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.
Eligibility for entitlement
It can get a bit confusing working out when your child's free entitlement can start depending on when their birthday is. All children who will be three years of age before 1 March 2024 are entitled to 1140 hours statutory funded place during session August 2023/2024:
- Children who reach three years of age between 1 March 2023 and 16 August 2023 can take up their ELC placement from August 2023.
- Children reaching three years of age between 17 August 2023 and 29 February 2024 can take up their ELC placement the day after the child's 3rd birthday.
- 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 accordance 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, 10 March 2023.
Outcome letters for Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) applications submitted by the closing date of 10 March 2023, will be issued by second class post on Friday, 19 May 2023.
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.
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: 6 hours per day over 38 weeks of an academic year
- 48 week: normally offer 4 hours 45 minutes per day, 5 x morning sessions 8am to 12:45pm or 5 x afternoon sessions 1:15pm to 6pm, where possible this can be flexible depending on individuals working requirements