Early learning and childcare in South Lanarkshire

All Scottish councils were due to provide 1140 hours of free Early Learning and Childcare to all 3 and 4 year olds and eligible 2 year olds by August 2020. Unfortunately, due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the Scottish Government announced that this legal duty was removed as councils needed to concentrate on the urgent task of providing critical childcare for those who needed it most.

The new date for the provision has been agreed and we will be delivering 1140 hours of free Early Learning and Childcare to all 3 and 4 year olds and eligible 2 year olds by August 2021.

Date when a child starts an eligible 2 year old free Early Learning and Childcare placement

  • If your child’s 2nd birthday falls between 1 March and 31 August - they would start their funded nursery place from the start of term in August
  • If your child’s 2nd birthday falls between 1 September and last day of February - they would start their funded nursery place from the Monday after your child’s 2nd birthday*    

Date when a child starts a 3-5 year old free Early Learning and Childcare placement

  • If your child’s 3rd birthday falls between 1 March and 31 August - they would start their funded nursery place from the start of term in August
  • If your child’s 3rd birthday falls between 1 September and last day of February - they would start their funded nursery place from the Monday after your child’s 3rd birthday*

* If your child’s birthday falls on a Monday the start date will be the following Monday.

The benefits of children attending nursery for 1140 hours of Early Learning and Childcare

The vision of the Scottish Government for the 1140 hours early learning and childcare expansion is to “…make Scotland the best place in the World to grow up in by improving outcomes and reducing inequalities for all babies, children, mothers, fathers and families across Scotland to ensure that all children have the best start in life and are ready to succeed”.

We are delivering the highest quality of early learning and childcare which is flexible, affordable and accessible for all children and their families. We are already seeing the benefits on children’s learning through play, improving communication skills, building up their confidence, making friends and most importantly having fun. Increased early learning and childcare hours ensures that our youngest children in South Lanarkshire have the best start in life. 

Children in South Lanarkshire's nurseries and children attending other nurseries funded by the council (partnership providers) follow the Scottish Government's Curriculum for Excellence 3-18.  Please visit our Early years curriculum page for more information.

Outcomes from our evaluations so far have also confirmed that the additional hours benefits parents and families by reducing their childcare costs, being able to start a new job, increasing their working hours or to start training or study.