Eligibility for early learning and childcare places

The Scottish Government funds 600 hours of early learning and childcare for all three and four year old children and also for some two year old children.

Find out about eligibility for two year olds, details of which services are available and how to apply.

If your child's date of birth is on or between 1 March 2013 and 28 February 2015 then he/she will be eligible for a funded early learning and childcare place at a local authority early childhood centre or in a partner provider centre.

How to register

Registration will take place from Monday 27 February until Friday 10 March 2017.

Please apply direct to the early childhood centre or partner provider centre and remember to bring along your child's birth certificate at the time of registration.

Three year old places

Children are eligible for a place from the month after their third birthday.

For children born between 1 March 2014 and 28 February 2015 eligibility for a funded place is set out in the following table:


Three year old eligibility
BirthdayEligible monthTerm
March August Autumn
April August Autumn
May August Autumn
June August Autumn
July August Autumn
August September Autumn
September October Autumn
October November Autumn
November December Autumn
December January Spring
January February Spring
February March Spring

Eligible children will be able to access a place from the first Monday of the month after their third birthday (Tuesday if there is a public holiday). However, it is acknowledged that staggered entry dates may be required due to the number of eligible children in any given month. Therefore, where this applies, early childhood centres and partner centres will have 10 days to admit all eligible children.

Four year old places

If your child's date of birth is on or between 1 March 2013 and 28 February 2014 he or she will be eligible for a place in August 2017.

Deciding priorities for admission 

We have agreed that there are some family circumstances which will give children priority for admission. Children will be banded in line with the Early Learning and Childcare Admissions Policy both for a place in an establishment and, where requested, for a particular session. 

Children who reside outwith East Ayrshire and who are cared for by a childminder and/or relatives in East Ayrshire will be considered using their home address only.

Dates of birth or length of time on the register of applications does not affect priority given to children in their pre-school year (4 year olds). Children in their ante pre-school year (3 year olds) are eligible for a place according to set dates. 

Placing requests for children with additional support needs 

The Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2004 as amended, allows parents of a child who has been assessed as having additional support for learning needs to make a placing request for their child to attend any centre under the management of an education authority (which includes both local authority early childhood centres and partner providers). 

If a placing request is refused the parent will have the right to formally appeal as set out in the Code of Practice as defined by the Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2004 as amended. 

Download the full Early Education admissions policy 

Contact Information

Early Learning & Childcare
Civic Centre South
John Dickie Street
Kilmarnock
East Ayrshire
KA1 1HW
Telephone: (01563) 578125/578117
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