Anyone offering a childcare service in their own home for children under the age of 16, for more than two hours a day, for a reward of any kind, must by law be registered by the care inspectorate.

Many childminders are also members of the Scottish Childminding Association.

Nurseries and playgroups

Nurseries are run by a team and activities are planned to help children enjoy learning. At nursery, children are involved in activities such as playing, learning new skills and making friends. There are different types of nurseries with different ways of operating.

Private/Independent nurseries

Most independent nurseries open for full days all year round. Many are commissioned to deliver early learning and childcare (previously pre-school education). In addition, they provide childcare for a wide age of children with some providing care for children aged from three months to 12 years.

Local authority nursery classes

Run in many primary schools, delivering early learning and childcare and in some settings wraparound childcare is also available.

Voluntary sector nurseries and playgroups

Provide play and educational sessions for children aged two to five years old. Many playgroups are commissioned by us to provide early learning and childcare. As with school nursery classes and many private nurseries, these sessions follow curriculum guidelines and are staffed by a qualified team with a parental management committee. Some playgroups also offer extended childcare services.


Can be found in most areas including town centres and rural villages. Parents can help in playgroups by joining the management committee, helping on a rota or sharing their skills with the group. Many parents have the opportunity to learn about child development and education through their involvement with playgroups.

Wraparound childcare

All private and voluntary nurseries and also several of the school nurseries (depending on the places available) offer wraparound childcare. Wraparound childcare is the morning, afternoon or lunchtime session for three and four year olds in addition to their early learning and childcare. These sessions may also be available in some playgroups and out of school clubs.

Once you have had a look around decided what kind of nursery is best suited you can find out more about applying for a place.

Out of school clubs

Out of school clubs are for children to play, learn and have fun and they are widely used to provide childcare for children whose parents are working or studying and also as a social activity for children. Clubs are usually based in or near schools, some are managed by a voluntary committee of parents and some are privately managed.

Breakfast clubs

Open in the mornings before school so children can enjoy breakfast there in a safe and supervised environment.

After school clubs

Open in the afternoon, usually between 3pm-6pm.

Holiday clubs

Open during school holidays and in-service days usually between 8am-6pm.

Some clubs are beginning to extend their opening times, including a Saturday opening, to meet the needs of shift workers.

Clubs will often pick children up from local schools that don't have a club. Most children attending out of school clubs are primary school aged. However some clubs provide places for two, three and four years olds to fit around nursery or pre-school education. Others provide care for children who attend S1 and S2 depending on local demand. Many out of school clubs will be happy to offer part-time childcare. You may need to book regular sessions to make sure a place is available when you need it.

Many out of school clubs are members of the scottish out of school care network.

Parent and toddler groups

There are parent and toddler groups in most areas of the Borders. These are run by voluntary management committees and usually meet in community, village and church halls.

Details of the groups can be found via the family information service.

Many of these groups are members of early years scotland.

Further information

Looking for childcare in your area

You can search for childcare in yourarea using the links below 

Early years team

Address: Council Headquarters
Newtown St. Boswells

Telephone: 01835 824000

Fax: 01835 825091