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Early years and child care frequently asked questions

When and where do I apply? 

A Public Notice appears in the local press during February. Information is also promoted on social media and on our website.

The information booklet, A Guide to Early Learning and Childcare in East Ayrshire (PDF 712Kb), which sets out the Council’s Policy for the allocation of Early Learning and Childcare places, is available in all early childhood centres, in funded provider centres and through the Ayrshire wide Childcare and Recreation Information Service (CARIS).

Find out more about eligibility for a place

Can I apply for a place in any ECC or funded provider centre? 

Yes, however geographic criteria apply to early childhood centres and funded providers offering 1140 hours. 

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

The information you provide on the application form will help the head/manager of centre to give appropriate priority to your application. It is important that you provide full details on the form. You may also wish another agency to provide further information in support of your application, for example, health. You can indicate this on your application form.

Does my child have to access early learning and childcare? 

No, it is not compulsory. It is for parents and carers to decide whether they want their child to participate. Evidence suggests that high quality early learning and childcare can make a significant impact on the critical years of a child's development. 

Can my child access early learning and childcare in another authority? 

The choice of early learning and childcare setting available to families is not restricted to their own local authority area. Please contact Early Learning and Childcare for further information.

Contact Information

Education Service - Early Years
Civic Centre South
16 John Dickie Street
Kilmarnock
KA1 1HW
Telephone: 01563 578118
Telephone: 01563 578117