Early learning and childcare
Early learning and childcare is education and care for young children, delivered in a caring and nurturing setting.
Early learning and childcare settings offer education and childcare to children up to school age, they can be operated by the council, private businesses, voluntary organisations or childminders.
Choosing a provider
You can send your child to the provider of your choice. Council nurseries and other registered partners deliver the funded provision in Dumfries and Galloway.
You're welcome to arrange visits to providers to find out what's on offer before making your choice.
The Care Inspectorate inspects all providers to make sure they meet national standards. They publish inspection reports so you can find out what quality of care you can expect:
You can also visit the Scottish Family Information Service website to find out more about services near you.
Paying for childcare
Eligible 2 year olds and all 3 and 4 year olds are entitled to a maximum of 600 hours of early learning and childcare which is funded through the council. The number of funded hours and start dates depend on the child's date of birth:
You may wish to pay for additional hours over and above your funded entitlements if they are available. Some providers will also charge a registration fee and ask you to pay for snacks.
You may qualify for support with childcare costs in certain circumstances. The Scottish Government has published guidance on help paying for childcare. The GOV.UK childcare calculator gives you an idea of how much help you could get.
Additional entitlement for older children
Most children start school between 4 years 6 months and 5 years old but it's possible to start children later in certain circumstances. These children may be entitled to an extra year of funded early learning and childcare.