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Funded early learning and childcare for 3-5 year olds - 2023-2024

From August 2020, all 3-5 year olds are entitled to 1140 hours per year of funded (free) early learning and childcare (ELC) in Scotland.


To make sure there are choices across Perth and Kinross, we have created 11 early learning and childcare communities. Each of these communities will have access to a mix of attendance options at funded providers including term time, 45 week and 50 week options as appropriate; with some settings offering hours between 8 am - 6 pm. The communities also allow for prioritisation of places in local authority nursery classes. Details of these options are available in the Nursery locality and attendance patterns page.

Details of these options are available in the  2023/2024 Nursery Policy and Guidelines (PDF) [461KB] . As well as attendance options available, parents and carers are able to use one or more settings to access the funded hours.

Eligibility criteria

Children born between

Eligible to start nursery

1 January 2020 and 29 February 2020

After Easter break (From 17 April 2023)

1 March 2020 and 31 August 2020

Start of school session (August 2023)

1 September 2020 and 31 December 2020

After Christmas break (w/c 8 January 2024)

1 January 2021 and 28 February 2021

After Easter break (From 16 April 2024)


How to apply for a nursery place (2023-2024)

Please visit the Register for a local authority nursery place for school year  page for details on how to apply.

Evidence to provide at application

  • Birth certificate
  • Proof of your residency at the time of application - this must be a copy of Council Tax documentation

Information regarding the allocation of all nursery places within Perth and Kinross is contained within our  2023/2024 Nursery Policy and Guidelines (PDF) [461KB] .

Please note: A place in a local authority nursery class does not give priority in gaining a place in the same school when enrolling for a primary or secondary school place, more information can be found on the School enrolment page.

Deferred entry

On 2 October 2019, the Minister for Children and Young People committed to bring forward legislation to extend the automatic funding of an additional year of Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) in a deferred year to children born after the school commencement date in August to the end of December. This means that all children who defer entry to primary school will be automatically entitled to an additional year of funded ELC from August 2023. Parents must complete an the 2023-24 online application form to ensure a place in ELC provision if they choose for their child not to go to school.

Please note: information in the Nursery Policy and Guidelines will be updated in March 2023 to reflect the changes to deferred entry. Please refer in the meantime to the Additional Year of ELC Parent Guidance (PDF) [118KB]  for further information and guidance.

Further information for parents

For further information you should contact your local school or funded provider.

Last modified on 27 November 2023

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