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 (known as Funded Providers). 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.


Council Nurseries:

Most Council nurseries are now open all year round (50 weeks) from 8am to 6pm to support working parents. A small number of our nurseries open during term-time only, but they are also mostly open from 8am to 6pm. Our nursery classes are part of primary schools and they are open term-time for shorter hours.

Extended Nurseries are open 50 weeks per year, Monday to Friday, from 8am to 6pm. Many of the Council’s Extended Day Nurseries offer places to children aged 0-5 years, some from age 2 -5 years and others from age 3 – 5 years. Places are available full days and part days, or a mixture of both.

Term Time Nurseries are open 38 weeks only, Monday to Friday, and almost all from 8am to 6pm. Some Term Time Nurseries admit children aged 2-5 years old, others only admit from age 3. Places are available full days and part days, or a mixture of both.

Nursery Classes are part of a 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 and most children attend part-time.


Funded Providers

Most Funded Provider nurseries are open all year round, Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm and offer places for  children aged 0-5 years old.


Registered Childminders

Registered childminders work from their own home and can care for children aged 0-12 years old. Childminders agree 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.

Applying for Childcare

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

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.

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

As part of the Council’s Admission Policy you are asked to include your first three choices of Council nursery in your Application Form. If none of your chosen nurseries can offer a place, you can contact the Glasgow Family Information Service, for advice on other nurseries in the area. You may want to consider a Funded Provider, a Registered Childminder or an alternative Council Nursery perhaps further away.

Entitlement To Childcare

What is my child entitled to?

Children aged 3-5 are entitled to up to 1140 hours per year of funded ELC.  In Glasgow nurseries, you can access your child's funded entitlement from the Monday after their 3rd birthday.


Some 2 year olds may also be eligible for up to 1140 hours of funded ELC if they meet the eligibility criteria.


Applications to check your eligibility can be made online using the following link: Eligible two year old criteria


If your 2 year old meets the criteria for funded ELC, they can access it from the start of the first term AFTER their second birthday OR the start of the first term AFTER you start receiving any of the named benefits or tax credits within the eligibility criteria.


To apply online please go to : myaccount sign in/register


Need help with myaccount or require further information?

Please email CBSEarlyYearsEligible2s@glasgow.gov.uk or telephone 0141 287 4702  to speak to a member of the team. Telephone lines are open Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday 9:30am to 4pm

Children aged 0-2 currently have no entitlement to any funded nursery hours unless they meet the eligible 2 year old criteria. This means you would need to pay for any hours in nursery yourself. If your child attends a Council nursery, in some circumstances you may be exempt from paying fees or offered a reduction in your fees. You should ask the nursery head about this.


Children due to start school in August are entitled to defer their entry to school and have another funded year in nursery if their 5th birthday will take place between the first day of term in August and the last day of February. You should speak to the head of the nursery or the childminder where you access your child’s ELC hours, to let them know you would like to defer your child’s entry to primary school.


Council Nursery Charging Information Pack for Parents


Children who do not live in Glasgow can also access their funded ELC entitlement under the Council’s cross-boundary agreements with our neighbouring local authorities (East Renfrewshire, Renfrewshire, South Lanarkshire, North Lanarkshire, East Dunbartonshire, West Dunbartonshire, Inverclyde) The local authority you live in will need to approve your funded place.

If you live in a local authority area which is not part of our cross-boundary agreement, you should ask them about taking up a place in Glasgow.

More information on cross-boundary funding is available on the following link:


Parent and Carers Inter Authority Protocol Leaflet Session 2023/2024

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, Council nursery or with a childminder.

Will my child be fed at nursery?

All children who are eligible 2-year olds or aged 3-5 years are entitled to 1 free meal, 1 free snack and 189 mls (1/3 pints) of milk each day they attend nursery or access ELC hours with a childminder. This applies in Council, Funded Provider nurseries and with childminders who are part of the ELC scheme.

If your child has more than 1 meal - for example breakfast and lunch - you may be charged for the additional meal.

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


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

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.

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 start school between the ages of 4½ and 5½ years depending on when their birthday falls.

If you do not want your child to start school at the expected date in August, you can apply to defer their start date and have another funded year in nursery.

