Children over 3 years of age are currently funded 600 hours of early learning and childcare per year. This can be taken at any ELC provider.
Children are eligible for a place according to their date of birth, please see information below.
A child in his/her ante-pre-school year will be eligible for entry to early learning and childcare after the child's third birthday as follows:
- For children who reach 3 years of age between 1st March and 31st July the start date will be at the beginning of the Autumn Term (August)
- For children reaching 3 years between 1st August and 29th February of the following year the start date will be month after the child’s 3rd birthday
Places are allocated by the ELC Admissions Team in accordance with the Early Learning and Childcare Admission Policy:
- Early Learning and Childcare Admission Policy
Changes due to COVID-19
Usually places are allocated and communicated to parents by the end of May each year. Unfortunately, the unprecedented COVID-19 situation has delayed our ELC admissions process and that date has been reviewed.
We await further guidance from Scottish Government on the formal date upon which local authorities are expected to reopen their ELC settings, however, we are in the process of planning for children to return sometime in August (Phase 3). Despite this, we are keen to progress with the allocation of places so that you are able to make the necessary arrangements for your child.
There are two important aspects to this information:
Part 1: Your ELC offer when all restrictions are lifted
The arrangements we will make for your child at the ELC setting of your choice when all restrictions are lifted and a normal service is resumed.
In the Falkirk Council area, all eligible 2, 3 and 4 year olds will be offered 600 hours annum of early learning and childcare statutory entitlement. This equates to 15 hours and 50 minutes per week.
Other options are available. If you have opted for your child to attend an ELC Centre (see list below), Childminder or Private Nursery you do not need to complete this survey. The ELC Admissions Teams will be in touch separately to confirm these arrangements.
- Bonnypark ELC Centre
- Camelon ELC Centre
- Denny ELC Centre
- Glenburn ELC Centre
- Kinnaird Waters ELC Centre
- Kinneil ELC Campus
- Larbert ELC Centre
- Maddiston ELC Centre
- Moray ELC Centre
- Queen Street ELC Centre
- Rannoch ELC Centre
- St Margaret's ELC Campus
If you have opted for your child to attend a nursery class, this will be offered as 2 and a half days per week, either:
Monday and Tuesday (full days) and Wednesday morning (half day)
Wednesday afternoon (half day), Thursday and Friday (full days)
- Full day sessions: 8:45am - 3:15pm
- Half day sessions: 8:45 - 11:35am or 12:40 - 3:30pm
We are unable to say when or if this full offer will be implemented
In order to allocate these places as soon as possible we require further information from you as to your preference of pattern.
Please click on the link below to complete the form requesting your preferred option for your child. This should be completed by 12 June 2020
Part 2: Your ELC offer during COVID-19 recovery phase
With restrictions on physical distancing being in place during Phase 3, this full entitlement will not be able to be offered when ELC settings return in August.
From August, your child will be offered a proportion of the 600 hours entitlement at their setting. This will depend on advice from Scottish Government which we expect to have by 15 June. We will then be able to be clear about your childs offer in the recovery phase.
Health, safety & wellbeing
We understand that the health, safety and wellbeing of your child is most important to you.
We have very good experiences already from our ELC Hubs and we will use this learning to plan for the safe return of all children.
We are awaiting national guidance to help us make plans for the re-opening our ELC settings. Will update you further as soon as we can.
Frequently asked questions
When will I know where my child will go to nursery from August 2020?
We usually advise parents of their child's nursery place by the middle of May each year.
Unfortunately, the COVID-19 situation has delayed this process. We have been receiving guidance from Scottish Government and taking account of this in forming our plans for reopening.
We are committed to allocating the places for primary school nursery classes no later than 26th June 2020.
I understand that my child will not get the full entitlement to 600 hours right away due to the restrictions. What will I get?
At the moment we are awaiting additional Scottish Government guidance for the ELC sector. We are working with our senior leaders to prepare to reopen our settings as soon as we can in Phase 3.
If you have applied, you do not need to re-apply for a place.
Your setting will contact you before the end of June to advise what offer can be made to your child. This will likely be a full day offer as part-days cannot be accommodated for reasons of hygiene and cleaning.
What will my child be offered at the end of lockdown restrictions?
We are unable to say when full lockdown restrictions will end. This will be after Phase 4 of the Scottish Government’s Route Map plan for COVID-19 recovery.
When that does happen, we have planned for all eligible 2, 3 and 4 year olds in Falkirk to receive 600 hours annum of early learning and childcare the statutory entitlement. This equate to 15 hours and 50 minutes per week if your child attends term time only.
In nursery classes within a primary school this will be: 2 and a half days per week, either the first half of the week or the second half of the week.
