Early Learning and Childcare

Funded hours

What are funded (free) hours?

These are hours funded by the Scottish Government for your child to attend an ELC provider.

There is no charge to the parent/carer for funded ELC. The hours your child is entitled to must be provided free of charge, regardless of the provider you choose to send your child to.

You cannot be charged any sort of supplement or be required to pay for any additional hours/services unless you have chosen to purchase these. 

Funded hours are available from local authority nurseries or any provider who is on our registered Framework listing. A list of approved providers is available on our website. 

How many funded hours is my child entitled to?

In the Scottish Borders all eligible two year olds and three and four year olds are able to access up to 1140 hours of funded ELC each year. These hours are allocated on a pro-rata basis depending on when children start throughout the year.

Depending on the provider you choose to send your child to, the hours can be taken between 38 and 50 weeks a year.

A year is defined as a school year, so begins at the start of term in August:

  • if your child attends over a school term time, this equates to up to 30 hours per week
  • if they attend a provider for 50 weeks per year, this is equates to up to 23 hours per week

Parents can take as many or as few of the funded hours as they wish within the framework below:

        Minimum        Maximum

Funded hours per day             one hour          10 hours

Funded hours per week          one hour          30 hours    

Funded weeks per year          38 weeks         50 weeks

Contact Early Years Team

Address: Council Headquarters
Newtown St. Boswells

Telephone: 0300 100 1800