Nursery places for 2 year olds

Early learning and childcare for Terrific 2 year olds

Some two year olds can get up to 1,140 hours, of early learning and childcare in council-run and partner-provider nurseries. These are called Terrific 2 year olds.


You may qualify if you get one or more of these benefits effective from 1 April 2023

  • Income Support
  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • income-based Employment Support Allowance, Incapacity Benefit or Severe Disablement Allowance
  • State Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credits, but not Working Tax Credit with annual household income below £18,725 
  • Child Tax Credits and Working Tax Credit with an annual household income of £8,717 or less
  • support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 
  • Universal Credit with a monthly household earned income of £726 per month or below (Based on equivalent of £8,717 per year) Note: disability allowance is not included as income

or if your child is

  • looked after or is considered to be at risk of becoming looked after
  • under a kinship care order
  • is living with a parent-appointed guardian
  • care experienced or has a parent who is care experienced 
  • in temporary accommodation/homeless

or if the family has

  • graduated from the Family Nurse Partnership (FNP)

When you child starts nursery

Your child can start their funded nursery place one week after their second birthday. 


Contact your first-choice nursery and agree when you can drop off your documents to apply.

You will need:

  • The application form
  • details from your child's full birth certificate or passport
  • proof of your address, such as council tax letter or utility bill
  • proof of eligibility for a funded early learning and childcare place
  • contact details of professionals involved with your child (such as GP, health visitor, speech therapist)

When applying for a funded early learning and childcare place you will be asked to provide copies of the following documents.  Where appropriate, the proof of eligibility document should be dated within the past three months, include a full, current postal address and all pages of the benefit award notification:

  • your child’s full birth certificate or passport 


  • proof of eligibility for a funded place *

* the only two reasons when proof is not required is Support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 and the child of a care experienced parent/carer.

Please speak with your first-choice nursery if you require support in filling in the application form.  When completing the form, you must give a second and third choice. 

Data Protection

The processing of your personal information by City of Edinburgh Council is carried out in accordance with the Data Protection Act 2018. The information contained within the application form will be used to process your application for early learning and childcare.  Where appropriate, we may have to share information with other departments and agencies working with or on behalf of City of Edinburgh Council

When completing the form, you must give a second and third choice. 

Find where we offer places for Terrific 2 year olds

Search for a nursery in your area
Find a childminder
Download a list of Council and partner-provider settings (PDF)

Early Years Terrific 2 year olds