded hours?

No, the hours are an entitlement, not a requirement, so families can choose to take all or some of the free hours available.

When can families start claiming their funded hours?

It depends on a child’s birthday. Families can claim their free hours the first new term after their child’s third birthday or for some eligible two year olds the term after their second birthday.  Download the information here.

Eligible birth dates for 3-4 year olds for session 2023/24

  • Children born on or before 31 August 2020 - can start nursery between 15 and 31 August 2023
  • Children born between 1 September 2020 - 31 December 2020 - can start nursery between 9 and 31 January 2024
  • Children born between 1 January 2021 - 28 February 2021 - can start nursery between 17 and 30 April 2024

Eligible birth dates for 2 year olds for session 2023/24

  • Children born on or before 31 August 2021 - can start nursery between 15 and 31 August 2023
  • Children born between 1 September 2021 - 31 December 2021 - can start nursery between 9 and 31 January 2024
  • Children born between 1 January 2022 - 28 February 2022 - can start nursery between 17 and 30 April 2024

Places will be allocated in May so you should aim to have your application submitted before Friday 21 March 2024.  If your application is submitted later in the year, your child will still be considered for a place but there may be fewer places available in your chosen nursery.

Deferred Entry to Primary School

Dundee City Council

In Scotland, children usually start primary school in the year during which they have their 5th birthday. This means that in primary 1 classes children are usually aged between 4½ and 5½ years. Where a child does not start school at the expected August start date for their year group, it is called deferred entry to primary school.

Can my child defer entry to Primary One?

Children who are five on or before the start of the school session in August must start school in August.  Alternatively, parents can make arrangements to home educate their child.

Children who are 5 after the start of the school term in August and the last day of February

Most children in this age group start school in August. If your child is still 4 years old on the date they are eligible to start school (i.e. children with birth dates on or between the day after the school commencement date in August – last day in February), you can automatically defer your child’s entry into Primary 1 until the following August and access an additional funded year of early learning and childcare.

I am a Dundee City Council resident and I am considering deferring my child's entry to school, what should I do?

You should discuss your concerns with staff in your child's nursery/funded provider at the earliest opportunity.  You must confirm your decision with Dundee City Council on or before 1st March by completing for DEF/LA (Confirmation to Defer Entry to School).  This form is available from your child's nursery/funded provider.

My child attends a Dundee City Council nursery/funded provider and I am not a Dundee City Council resident.  If I am considering deferring my child's entry to school, what should I do?  

You should discuss your concerns with staff in your child's nursery at the earliest opportunity and refer to your resident authority's deferred entry policy.