Skip to main content

Early learning and childcare applications

All you need to know about your child's entitlement, eligibility and the application process.

1,140 hours are available to all children aged three to five years old, as well as some two-year-olds. The focus is on flexibility for families, as well as an emphasis on quality and a strong connection with outdoor learning and learning through play.

When does my three-year-old's funded placement start?

All children who will be 3 years of age before the 1 March 2025 are entitled to receive up to 1140 hours statutory funded place during session 2024-2025.

From session 2024-2025 starting on 1 August 2024, start dates for Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) placements will change. These changes are in keeping with Scottish Government legislation and continue to allow for all eligible children to receive their statutory entitlement up to 1140 hours.

The Government funding start dates are where a child's third birthday fall on or between:

  • 1 March 2024 and 31 August 2024 they will be eligible for funding from August 2024 (autumn term) occurring in that year.
  • 1 September and 31 December 2024 they will be eligible for funding from January 2025 (spring term) following their birthday.
  • 1 January and last day of February 2025 they will be eligible for funding from April 2025 (summer term) following their birthday.

Parents/carers of a child who's funded place will start at any of these times should apply now.

Parents/carers of children applying to North Lanarkshire Council from another local authority should be guided by the Cross Boundary Protocol.

Applying for an early learning and childcare placement

Children will normally attend an ELC establishment closest to their home but you can apply to any establishment, in line with the admissions policy, should you wish to do so.

You should return your application by email, post or hand it in to your first choice of ELC provider by Friday, 16 February 2024.

Please note, this deadline applies to applications for a funded place that is due to start at any time during the 2024/25 session, be it the Autumn 24, Spring 25 or Summer 25 term.

Outcome letters for ELC applications submitted by the closing date of 16 February 2024, will be issued by second-class post on a date to be advised.

Returning children

Returning children do not need to reapply unless they want to change their establishment.

Application form and guidance notes

Application form and guidance notes can be viewed and downloaded here.

The application form is interactive and can be completed on a computer. You may experience difficulties if you attempt to download and complete the form on a mobile device.


These files may not be suitable for users of assistive technology. Please contact us to request an accessible format.

The documents you will need

A copy (scanned/snapshot picture) of your child's birth certificate.

If you don't have a council tax notice, you can print a copy from our council tax portal. Please note - it is now also possible to download a copy to your mobile device.

Directory of ELC providers

Our ELC providers include local authority-run nursery classes and family learning centres, independently run nurseries and childminders. We have a framework of funded providers which is updated annually. All funded providers meet the national standards so that you are able to claim your childcare entitlement.

You can search our directory for ELC providers by name or location. Local authority-run nursery classes are further categorised by delivery model - some operate only during term time, some over 48 weeks while others offer both models. Use 'category' in the search box if you are interested in identifying council settings offering a particular model.

  • Term time 38 weeks: six hours per day over 38 weeks of an academic year
  • Full Time 48 week: normally offer four hours 45 minutes per day, five morning sessions 8am to 12:45pm or five afternoon sessions 1:15pm to 6pm, where possible this can be flexible depending on individual's working requirements.

Page last updated:
05 Jan 2024

Help us improve this pageClose

We're sorry this page didn't meet your expectations this time. Please let us know if you have any feedback to help us improve the content.

If you have a question or comment about a council service or would like a reply, please contact us.

Thank you for your feedback