1. Table of contents

Entitlement

All 3 and 4 year olds in Scotland have a statutory entitlement to 1140 hours of funded early learning and childcare.

In Falkirk's establishments, the funded 1140 hours is delivered either as 30 hours per week over term-time or 23.5 hours per week over an extended year.

Some 2 year olds are also eligible for 1140 hours.


Allocation of places

Places are allocated according to Falkirk Council's Early Learning and Childcare Admissions Policy. You can view the full policy below:

Early Learning and Childcare Admission Policy

You may wish to look at the frequently asked questions and key dates and deadlines before applying.


Applying for your child's place

Falkirk Council establishments

We are now accepting applications for session 2022/23.

If your child turns 3 between 01 March 2022 and 28 February 2023 you should apply using the online application below.

The online application form will be available from 01 December 2021 to 28 February 2022.

The closing date for applications is 28 February 2022. Any applications received after this date will not be considered until the second round of admissions, usually in May.

Please note, if your child is already receiving funded early learning and childcare at a Falkirk Council setting, you will be contacted separately.

A full list of Council establishments and the 1140 hours options available can be viewed on our ELC establishments page.


Key dates and deadlines

  • 1st December to last day in February

    Application window for all new applications for 3 year olds.

  • Last day in February

    Application window closes.

    Remember - You can still apply after this date but your application won't be dealt with until all allocations are complete.

  • Mid-April

    We will notify you of your allocated place.

  • 30 April

    Deadline to let us know if you want to decline your allocated place.

  • Month of May

    Processing of late applications.

  • Month of June

    You will be contacted by your child's ELC setting with further details of start date, transition arrangements and to discuss any *additional childcare requests (*ELC centres only).


Childminders

We work in partnership with a number of local childminders for the delivery of funded early learning and childcare.

Funded early learning and childcare is only available at childminders who are in partnership with Falkirk Council. Parents/carers should check with their preferred childminder as to whether they are a current partner provider.

If the childminder is a partner provider and they have confirmed availability, a 'Funding Form' will be submitted by your Childminder to arrange funding.


Private nurseries

We work in partnership with a number of local private providers for the delivery of funded early learning and childcare.

Parents/carers should apply directly to the private provider. When the place is confirmed by the provider, you will then be provided with a 'Funding Form' which should be sent to us to arrange funding.

Become a funded provider

Childminders, private nurseries and voluntary organisations operating in the Falkirk area can apply to Falkirk Council for 'partnership' allowing them to be a funded provider. This means that parents can choose to receive their child's funded hours at this provider.

Providers can apply for partnership at any time.

The application process is based on the National Standard for early learning and childcare providers. For partnership to be awarded, applicants must provide evidence that the minimum standard is being met and must agree to the Council's contract terms.

A full application must be submitted. Evidence will not be accepted in phases.

Applications can take up to 3 months to process fully.

If your application is approved, your setting will be required to sign and return a contract before any early learning and childcare (ELC) service can be delivered and before payments can be made.

The contract will start the term after the contract has been signed and returned.

How to apply

Applications can be obtained by emailing elc@falkirk.gov.uk.


Funded childcare in other local authorities

In line with the Funding Follows the Child approach, Falkirk residents with an eligible 2, 3 or 4 year old child may choose to receive funded hours in an establishment in a another local authority.

This is known as a Cross Boundary Funding request.

For the purpose of this approach, Falkirk is the "home local authority" and the authority where the funded provider operates is the "host local authority".

You can apply for a funded place for your child at a provider that is in partnership with a host local authority.

If there is a place available, the host local authority will contact us to arrange funding.

Please note that funding will commence one calendar month after your child's 3rd birthday, irrespective of the Admission Policy of the named authority.

If you require any further information about cross-boundary funding, email elc@falkirk.gov.uk.


Financial support

As a parent/carer of a young child, you may be eligible for additional financial support:

The new Scottish Child Payment (£40 every 4 weeks for eligible children under 6 years of age) opened on 15 February 2021.

The Best Start Grant is available to families:

  • if your child is the right age for a payment.
  • whether you're in work or not, as long as you're on certain payments or benefits.
  • as long as you're the parent of a child, or the main person looking after the child.