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Go to the latest Coronavirus updates for early years.

Unfortunately, due to the impact on COVID 19 on many services across the country, the Scottish Government has delayed the commitment for statutory early learning and childcare to increase from 600 hours to 1140 hours from August 2020.  A decision on the revised timetable will be made in December 2020. Although funded entitlement remains at 600 hours, Edinburgh’s early years’ service will continue to build on our progress to date in local authority settings where we have already started and where the demand for places does not exceed availability.  We will continue to provide 1140 places with our partner providers if they are able to deliver the increased hours.

Our early years settings closed on 20 March as instructed by the Scottish Government and since then we have had to review the different models of delivery that we can provide in our nurseries.  The Scottish Government published guidance on 30 July to support early years settings reopening at the start of the new school term in August.  This guidance sets out the requirements necessary to limit the transmission of COVID 19 and we had to change the models of delivery in many nurseries.  Settings have not been able to return to normal as it is still be important to limit contact for children and adults.  This means the occupancy level of some of our early years settings is significantly reduced and this has had an impact on our ability to provide places in settings where there is a high demand for places.

When applying for a place, parents are required to provide details of their second and third choices and this can be with local authority, partner providers or childminder settings.

Search for early learning and childcare settings.

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