Early learning and childcare places for two year old children

Early learning and childcare can help young children gain vital language and learning skills, improve their social development and help them do better at school when the time comes. It can also support parents to work, train or study.

Children aged two years or over who are (or have been at any point since turning two years) Looked After by a local Council, subject of a kinship care order or have a parent appointed guardian are eligible for 600 hours of early learning and childcare.

From August 2015, children aged two years old from households where a parent or carer is in receipt of benefits listed below are entitled to 600 hours of early learning and childcare from the term after their second birthday.

Eligible benefits are:

  • Income Support*
  • Job Seekers Allowance (income based)*
  • Employment and Support Allowance (income based)*
  • Incapacity Benefit or Severe Disablement Allowance*
  • State Pension Credit*
  • Child Tax Credit, but not Working Tax Credit, and your income is less that £16,105
  • Both maximum Child Tax Credit and maximum Working Tax Credit and your income is under than £6420 or the Working Tax Credit 4-week run on (the payment you get when you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit)
  • Universal Credit and your income is £610 per month or £7320 per year or less
  • Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999

The income thresholds for Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit can vary annually.

Start dates




1 March - 31 August



1 September - 31 December



1 January - last day of February



Where is the service available?

  • Auchinleck Early Childhood Centre, Auchinleck Tel: 01290 421260
  • Beechwood Nursery, Kilmarnock Tel:01563 573555
  • Bellsbank Early Childhood Centre, Dalmellington Tel:01292 551195
  • Cairns Early Childhood Centre, Kilmarnock Tel:01563 533177
  • Dalrymple Early Childcare Centre, Dalrymple Tel: 01292 560368
  • Dean Park Nursery, Kilmarnock Tel: 01563 539128
  • Drongan Early Childcare Centre, Drongan Tel: 01292 591521
  • Flowerbank Early Childhood Centre, Kilmarnock Tel: 01563 522722
  • Hillbank Early Childhood Centre, Kilmarnock Tel: 01563 521064
  • Hurlford and Crookedholm Early Learning & Childcare Services, Kilmarnock Tel: 07967115689
  • Lainshaw Early Childhood Centre, Stewarton Tel: 01560 483653
  • Muirkirk Early Childhood Centre, Muirkirk Tel:01290 661350
  • Netherthird Early Childhood Centre, Cumnock Tel: 01290 425946
  • New Cumnock Early Childhood Centre, New Cumnock Tel: 01290 338593
  • Onthank Early Childhood Centre, Kilmarnock Tel: 01563 534660
  • Patna Early Childhood Centre, Patna Tel: 01292 531271
  • Selected Community Childminders, various locations, Community Childcare Support Service, Tel: 01563 554980
  • Shortlees Early Childhood Centre, Kilmarnock Tel: 01563 53367
  • The Avenue Childcare Service, Kilmarnock Tel: 01563 572828
  • Whatriggs Early Childhood Centre, Kilmarnock Tel: 01563 551587

How to apply

  1. Collect an application form and qualifying benefits letter from any early childhood centre. For information on local centres contact the Childcare and Recreation Information Service (CARIS) on 0345 351 3000.

  2. For eligible benefits marked * go to the Jobcentre Plus Office where staff will confirm your qualifying benefit by stamping and signing the form provided with the application.

  3. For all other eligible benefits provide either the most recent award letter or print, e-mail or show a screen grab of your on-line journal statement to staff at the centre who will confirm your eligibility

  4. Take relevant qualifying evidence, completed application and your child’s birth certificate to any early childhood centre.

  5. Centre staff will check that all documentation is complete and give receipt of application.

  6. All applications will be processed by the central early learning and childcare admin office in John Dickie Street, Kilmarnock.

  7. You will be contacted within three working weeks of submitting your application.

  8. In some areas, we can fund places with community childminders with whom there is existing partnership working. Please contact:
    communitychildcaresupportadmin@east-ayrshire.gov.uk or telephone 01563 554980 for an application form.

Please note that it will not always be possible to allocate a place in your first choice of centre.

Contact Information

Early Learning and Childcare - Two Year Olds
Civic Centre South
16 John Dickie Street
Telephone: 01563 578118