We offer Early Learning and Childcare to all 3 and 4-year-olds from the first intake after their qualifying birthday until they're due to start school. This can be up to 1140 hours in most settings.
We're offering different session times in these settings for 3 and 4-year-olds so you'll have more choice.
Families may be able to share their 1140 funded hours between different nursery settings.
What are my options?
There are several different ways for families to access their entitlement. These include:
- In a private Early Learning Childcare setting that's in partnership with Fife Council
- At a playgroup that's in partnership with Fife Council
- With a childminder who's in partnership with Fife Council
- Term time in a Fife Council Early Learning Childcare setting
- Across the whole year in a Fife Council Early Learning Childcare setting
When should my child start Early Learning Childcare (Nursery)?
Every child's entitled to a nursery place from the first intake after their third birthday. That means:
- Starting in August: Your child must be three before 31 August 2021
- Starting in January: Your child must be three before 31 December 2021
- Starting in April: Your child must be three before the last day of February 2022
What session types are available in a Fife Council setting?
- 6hrs Mon - Fri (Term Time)
- 4hrs 40 mins am Mon - Fri (49 weeks)
- 4hrs 40 mins pm Mon - Fri (49 weeks)
- 10hrs Mon and Tues, Wed am (46 weeks)
- Wed pm, 10hrs Thurs and Fri (46 weeks)
How do I apply for a Fife Council Early Learning and Childcare (Nursery) place?
Please complete an online application, which can be accessed at the top of this page. This is an easy process that can be done from your smartphone, iPad or laptop. You'll be asked to create a mygov.scot 'myaccount' if you don't already have one. You'll need this account right the way through your child's education.
Here's a 'how to' video, to explain the process:
Before applying, you should check that your nursery setting offers your session(s) of choice. You can find a list of nurseries and the sessions offered at the bottom of this page.
If you are unable to complete your application online, you can request a paper application from any council nursery. Once it's completed, this should be handed into your first choice nursery, along with the evidence requested. You'll need to make an appointment with the school directly to hand this in. This will be done in line with any COVID-19 guidance at that time.
Submissions should be made by 31st January 2021 if you are looking for a place anytime between August 2021 and July 2022. Any applications received after this date will be considered late and processed after the initial panel process.
If you have any difficulties applying online, please get in touch with your local nursery.
If your child has additional support needs, please contact the headteacher of your first choice nursery.
You'll be contacted in April 2021 to advise you of where your child has been offered a place.
How do I make my choices for a Fife Council Early Learning and Childcare (Nursery) setting?
We're working hard to ensure places are matched to the needs of children and families. You're free to make an application to the ELC setting of your choice.
Please check your preferred ELC setting will be offering the session times you are looking for. You can find a list of nurseries and the sessions offered at the bottom of this page.
For a place in a Fife Council ELC setting, you're asked to provide up to five choices on your application form. The more choices you put on your form, the greater the chance you'll be offered one of your preferences. However, please note that you should only put choices on your form that you may accept if offered.
Will I get my first choice?
Some nurseries or session times will be oversubscribed. If we're unable to offer your first choice, we'll then look at your other choices to see if we can offer you one of these.
An admissions policy is in place to ensure fairness when allocating places. A copy of our admissions policy can be found at the bottom of this page.
Please note that the place you are offered may not be your local ELC setting as nurseries do not operate in the same way as school catchment areas.
In addition, children with siblings in a school may not always be offered a space in the nursery in that school.
How do I apply for a funded Early Learning and Childcare place at my preferred private nursery, playgroup or childminder?
You'll be able to apply for a funded early learning and childcare place at your preferred private nursery, playgroup or childminder, if they're in partnership with Fife Council.
Applications for private nurseries, playgroups, and childminders in partnership with Fife Council should be made directly with these individual establishments and services.
A list of all current funded providers is available at the bottom of this page. It may be possible to share hours between different Early Learning and Childcare providers up to a total of 1140 hours per annum. For example, this may be between an ELC setting and a childminder. You can state this on the application form.