In our ELC centres, the 600 hours can be used more flexibly including all year options with varying attendance patterns.
Private partner providers also offer flexible options as do our partner Childminders.
Upon full recovery it will be possible to purchase additional childcare beyond the 600 hours funded entitlement at ELC centres, private partner providers and childminders.
Before lockdown my child attended a local authority nursery that had implemented the expanded hours of 1140. Will I still get this entitlement when children return in August?st?
Before lockdown, a number of our settings had implemented 1140 hours earlier than was required. This was a local arrangement as part of our implementation plan for bringing all settings on-aboard by August 2020. Most of our settings had not yet implemented 1140 hours.
The date of statutory implementation has been delayed by Scottish Government due to the COVID-19 crisis.
This means that during the course of session 2020-2021, 600 hours will be the maximum placement allocated/funded in all settings.
What if I want my child to go to a private nursery?
You can select to take your funded ELC entitlement at a private nursery who is in partnership with Falkirk Council. This will be funded up to 600 hours per annum.
You can make arrangements with the private nursery to purchase additional hours. Please be aware the private nursery will be following the same guidance from Scottish Government and may not be able to cater for your full requirement until ALL restrictions have been lifted by Scottish Government.
What if I want my child to go to a childminder?
You can select to take your funded ELC entitlement at a childminder who is in partnership with Falkirk Council. This will be funded up to 600 hours per annum.
You can make arrangements with the childminder to purchase additional hours. Please be aware the childminder will be following the same guidance from Scottish Government and may not be able to cater for your full requirement until ALL restrictions have been lifted by Scottish Government.
Does my child need to attend nursery?
The short answer is no. However, it is really important for young children to socialise with other children and benefit from all of the rich opportunities provided by our ELC professionals.
Parent Club Scotland has very useful information on how young children develop and learn.
My child is not due to start nursery as a three year old until later on in the year. Will the full 600 hours be available by then?
It is impossible to know just now when we will be able to offer the full 15 hours and 50 minutes per week.
We will be following national guidance and will increase the hours as soon as can, when it is safe to do so.
I need additional childcare between 8am and 6pm, Monday to Friday – can I purchase hours at my child’s local authority nursery??
No additional childcare is able to be purchased during the COVID-19 recovery phase in any Falkirk Council settings. You can purchase additional childcare during the recovery phase at other childcare settings, although all childcare providers will be operating under restrictions.
When all restrictions are lifted and our settings return to normal, you may be able to purchase additional childcare in our ELC centres, where space is available.
My child is under 3 and is not yet entitled to a nursery place. Can I still purchase childcare from the ELC Centre my child attended prior to lockdown?
Unfortunately, this is not possible during the COVID-19 recovery phases.
When all restrictions are lifted then ELC hours will be available for children under 3 years in ELC centres.
You can pay for childcare at a Childminder or Private Nursery.
My child will attend nursery for a proportion of their 15 hour and 50 minutes per week entitlement initially. Can I get funding at the private nursery or childminder for the rest of the time to make up the full entitlement per week?
Blending across two settings will be possible only when full restrictions are lifted and full entitlement is being delivered.
When will my child get the expanded hours (1140 hours)?
The new statutory date has not been confirmed by Scottish Government. As soon as this is announced we will work towards the implementation of the expanded hours for the new date.
We will continue with our plans to prepare our buildings and our workforce so that we are ready for full implementation.
I am a critical keyworker – what childcare can I get when ELCs reopen in August?
We are hoping to have an allocation of a small number of places for children of critical key workers. These will be allocated by the Council once eligibility has been established. The provision is nursery classes is available Monday to Friday from 9am to 3pm. If you require care out with these hours there is flexibility available between the hours of 8am and 6pm in ELC Centres for the equivalent number of hours.
Our private partner providers and Childminders may also be asked to provide critical childcare.
How to apply
Parents/Carers can obtain an application form from any Primary School or Early Learning and Childcare Centre or it can be downloaded below:
- Apply for a nursery place
You can also apply in person with the Admissions Team at Sealock House.
All applications must be accompanied by the child's birth certificate (copy if possible) and proof of residence (Council Tax Notice, Utility Bill, Driving Licence, Tenancy Agreement). Other forms of residence must be agreed by the Admissions Team.
All applications for ELC classes should be sent to:
Or handed in to any ELC class.
Applications for ELC Centres should be sent directly to the ELC Centre.
If you wish to change nursery during the session then please complete a Nursery Transfer form giving 6 weeks notice:
- Nursery transfer form
Do you know?
Best Start Grants are available to parents and carers on low income during the early years of a child's life.