/ ELC / Funded ELC Entitlement

Scotland's Early Learning and Childcare Expansion

All three and four year-olds and eligible two year-olds are now able to benefit from 1140 hours a year of funded Early Learning and Childcare (ELC).  You can find out if your two year-old is eligible for free childcare here. These hours are free to parents, funded by the Scottish Government through local authorities. 

Funded ELC entitlement works out at about 30 hours a week if used during school term-time, or around 22 hours a week if used all year round. This can be used at a childminder, nursery or playgroup – or a mix of these, depending on your choice and what is available in your area.
The Scottish Government also introduced a ‘Funding Follows the Child’ approach, which is intended to allow parents to choose their childcare from a range of high-quality ELC providers, including childminders who have partnered with their local authority in order to become funded ELC providers. 

This approach is underpinned by a National Standard which all providers, including childminders who wish to deliver funded ELC, must meet to ensure that everyone is delivering the highest quality early learning and childcare experience for children*.

*for details of the criteria used to assess eligibility, please visit the Scottish Government website 


Q: Has the expansion of funded ELC now been fully implemented in Scotland?
Q: Will a child who received a 1140 funded hours placement last year get it again this year?
Q. What are the benefits of being a partner provider and delivering funded ELC?
Q. Who is eligible to deliver funded ELC for three and four-year olds and eligible two year-olds?
Q. Do I need to have a qualification to register as a partner provider to deliver funded ELC?
Q. Will I get inspected by both the Care Inspectorate and Education Scotland?
Q. Do I need to adapt my service to become a partner provider?
Q. What support is available for partner providers?
Q: A parent/carer wants to use my childminding service for their funded ELC, but the local authority has not presented this as an option for them. What can we do?
Q. What can I do if my local authority doesn’t contract with childminders?
Q. Can I provide funded ELC for a family member?
Q. What does the term 'blended' Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) mean?
Q. As a parent, can I use my funded ELC hours in any way that I want?
Q. Who should I raise the issue with locally to ask for support if my local authority is not using childminders?
Q. I have a two-year-old child, but how do I know if I am eligible?
Q. What happens if a child has been deferred for starting school?
Q: Can I request a Bookbug Explorer Bag for my minded children?