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Funded early learning and childcare for 2 year olds (Strong Starts)

From August 2020, eligible two year olds across Scotland will be entitled to 1140 hours per year of funded (free) early learning and childcare in a number of local authority and funded provider nurseries where provision is available.

A number of nurseries and childminders offer Early Learning and Childcare places of up to 1140 hours to children who are 2 years of age.  These are known as Strong Start places and will be offered to eligible children in line with Scottish Government criteria and delivered in line with the arrangements for children aged 3 to 5 years old.

Eligibility criteria

If you receive any of the benefits listed below your 2 year old may be eligible for a Strong Start place:

  • Income Support (IS)
  • Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance (IBJSA)
  • Any income related element of Employment and Support Allowance
  • Child Tax Credit (CTC), but not Working Tax Credit, and your income is less than £19,995
  • Child Tax Credit (CTC) and Working Tax Credit (WTC) and your income is less than £9,552
  • You may also be eligible if you are an asylum seeker receiving support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • Universal Credit where the monthly earned income does not exceed £796
  • Incapacity Benefit or Severe Disablement Allowance
  • State Pension Credit

Please note - Your two year old child may also be eligible from the point they are looked after, under a Kinship Care order, or with a parent appointed guardian. Advice is available from your allocated Social Worker.

Children of care-experienced parents now may also be eligible for a Strong Start place. If this applies to your circumstances, please complete the evidence form (PDF) [108KB] and submit it with your registration. 

The intake periods for Strong Start places align with our 3-5 year old places and can be accessed the term following your child' second birthday as follows:

If your child's second birthday falls between:Your child can access their Strong Start place from:
1 March and 30 AugustAugust Term
1 September and 31 DecemberJanuary Term
1 January and last day of February (28th or 29th)April Term


How to apply for a nursery place

Please visit the registration details page for details on how to apply.

Local Authority Nurseries offering places for 2 year olds


Funded Providers offering places for 2 year olds

Funded two year old spaces will be available in a number of funded provider settings including childminders and nurseries working in partnership with Perth and Kinross Council. 

Last modified on 01 May 2024

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