Childcare Frequently Asked Questions

Types of Nurseries

What’s the difference in the types of nurseries available?

In Glasgow parents / carers can choose from nurseries run by the Council, the private sector or the voluntary sector. They can also choose to access their child’s early learning and childcare entitlement with a Registered Childminder where that childminder is part of the Council’s funded ELC provider scheme.

There are 3 types of Council nursery.

  1. Nursery classes which are part of a bigger primary school and open term-time only, Monday to Friday, from 8.30am to 4.30pm. Nursery classes only admit children aged 3-5 years old.
  2. Nursery schools which are open term-time only, Monday to Friday, usually from 8am to 6pm. Some nursery schools admit children aged 2-5 years old, others only admit from age 3.
  3. Extended nurseries which are open for 50 weeks a year, Monday to Friday, from 8am to 6pm. Some extended nurseries admit children aged 0-5 years old, some admit from age 2 and others only admit from age 3.

Most private and voluntary sector nurseries are open all year round, Monday to Friday from 8am (or sometimes earlier) to 6pm. Most private and voluntary sector nurseries admit children aged 0-5 years old.

Registered childminders can care for children of any age from 0-12 years old. They negotiate their own hours with the family and are usually available all year round. Some childminders will offer places from early in the morning (before 8am) to late at night (after 6pm) and some may also offer places at the weekend.

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Applying for Childcare

I want my child to go to more than one nursery, is that possible?

Yes. Lots of families choose to use more than one nursery sometimes due to working arrangements and sometimes because they want a different experience for their child – for example, spending part of the week in an outdoor nursery. Sending your child to more than one nursery is called a “blended place” and it is important that you let each nursery know that you are also using the other nursery so that they can work together to ensure that all of your child’s needs are met. 

Your child’s 1140 hours entitlement can be split as you choose across the two nurseries but you can still only have 1140 hours of funded provision in total. If you take more than 1140 hours in total, you will have to pay for the extra hours yourself.

You can also blend your child’s place  between a nursery and a childminder if that suits your family.

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None of my top 3 choices can give me a place, what can I do?

As part of the Council’s admissions policy you are asked to give your top  3 choices of Council nursery. If none of them can give you a place, you can contact the Glasgow Family Information Service, for further advice on other nurseries in the area. You may want to consider a private or voluntary sector nursery, a registered childminder or a 4th Council nursery perhaps further away.

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I don’t live in Glasgow – can my child get a nursery place?

Yes. We have cross boundary arrangements in place with all of our neighbouring local authorities to allow parents/carers to take up places where it suits them.

West Partnership Inter Authority Protocol Session 2020/2021

Parents Inter Authority Protocol Leaflet Session 2020/2021

The Scottish Government announced on the 30 March 2020 that the statutory duty for local authorities to provide up to 1140 hours of early learning and childcare will be suspended from August 2020 as a result of Covid 19 pandemic. Therefore the statutory entitlement of 600 hours remains at present. However Glasgow City Council will offer up to 1140 hours commencing Wednesday 12th August 2020 during Session 2020/2021 academic year. Parents will be charged for meals, milk and snack provision. If a nursery is unable to deliver up to 1140hrs then the remaining hours can be used in another nursery or with a childminder. This is referred to as blended model.

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Entitlement To Childcare

What is my child entitled to?

The Scottish Government announced on 30 March 2020 that the statutory duty for local authorities to provide up to 1140 hours of early learning and childcare will be suspended from August 2020 as a result of Covid 19 pandemic. Therefore the statutory entitlement of 600 hours remains at present. However Glasgow City Council will offer up to 1140 hours commencing Wednesday 12th August 2020. Parents will be charged for meals, milk and snack provision as you previously would have in the interim.

Children who are eligible for the funded entitlement aged 2 must meet certain criteria.

For more information https://www.glasgow.gov.uk/article/17458/Early-Learning--Childcare

If your child is eligible and you wish to apply this can be done online here.

If you do not meet the eligibility criteria, there is no entitlement to any funded nursery provision.

I need more hours than my entitlement, can I purchase more?

Yes. Where a nursery has the space to offer extra hours, you can purchase additional hours in either a Funded Provider or Council nursery or with a childminder.

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I need more hours than my entitlement, can I purchase more?

Yes. Where a nursery has the space to offer extra hours, you can purchase additional hours in either a Funded Provider or Council nursery or with a childminder.

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Will my child be fed at nursery?

Yes. All 3 and 4 year olds and eligible 2 year olds are entitled to a free meal and snacks as well as the funded hours for every day that they attend nursery. This applies in both Council  and Funded Provider nurseries and with childminders who are part of the ELC scheme.

If your child is not yet entitled to funded hours, meals and snacks will still be available but you will be charged for the cost of these.

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Will my child get the opportunity to learn and play outdoors?

Yes. All learning in early years is play based and spending time outdoors learning is a very important part of your child’s day. All nurseries already have access to outdoor play facilities and some are now developing much more extensive opportunities for children to spend half or whole days at a time playing outdoors. There is a lot of evidence that playing and learning outdoors has long-term positive benefits for children’s health, wellbeing and learning development.

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Deferred Entry Information for Parent and Carers

In Scotland, children normally start school in the year during which they have their 5th birthday. This means they will be between the ages of 4½ and 5½ depending on when their birthday falls.

Where a child does not start school at the expected August start date for their year group, it is called deferred entry to primary school.

Information for Parents and Carers

Deferred Entry August to December flow chart

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Cost of Childcare

Can I use HMRC childcare vouchers?

Yes. Council and Funded Provider nurseries are used to dealing with HMRC childcare vouchers. Please contact your childminder directly in the first instance to confirm if they are registered with HMRC to accept payment in this way.

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Why do I have to pay for an additional toy fund?

Toy funds are a way in which Council nurseries raise small amounts of money locally to enhance your child’s nursery experience. The toy fund is a voluntary donation and if you do not wish to donate, you do not have to. Any money raised through the toy fund will be spent in your own child’s nursery to benefit him/her and their friends.

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Problems with Childcare

I want more information about my nursery bill – who can I speak to?

Enquiries about Council nursery bills should be raised with our Customer Business Services.

If your enquiry is about your bill from a private or voluntary sector provider or a childminder, you must speak to them as the Council doesn’t hold information about their billing systems.

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Contact us
For email enquiries please use the form opposite.
Alternatively you can call us on
0141 287 7350
or write to us at
Early Childhood and Extended Childcare Services
40 John Street,
Glasgow G1 1JL
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