The benefits of Early Learning and Childcare

Eligible 2 year olds and all 3 and 4 year olds may apply to have up to 1140 hours of funded Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) a year. 1140 hours is roughly the same amount of time as primary school hours when the hours are taken over term time.

You do not have to pay for funded Early Learning and Childcare (ELC), but you may wish to purchase additional hours at providers that offer this service.

ELC makes a big difference to children and boosts what they learn at home.

Benefits for children

  • improves language and social skills
  • encourages your child to learn and play with other children
  • helps them in their learning journey with benefits that they take forward into school
  • provides a wide range of experience to excite and interest them
  • encourages your child to be physically active whilst playing with other children
  • lets your child lead their own learning and go at their own pace

Benefits for parents

  • gives parents the time to train, study or work
  • provides time during the day to get other things done
  • offers parents extra time to look for work or increase their working hours
  • can give you ideas for fun learning experiences to try at home
  • helps to support your child's learning and development at home
  • is perfect for meeting other parents and sharing ideas

Paying for additional hours

You may wish to pay for additional hours over and above your funded entitlements if they are available.

You may qualify for support with childcare costs in certain circumstances:

Further information

You can find out more through 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 sets out the local context and outlines how 1140 hours of nursery provision will be delivered within Dumfries and Galloway.

You can also email to find out more.


Page last updated: 23/01/2023
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