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Early learning and childcare enrolment

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Home   Education and learning   Early years   Early learning and childcare enrolment

Early learning and childcare enrolment

North Ayrshire Council is committed to the provision of quality early learning and childcare. From August 2020 all 3 and 4 year old children, living in North Ayrshire, are entitled to a minimum of 1140 hours per year.

When will my child be able to access the funded hours?

From August 2020, you can access the funded hours in the term after your child’s 3rd birthday. The table below details when your child will be able to access their entitlement:

Birthday Month Eligible Month
March - August (up to and including the school commencement date) August             Term 1
August (after school commencement date) - December January           Term 2
January (up to and including the school commencement date) - February April                  Term 3

Children must be 3 before taking up their funded place. This means that children with August and January birthdays must be 3 years old by the first day of the new term.

Is my 2 year old child eligible for a funded place?

Your child may be eligible for a funded place if you receive one or more of these benefits:

  • Income Support 
  • *Income based job seekers allowance
  • Income based employment and Support Allowance 
  • Incapacity benefit or Severe Disablement Allowance
  • State Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit but not Working Tax Credit, with annual household income below £16,105
  • *Both maximum Child Tax Credit and maximum Working Tax Credit with annual household income below £7,320
  • Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • *Universal Credit (£610 per month or less)

        *Income thresholds for these benefits vary annually

A funded place may also be available if your child is, or may be subject to:

  • A Kinship Care order
  • A Special Guardianship order
  • Care experienced (foster care)
  • A compulsory supervision order at home

In addition, from August 2020 the eligibility for ELC provision for two year olds is extended to children whose parents were “care experienced”. (previously known as “looked after and accommodated”)

For more information about early learning and childcare for 2 year olds, please telephone CARIS on 0345 351 3000.

Find out about early learning and childcare

To find out more about the Scottish Government's Early Learning & Childcare Expansion Programme, see the Scottish Government Early education and care page.

For more information on your child's early learning and early years & childcare establishments, see below:

Apply for an early learning and childcare place

In 2020, registration will take place from 3 - 6 February. An advert will appear in the local press. You should register your child for an early learning and childcare place from the January following their 2nd birthday. Contact the establishment of your choice, usually the one nearest your home. If you don't know where your nearest centre is call CARIS on 0345 351 3000.

At the centre you will be asked to fill in an application form and provide your child's birth certificate. It is not always possible to place all children in the early years class/centre of their choice. You will be asked to state your 2nd and 3rd choice of establishment. Please note:

  • there are no 'catchment areas' for early years centres and parents can choose to send their child to the most suitable centre, if a place is available
  • attending an early years class within a primary school doesn't influence whether your child will be able to transfer to that school in Primary one.

If you think your child may be eligible for a place from age two you should contact the CARIS helpline in the first instance on 0345 351 3000.