Returning to nurseries and early years settings

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 sets out what we need to do to limit the transmission of COVID 19. 

Settings will not be able to return to ‘normal’ as it will still be important to limit contacts for children and adults. The guidance advises this should be managed by allocating children to consistent groups of no more than 30. More than one group can attend nursery at one time, however the groups will be kept apart at all times - both indoors and outdoors.  This means the occupancy level of some of our early years’ settings will be significantly reduced.

An enhanced cleaning programme will also be in place in our nurseries to meet the requirements we now know are necessary to minimise the risk of transmitting the virus. This will need to take place at the end of each day and means we can’t provide placements for different groups of children attending morning and afternoon sessions. Therefore, all attendance patterns will be provided as full day sessions.

All children will be offered full day attendance. 

All children will receive their entitlement to 600 hours of funded early learning and childcare and we will continue to phase in 1140 hours where these were already in place and where the demand for places does not exceed availability.

Children returning to nursery 

Parents of children returning to nursery will receive a letter detailing their return date and this will depend on the placement they have been now been allocated.  Return dates will be as follows:

Placement allocated

Return date

600 hours

Wednesday and Thursday full day placements.

+ Friday mornings if available.

12th August

600 hours

Monday and Tuesday full day placements

+ Friday mornings if available. By 14th August

17th August

1140 hours

Monday – Friday placements

Between 12th-18th August


Children starting nursery for the first time

Parents will receive notification of their child’s start date.

Find out more about nurseries and early years childcare.