Early Learning and Childcare

This page includes information on the services formerly known as nursery education or pre-school education.

The information on this page is also available in leaflet format in English and other languages.  

Funded early learning and childcare

The Government fund early learning and childcare places for children aged 3 and 4 and eligible 2 year olds.

A funded part-time place offers up to 600 hours of early learning and childcare.  The quantity of sessions available may vary between providers.

Early learning and childcare is not statutory, and it is for parents / carers to decide whether they want their child to participate. As early learning and childcare is not statutory, The Moray Council has no transport provision available.

Funded early learning and childcare for eligible 2 year old children

You may be entitled to a funded early learning and childcare place for your 2 year old if you are in receipt of qualifying benefits (additional eligibility criteria may apply).

Who provides funded early learning and childcare?

There are 22 primary schools which provide nursery classes and 37 centres which work in partnership with the Local Authority to provide funded early learning and childcare. 

How will I know if a centre provides a good standard of early learning and childcare?

All centres must meet the standards set by the Care Inspectorate, and will be inspected regularly.  Providers are required to observe national curriculum guidelines.

The Moray Council also works with centres to ensure quality, and to improve the experience offered to the children.  If you have any concerns about a centre you can raise them with the centre itself, or with The Moray Council.

All centres are registered under the Regulation of Care (Scotland) Act 2001, and are inspected annually, and must meet and maintain the standards set by the Care Inspectorate.

Which centre should I choose?

The choice of centre is entirely up to you.  You should register at the centre you would prefer your child to attend, but each centre will have a limited number of places available.  The registration form asks you to list a second and third choice of centre, and The Moray Council will contact these centres on your behalf if your child cannot be accommodated in your preferred choice of centre.

The Moray Council tries to ensure that places are well matched to meet the needs of both children and parents, but cannot guarantee that your child will be placed at your preferred centre, or that you will receive your choice of a morning or an afternoon place.

Eligibility

The table below confirms eligibility for the school session August 2016 to July 2017:

A child whose date
of birth is between:
Will be eligible for
a funded place from:
Type of place:
18 August 2011 and
29 February 2012
16 August 2016 Deferred Entry
1 March 2012 and
28 February 2013
16 August 2016 Pre-school
1 March 2013 and
31 August 2013
16 August 2016 Ante pre-school
1 September 2013 and
31 December 2013
9 January 2017 Ante pre-school
1 January 2014 and
28 February 2014
17 April 2017 Ante pre-school

When offering funded early learning and childcare places, centres use the following criteria:

1. Existing attendance at the centre
2. Those resident in the secondary catchment area, and with a sibling at the centre
3. Those resident in the secondary catchment area
4. Children with a Co-ordinated Support Plan (CSP), and/or subject to assessment by the Education Authority
5. Those residing out with the secondary catchment area, and with a sibling at the centre
6. Those residing out with the secondary catchment area

Priority within any of the 6 categories above, where it is necessary to be determined, will be given to older children first and then to those resident closest to the requested provision (distance being calculated by the straight line method).


The table below confirms eligibility for the school session August 2017 to July 2018: 

A child whose date
of birth is between:
Will be eligible for
a funded place from:
Type of place:
15 August 2012 and
28 February 2013
15 August 2017 Deferred Entry
1 March 2013 and
28 February 2014
15 August 2017 Pre-school
1 March 2014 and
31 August 2014
15 August 2017 Ante pre-school
1 September 2014 and
31 December 2014
8 January 2018 Ante pre-school
1 January 2015 and
28 February 2015
16 April 2018 Ante pre-school

When offering funded early learning and childcare places, centres use the following criteria:

1. Existing attendance at the centre
2. Those resident in the secondary catchment area, and with a sibling at the centre
3. Those resident in the secondary catchment area
4. Children with a Co-ordinated Support Plan (CSP), and/or subject to assessment by the Education Authority
5. Those residing out with the secondary catchment area, and with a sibling at the centre
6. Those residing out with the secondary catchment area

Priority within any of the 6 categories above, where it is necessary to be determined, will be given to older children first and then to those resident closest to the requested provision (distance being calculated by the straight line method).

Registration

In January each year, an advert appears in the local press, and posters are displayed within the local neighbourhood, inviting parents to register their child at their preferred Early Learning and Childcare Centre during the registration week.  

The registration week for the 2017/2018 school session is Monday 23 January to Friday 27 January 2017.  If you are not able to register at this time, please contact either to your preferred Early Learning and Childcare Centre or Education & Social Care, Council Offices, Elgin, IV30 1BX, Telephone (01343) 563374, Email Educationandsocialcare@moray.gov.uk.

Registration forms are available at all early learning and childcare centres, or you can print a form using the links below.  Completed registration forms should be returned to your preferred early learning and childcare centre.  You should take with you the child's birth certificate and a proof of address at the time of registration.  Registration is not the same as enrolment, and funded places are allocated during the school year.

Note: If your child's date of birth is between 1 March 2015 and 29 February 2016 he/she will become eligible for a funded place in the session 2018/2019, and you should register in January 2018.

When are funded places allocated?

You will be allocated a place in April or May if your child is eligible to start in August.

You will be allocated a place in November or December if your child is eligible to start in January.

You will be allocated a place in February or March if your child is eligible to start in April

You will not receive a letter if your choice of early learning and childcare centre is full. You will automatically be contacted by the centre you listed as your next choice.  If all of your choices are full, you will be contacted by Education & Social Care who will assist you with alternative choices.

Childcare

Some partner early learning and childcare centres can offer day-care services, although the centre will charge you for the additional care element.  Assistance towards the cost of childcare may be available through the Working Families Tax Credit.  For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/working-tax-credit/overview. More information concerning childcare is available from Scottish Families Information Service.

More information:

Contact Us

Education and Social Care
Council Office
High Street
Elgin
IV30 1BX

01343 563374

educationandsocialcare@moray.gov.uk

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