Apply for a nursery school place 2021/22

Early Learning and Childcare Application Process

Aberdeen City Council’s Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) application process for 2021/2022 is going online. Parents/carers will no longer submit paper application forms to their preferred school nursery and instead complete an online application.

Parents/carers can apply for a local authority school nursery place online. The application period is from 25 January 2021 to 18 February 2021.

Before you apply please read the ‘Early Learning and Childcare Guide: 1140 Hours 2021 -2022’.  This document outlines the ELC options available to parents and the models offered by local authority settings for session 2021/22.

Parents/carers will need to apply for all children including those who have applied in previous years with a child/children continuing at their local authority school nursery (continuers). 

How to apply

To apply for a funded place in a local authority nursery, parents/carers must complete the online application during the application period.  

Your data: Early Learning and Childcare Application

How to create an online account

A guide to completing the ELC/Nursery Place applications

This process is for local authority school nurseries applications only. 

If you wish your child to attend a funded provider (childminder, playgroup or private nursery) application should be made directly to that provider. 

When applying online for a place in a local authority school nursery you will need to provide us with evidence of your child’s birth certificate and evidence of where you live. This can be uploaded onto the online form when you apply. We will accept photographs of documents as long as we can see the whole document clearly. 

When to apply

From the 25 January 2021 onwards - parents/carers will be able to access the online form from the Aberdeen City Council website. The application period is from the 25th January to 18th February 2021. 

Please note that nursery places at local authority nurseries will not be renewed automatically. It is important that parents/carers re-apply even if their child wants to continue in the school nursery they are currently attending.  

Applying for a place – what you need to know

Before you apply for a nursery place at a local authority school please note the following:

Continuers 

Nursery places at local authority nurseries will not be renewed automatically. It is important that parents/carers re-apply if their child wants to continue in the school nursery they are currently attending. 

Under the current admissions criteria children who move into their pre-school year are referred to as ‘continuers’ and their applications are given greater priority. However, a child is only considered to be a ‘continuer’ for the school nursery they are currently attending.   

If a parent wishes to change the school nursery their child is attending in their pre-school year then they are no longer classed as a ‘continuer’.  

In this instance, we would advise parents to apply for their current school nursery as a 2nd or 3rd choice to ensure their child receives a place. In the online application form parents/carer will be asked to list 1st, 2nd, 3rd preferred nursery choice.

Blended Placements

Aberdeen City Council want to deliver an ELC that is flexible and offers choice to families. Parents/ carers will have the choice and flexibility to split their funded hours between up to two different settings (including a childminder). This is referred to as a blended model.

The online form will allow you to indicate if you wish to use a blended place.

Deferred Entry

ELC provision in Aberdeen City is designed to offer children a continuum of early learning experiences from ELC into Primary 1. However, for a few children it may be beneficial to have an additional year in ELC. 

Deferred Entry: Children who are 4 in January or February.

Children who are 4 in January or February, whose parents request that their entry to primary school is deferred, are entitled to an additional year of ELC.

Parents will need to re-apply via our online application for their ELC place. 

They do not need to complete a deferred entry request form. 

Deferred Entry: Children who turn 5 between the start of the school year and the last day of December.

For parents who are considering applying for a deferred place and their child turns 5 between the start of the school year and the last day of December, a deferred entry request form will need to be completed by the school on your behalf. 

In this case, parents will need to re-apply via our online application for the ELC place and indicate that they have discussed the deferral with their school, who will submit their deferred entry request form on their behalf. 

Requests for deferred entry for children turning 5 between the start of the school year and the last day of December are at the discretion of the local authority.

To note, parents can indicate on the online application form that they have requested a deferred placements. The decision to apply for a deferred place should be a joint decision between parents and staff at the school.

ELC options:

An ELC guide will be uploaded on Monday 25 January outlining any FAQs and all models available. 

Outdoor Nurseries

As part of Aberdeen City Council’s ELC expansion we are investing in outdoor learning and will be opening nurseries at Duthie Park and Hazlehead Park.  Both will have an outdoor focus in their education and provision, but each will offer unique and varied experiences for children, families, staff and wider communities. 

For an insight into the world of an outdoor nursery through the eyes and experiences of children and families, please see the video links below: 

Outdoor ELC for children; what do children think of their outdoor nursery? 
Outdoor ELC for parents; why do parents choose an outdoor nursery experience for their child?

For more information on outdoor ELC please contact Leia Derounian, Locality Lead: elcexpansion@aberdeencity.gov.uk

Gaelic Medium Education

Gaelic Medium Education is free, Council run bilingual education option. 

Gaelic medium education at nursery, Sgoil-Araich, is an option at Gilcomstoun School / Bun-sgoil Gilcomstoun.

You do not have to be a Gaelic Speaker to send your child to Gaelic medium education. 

For more information please contact Anne Thirkell, Development Officer for Gaelic Education: athirkell@aberdeencity.gov.uk or 01224 522849. 

If you are wish to apply for a nursery place please complete the online application form. 

Early Learning and Childcare in Aberdeen 

Aberdeen City Council is committed to offering high quality ELC to all three and four year olds and eligible two year olds. Early Learning and Childcare is about learning and development through play, exploring and most importantly – having fun!

If your child is attending ELC for session 20/21 you may be wondering what this will look like. ELC settings will ensure that children play together in groups, and that where possible those groups are consistent. This will avoid children coming into contact with too many other people at once. Each setting will also have strict policies on hygiene in place and children will be helped to wash their hands regularly. They may also make more use of outdoor space. 

