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Go to the latest Coronavirus updates for early years.

In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, the Scottish Government have postponed the statutory entitlement of every child to receive 1140 hours of funded Early Learning and Childcare from August 2020.

A parent and carer letter has been made available to all parents to explain our current position and our aim to prioritise funded hours for Edinburgh`s children as soon as we are through this difficult time.

Edinburgh has been phasing in the increase to 1140 funded hours since August 2017, and we will continue to do this in early years settings where we have already started and where the demand for places does not exceed availability.

We are currently working with early years settings to revise their delivery model for August 2020, and once this is finalised offer letters will be sent to parents.  We aim to do this by the end of May.

Note: The council will follow Scottish Government guidance on the numbers of children that can attend early years settings.  The offer may therefore, need to be revised if social distancing measures are required to limit the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Funded early learning and childcare is changing from 600 hours to 1,140 hours per year for children who are aged 3 or 4 as well as some 2-year olds whose parents or carers are on certain benefits. We have had to amend our plans on when the full entitlement will be available due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, please see above. We are working on allocation of places and will be in touch to confirm what we are able to provide for you for August 2020.

You can get your funded hours in any local authority or partner provider setting.

Our nurseries focus on quality indoor and outdoor learning and learning through play.

Search for early learning and childcare settings.

Download a print-friendly list of council and partner provide centres - PDF

Download our guide to early years expansion and 1140 hours - PDF

How you can use your hours

You can use your funded childcare with one of the following models. Not all nurseries offer all models.  

Download the list of models for each nursery - PDF.

600 hours – Term time only

  • Five sessions, am or pm, 3 hours 12 minutes per day
  • Four sessions, am or pm, 4 hours per day
  • Two 8-hour sessions.

1140 hours

  • Five sessions, Term Time 6 hours per day
  • Five sessions, all year, am or pm, 4 hours 32 minutes
  • Two ten-hour days and 12 additional ten-hour days to take on Fridays through the year, known as ‘flexi Fridays’
  • Using 600 hours in a nursery and 540 hours with a partner childminder or forest kindergarten, known as a ‘blended model’.

Non-partner providers

Other childcare options include

  • childminders
  • creches
  • voluntary and private sector nurseries
  • playgroups
  • breakfast clubs and after school clubs

Find non-partner childcare on the Scottish Family Information Service