Early Learning and Childcare

Apply for a three or four year old ELC place

Enroling your child for August 2021 (session 2021-22)

Children born between 1 March 2017 and 28 February 2019 are eligible to start early learning and childcare (nursery) the term after their third birthday (August, January, April).

Parent and carers need to apply for a place even if your child already attends a nursery. This is because it is not mandatory to send your child to an ELC setting but we need to know if parents are taking up the hours available and where and when the hours are requested.

Enrolment week is held every year to enable us to get as many applications in as possible and help with our planning processes for August. This year it was held between 18-22 January and our thanks to all parents and carers who got their applications in.

Please note applications can still be made but we would encourage you to get this done as soon as possible.

Parents and carers of any child who is five years of age before the end of February 2022 need to enrol their child for primary school. See our apply for a school place pages for more information.

How to apply for a nursery place

Due to the current pandemic we are moving to an online applications process using an online form. This replaces the separate processes which have previously been used for early learning and childcare, primary and secondary enrolments and aims to make them more streamlined and straightforward. 

  • Parents and carers are required to complete the online form and then make contact with their relevant setting. They will also need to have electronic copies of their child’s birth certificate and proof of address such as a council tax letter or child benefit notice available to upload along with their application
  • Parents and carers will be required to have a MyScotBorders account if they do not have one already. Registering for an account is quick and easy, all you need is an email address and to provide some basic personal details. You are also advised to be logged into your MyScotBorders account before starting to complete the online form.

Where possible all children will be able to access a funded place with their preferred provider, however this cannot be guaranteed. Therefore it is important to complete the second choice provider in the application form.

Parents should note that the team is currently very busy processing applications and your patience is appreciated should you experience any delays with the process or in getting through to speak to someone if you have queries. We are also aware that there have been some problems with the form but these are being addressed and will not affect your child's application.