We have prepared a short video for families about how we are delivering high quality ELC safely in Aberdeen:

What is changing?

From August 2020 the Scottish Government is increasing the number of funded hours your child can access from 600 to 1140, you can also use your funded hours in a more flexible way.

The increase to 1140 hours means around 30 hours per week during school term time or around 22 hours if taken through the year.  It is important to emphasise that Parents/Carers do not have to use the full entitlement of 1140 hours.

Where can I access ELC hours?

From August 2020, any provider who meets the new National Standard and who has a contract with Aberdeen City Council can offer funded hours.  Hours can be offered at:

  • Local Authority ELC Settings
  • Private ELC Settings
  • Childminders
  • Playgroups
  • Gaelic Provision
  • Outdoor Provision

The biggest change is the way you can use your funded hours – there is now much more flexibility.  Your child may be able to access:

  • Full days
  • Part days
  • Term time
  • Up to 50 weeks per year (depending on which provider you choose)
  • Split placements or a combination of more than one provider (for example a private nursery and childminder)

When does my child become entitled to 1140 hours? 

Early Learning and Childcare for 3 and 4 year olds

Your child is eligible for an ELC place if his/her birthday is between the following dates:

1 March 2018 to 28 February 2019 – Ante-Pre-School Year

1 March 2017 to 28 February 2018 – Pre-school Year

Children are entitled to an ELC place in the school term following their third birthday. Children in their immediate pre-school year are entitled to a whole year of Early Learning and Childcare. 

Children who are turning 3 are entitled to an ELC place for the following number of terms if their birthday falls within the following dates:

Child’s Date of Birth ELC Entitlement Duration
1 March 2018 to 31 August 2018 Three terms From Term 1 August to December
1 September 2018 to 31 Dec 2018 Two terms From Term 2 January to March
1 Jan 2019 to 28 Feb 2019 One term From Term 3 April to July

Early Learning and Childcare for 2-year olds

Eligible 2-year old children are entitled to up to 1140 hours of funded ELC. This is from the term after their 2nd birthday until the term after their 3rd birthday when they are entitled to universal ELC.

Children age 2 are eligible for 1140 hours if their family is in receipt of one of the following benefits and allowances:

  • Income support
  • Job Seekers Allowance (income based)
  • Any income related element of Employment and Support Allowance
  • Incapacity or Severe Disablement Allowance
  • State Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit (CTC), but not Working Tax Credit and your income is less than £16,105
  • Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit and your income is under £7,320
  • Support under Part V1 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • Universal Credit and your household take-home pay, is £610 or less.

Or if the child is age 2 or over and is or, since they turned 2 has been (in terms of legal status):

  • Looked After by a local council
  • The subject of a Kinship Care Order; or
  • The subject of a Guardianship Order; or
  • Has a care experienced parent. 

How to apply for an early learning and childcare place

Local Authority Nurseries

To apply for a funded place in a local authority nursery, parents/carers will be asked to complete an online application, which will go live on 25th January 2021.  

Parents/carers will no longer submit paper application forms to their preferred school nursery and instead complete an online application. You can choose up to 3 settings in order of preference.

This process is for local authority school nurseries applications only. 

When applying online for a place in a local authority school nursery you will need to provide us with evidence of your child’s birth certificate and evidence of where you live. This can be uploaded onto the online form when you apply. We will accept photographs of documents as long as we can see the whole document clearly. 

If you wish your child to attend a funded provider (childminder, playgroup or private nursery) application should be made directly to that provider. 

 

Funded Providers

Applications for a place in a Funded Provider Early Learning and Childcare setting can be made directly to your chosen provider. 
Funded Providers are private nurseries, playgroups and registered childminders, who are in partnership with the local authority, to deliver the expanded funded hours. 

Contact your chosen Funded Provider to discuss if places are available. Each setting will offer a different model of provision and we encourage all parents/carers to check with their providers and look at the options in their area.

Details of all funded ELC settings, who are registered with Aberdeen City Council to provide ELC, can be found at the back of the application. 

All Funded Providers meet the National Standard and deliver high quality learning and childcare. 

The Family Information Service website contains comprehensive and up to date information of all ELC Providers: childminders, private nursery settings and playgroups. 

A list of funded providers is also available in the ELC application form.

Split Funded Hours 

Parents/carers also have the choice and flexibility to split their funded hours between up to two different settings (including a childminder). This is referred to as a blended model. If you want to split funded hours please check with your preferred provider at the time of application to ensure they can accommodate you. 

You can split your hours between a Local Authority ELC setting and a Funded Provider or Funded Childminder.

It is your responsibility to find a Funded Provider or Childminder and agree a place with them.  

Please be aware that any hours taken at a local authority setting will be deducted from your entitlement at a Funded Provider or Childminder.  To access a list of Childminders please email FIS@aberdeencity.gov.uk. 

Some of our local authority ELC settings will continue to offer 600 hours. If you wish to attend any of these settings and access your funded hours, you have the option to do a blended provision (as described above).  

Please indicate on your application form how you wish to split your funded hours. 

Contact

If you need more information, please contact the Early Years Team on 01224 764654 or email: eyadmissions@aberdeencity.gov.uk

Frequently Asked Questions

For further information please visit: Frequently Asked Questions: Apply for a nursery school place 2021/22

 

For enquires to the Early Years team

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