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Applying for an early learning and childcare place

If your child has their 3rd birthday in the period between 1 March and 28 Feb in the coming year you should complete an application by the end of February. If your child is already three and needs a nursery place you should apply as soon as possible.

Eligibility criteria

  • All 3 and 4 year old children
  • Children approved for a deferred entry to primary school
  • 2 year olds who are, or have been since they turned 2, cared for by the local authority (LAAC)
  • 2 year olds who are, or have been since they turned 2, cared for under a kinship care order
  • 2 year olds from ‘families seeking work’ households
  • 2 year olds from low income households in receipt of certain Child Tax and Working Tax Credits.

During allocation, we will follow the council's Early Learning and Childcare Admissions Policy and we will try to allocate siblings to the same establishment where possible. 

3-5 year olds - entitlement for a free Early Learning and Childcare placement

If your child’s 3rd birthday falls between:

  • 1 March and the start of term in August - They would start their funded nursery place from the start of term in August
  • Start of the term in August and last day of February - Monday after your child’s 3rd birthday*

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

Eligible 2 year olds - entitlement for a free Early Learning and Childcare placement

If your child’s 2nd birthday falls between:

  • 1 March and the start of term in August - They would start their funded nursery place from the start of term in August
  • Start of the term in August and last day of February - Monday after your child’s 2nd birthday*

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

If your child is 2 years old and meets the eligibility criteria, you should apply before their 2nd birthday or as soon as possible.

You can apply for a funded place in any of the Council's primary school nursery classes and nursery centres and with any funded providers and childminders who are in partnership with South Lanarkshire Council to provide funded placements. The Council and funded partners deliver a wide of placement options. However please note that nurseries do not have a designated catchment area.

Apply for a nursery place online

Please note if you have already applied either on a paper form or online there is no need to do so again.  Please note the following before you begin:

Please read the placement options page for more information on hours and opening times available for council-run nurseries.  When making your application, you will be asked to choose your 1st, 2nd, and 3rd choice nursery. 

The online registration form will ask you to provide a copy of each child's full birth certificate and two pieces of recent official documentation both containing your permanent home address, for example, a utility bill, council tax statement, housing rent card, child benefit documentation. Proof of where the child lives may also be needed. Please note that separate registration is required for each child (e.g. twins require a registration each).  Documents should be no more than 8GB each and preferably in .jpg or .pdf format. If you do not have the documents to upload, you must contact your first choice nursery.

The closing date for applications is the last day in February each year. If you miss the closing date, your application will be held for the ‘late application’ process which starts in June each year. Late applications may not get their chosen establishment as there may be no spaces remaining, however, we will consider the information provided in your application and allocate where spaces are available.

All applications for the annual admissions for the start of a new session which are received by the last day in February will be considered at meetings in March and April and parents will be issued letters confirming placements as soon as possible afterward.

Related content

  1. Applying for an early learning and childcare place
  2. Placement options