Increasing Early Learning and Childcare funded hours

Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) is changing in Scotland and the number of hours children are entitled to will rise by 2020/21 in order to offer more flexibility for families.

Eligible 2 year olds and all children aged 3 and 4 are currently entitled to 600 hours of funded ELC per year. The funded entitlement will increase over the next few years and almost double to 1140 hours.

    Your entitlement

    Council nurseries and other registered partners deliver the funded provision in Dumfries and Galloway. You will be able to access your entitlement at a provider of your choice (depending on availability) by August 2020.

    You can take the hours over term time (38 weeks per year) or all year round and can even split the entitlement between 2 providers for a blended approach.

    • The maximum hours per week during term time is 30 hours
    • The maximum hours per week at council nurseries providing all year round provision is 23.5 hours, this will vary at other providers due to opening times
    • Council nurseries that provide all year round provision will be closed for 2 weeks at Christmas, on public holidays and when there are in-service days
    • Council nurseries who provide all year round cover will be closed for 2 weeks at Christmas, on public holidays and in-service days
    • Drop off and Pick up must start on the hour or half hour
    • Sessions must be no shorter than 2.5 hours and no longer than 8 hours each day
    • All children who stay over the lunch time period will receive a free lunch

    Rollout programme

    The increase in hours is being gradually rolled out across Dumfries and Galloway in four phases, hours have already increased in some areas and the full rollout will be completed across the region by 2020/21.

    This phased approach will help us to change plans over time to better suit your needs. There will be different providers to chose from as each phase is completed and the additional entitlement will be offered to children based on their postcode at the appropriate time during the rollout in their area.

    Find out more about each phase:

    Further information

    You can find out more through our our Early Learning and Childcare Expansion Plan which takes account of the National guidance and is underpinned by the principles of quality, flexibility, accessibility and affordability.

    The plan defines the local context, and current position around Early Learning and Childcare, and outlines how the statutory duty to provide up to 1140 hours of nursery provision to every entitled child, will be met within Dumfries and Galloway. 

    You can also email EarlyYearsSupport@dumgal.gov.uk to find out more.

    Page last updated: 17/01/2019
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