Apply for funded early learning - 3 and 4 year olds

Although the statutory entitlement for Early Learning and Childcare is 600 hours, families residing in Aberdeenshire can currently access up to 1140 hours at providers that have capacity. We are in partnership with childminders, playgroups and private nurseries. You can contact to find out about providers in your local area. We are reviewing capacity across the early years sector on an ongoing basis in line with COVID-19 guidance.  Current COVID-19 restrictions may impact on how your child receives their hours.

Children who were born between 1st March 2017 and 28th February 2019 are entitled to free early learning and childcare in the school term 2021 to 2022:

Funding for nursery places is not renewed automatically. It is important that you apply for a funded place each year or your funding may stop.

When they can start

Children must be 3 before they start nursery. The date they start depends on when their birthday falls. Children who turn 3:

  • between January and February - start in April the same year
  • between March and August - start in August the same year
  • between September and December - start in January after their third birthday

Apply for a place

The way you apply for a nursery place depends on a type of nursery setting (council nursery or funded provideryou want your child to attend but you generally complete the same form:

Council nurseries

To apply for a funded place in a council nursery, please complete the online application during the registration period. The dates can differ each year but generally registration takes place between January and February.

When completing your application, you will be asked to choose three nursery settings. This is because we can't guarantee your first choice of nursery setting.

You will also be asked to indicate the times you would prefer your child to attend a nursery setting. We will try to meet your preferences, but we can't guarantee your preferred times will be available.

As the total amount of funding is up to 1140 hours per year, you will only be able to choose one of the following, up to a maximum of:

  • 30 hours per week if the setting is open during term time only
  • 25 hours per week if the setting is open for 50 weeks per year (in addition to the 2 week Christmas break children will be expected to take 4 additional holiday weeks to make sure they don't exceed their 1140 allocation

Please contact your first choice nursery or use the our application booklet to confirm their opening times.

If you are applying using Safari browser on a Mac, please use Google Chrome browser instead.

Apply for a nursery place

Find out how we allocate and confirm places at council nurseries.

Funded providers

To apply for a place at a funded provider, please contact the funded provider (view our application booklet for contact details) of your choice first to find out:

  • if they are part of our funding agreement
  • when you should enrol your child as they have their own way of processing applications and allocating places

Once your place has been approved by the funded provider you can use our online form to apply for funding. Please enter the same details as your confirmed place as any differences can cause a delay in arranging payment to your funded provider.

If you are applying using Safari browser on a Mac, please use Google Chrome browser instead.

Apply for a nursery place

Contact us

If you would like more information or need help completing your application, please contact our Early Years Team.