Early learning and childcare: ages three and four

All children are eligible for a funded early learning and childcare place from the first available enrolment date after their third birthday.

You can receive up to 1140 hours of funded early learning and childcare. You do not need to use all of these hours however, to access the funded ELC in an Angus Council setting then your child needs to be enrolled for a minimum of two sessions per week.

If your child turns five on or between the day after the first day of school in August and the last day in February see deferred entry to primary 1 and accessing an additional year of funded ELC.

For information on other financial supports available see financial support for parents, children and young people.

Your childcare options

Funded childcare can be with:

  • one of our ELC settings
  • a private nursery, voluntary playgroup or childminder who has a contract with Angus Council

ELC Admissions

In Angus, children can start funded ELC from the beginning of the first term after their third birthday (terms start in August, January and April). This is in line with Scottish Government statutory guidance.

In local authority ELC settings, applications for each intake date should be submitted during the 'applications open' period. We will not accept applications submitted before these dates.

Applications submitted during the 'applications open' period will be considered before those submitted after the period has ended.

A private nursery, voluntary playgroup or childminder setting who has a contract with Angus Council may operate a different admissions policy. Contact your preferred provider for more information.


Children born on or betweenThey will be eligible from these school termsApplications open (for local authority only)Notification from local authority ELC settings issued onYou must accept by (for local authority only)
16 April 2021 and 31 August 202113 August 202420 March – 19 April 20243 May 202410 May 2024
1 September 2021 and 6 January 20226 January 202528 August  – 27 September 20241 November 20248 November 2024
7 January 2022 and 22 April 202222 April 20256 – 24 January 20257 February 202518 February 2025

Application open dates for school session 2025 – 2026 will be published on 3 March 2025.

Allocating places (for local authority ELC settings only)

We will always try to meet your preference, but there may be more applications than places at one of our settings. In this case, we allocate places according to the following criteria:

  1. Existing children remaining in the setting
  2. Children placed through Additional Support Needs projections meetings who will be in receipt of funded early learning and childcare
  3. Children who are accessing an additional year of funded ELC, who are not currently attending a setting in their catchment primary school, requesting the additional funded year of early learning and childcare within their catchment primary school
  4. Children who will be in receipt of funded early learning and childcare with siblings already in attendance within the setting or school
  5. All other children who reside in Angus who will be in receipt of funded early learning and childcare
  6. Children living outwith Angus

If there are still more applications than places, we will allocate places within each category by date and time of application.

Your first choice ELC setting will consider all applications for places and notification will be issued as per the dates above.

If your child is not given a place, your application will be moved to your second choice and so on after the notification date. However, places will have already been allocated and your preferred sessions may not be available.

Applying for an immediate start

If you are moving home to another locality in Angus and need to move your child from one ELC setting to another as a result, you do not have to wait until the next intake date to apply. You can immediately apply for a place at a different setting and if a suitable place is available, staff will agree a start date with you.

You do not have to wait until you’ve moved to apply, but you will be asked to provide evidence of the move and evidence of your child’s place at another ELC setting.

Please keep in mind that you will be asked to observe a notice period before moving your child from one ELC setting to another, so early discussions with both settings will make this process easier.

In very exceptional circumstances for children already in receipt of funded early learning and childcare, we may be able to consider other reasons for immediate moves from one ELC setting to another. If you would like to discuss an immediate start for an exceptional reason other than moving home, please contact us.

How to apply

You will need:

  • details from your child's full birth certificate or passport
  • contact details of professionals involved with your child (such as GP, health visitor, speech therapist)

When applying for a funded early learning and childcare place you will be asked to upload copies of the following documents:

  • your child’s full birth certificate or passport
  • proof of address

The following are suitable proofs of address and where possible should be dated within the past three months:

  • Council Tax letter
  • bank/building statement
  • credit card statement
  • utility bill (electricity, gas, phone)
  • utility connection letter
  • driving licence or V5 vehicle registration document
  • social work letter
  • Child Maintenance Service letter
  • Department of Work and Pensions letter
  • HMRC letter

Apply for funded early learning and childcare

Applying for primary one

Attendance at any local authority ELC setting will not give your child priority for a place at that school when starting primary one unless it is the setting of your primary catchment school.

Additional support needs

If your child has additional support needs you can tell us about this on the online application form.