How do I know if my child is ready for school? I am concerned they may not cope.

Scotland’s curriculum – Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) – helps our children and young people gain the knowledge, skills and attributes needed for life in the 21st century and is divided into levels across ages 3 – 18 years. The Early Level covers both children in nursery and children in the early stages of primary school.

This means that the play and learning experiences children will have in our Primary 1 classes are more closely aligned to the kind of experiences they may have in nursery and children no longer need to have certain skills before they start school. Our schools are well equipped to meet a broad range of needs and children will be supported to access appropriate learning experiences which are suited to their individual developmental needs.

It is important to avoid focusing on what your child is not yet able to do. Young children will very quickly learn new skills when supported by skilled practitioners. There is no expectation, for example, that all children will be able to read or write at the start of their time in school – although some children may have developed early skills in this before starting Primary 1. It’s all about your child as an individual.

Think instead about how your child copes in social groups and whether you feel they will be able to cope more independently than they may have needed to at their nursery where groups are smaller.

Should I discuss delaying my child's entry into Primary 1 with nursery staff?

Yes. You should discuss whether you should defer your child’s entry to Primary 1 with the nursery staff or with your Registered Childminder if you are accessing your child’s Early Learning & Childcare entitlement with a childminder rather than a nursery.

Staff working in ELC will be able to discuss your child’s progress with you and offer information about transition and starting school to help you decide.

What happens if the staff at my child's nursery disagree with my decision to defer?

Whilst it is important to talk with the nursery professionals about your child and what may be best for them, ultimately, the final decision to defer or not to defer is for you to make so long as your child will still be 4 years old on the first day of term when they could be starting Primary 1. You are guaranteed a continued funded place in nursery if you want it, whether the nursery agrees with your decision.

If your child’s 5th birthday is before the first day of term at the start of Primary 1, they must start school unless the Council agrees that their additional needs or circumstances mean that deferring would be in their best interests. Most children, even those with additional needs, will start school and cope well from age 5.

Do I still need to register my child for primary 1?

Our school enrolment period takes place in November each year, so you may already have enrolled your child for school before making the decision that you would prefer to defer their entry.

Don’t worry about this.

You can still apply to defer your child’s entry to school but once their deferred entry place is confirmed, you should let the school know that your child will no longer be attending in August. This helps us to plan for class sizes in Primary 1 and to calculate how many teachers each school will need.

You must remember though that you will need to register your child again the following year when you do want them to start school in August. The Council will not automatically re-enrol your child for you – you must do it.

Are there advantages to delaying my child's entry into Primary 1?

Despite a broad range of support and developmentally appropriate learning experiences with Primary 1 classes, some children benefit from an additional, carefully planned year at nursery. This is individual to each child and you know your child best. Staff at the nursery will be happy to discuss this with you if you are not sure.

Will there be any implications for my child later if they are deferred?

It is important to consider your child's whole school career when making the decision to defer. In Scotland, young people can leave secondary school at 16 so this could potentially mean that a deferred child could leave school before they reach the stage of their education where they would normally sit exams. Children who are deferred will be the eldest in their cohort and could be as much as 18 months older than their youngest classmates. This is worth reflecting upon when making your decision.

Cost of Childcare

Can I use HMRC childcare vouchers?

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

HMRC Childcare Service helpline can be accessed online or by telephone as follows:

Web linkhttps://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/hm-revenue-customs/contact/childcare-service-helpline

Telephone Helpline: 0300 123 4097


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.

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 via the online enquiry form  Early Learning & Childcare webpage This form goes direct to the team and enables a quicker response to your enquiry or telephone 0141 287 4702 - Lines are open Tuesday to Thursday 9:30am to 4pm.

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.

Problems with a Childcare Provider

If you have a problem with a Council nursery, Funded Provider nursery, School Aged Childcare Service or a Registered Childminder, you should speak to them first to try to resolve the problem locally.

For Council nurseries, if you cannot sort the problem out at the nursery, you can raise a query or complaint through the Glasgow Family Information Service - www.gfis.org.uk - or through the Council's formal complaints system - https://www.glasgow.gov.uk/complaints

For all childcare providers including Council nurseries, Funded Provider nurseries, School Aged Childcare Services and Registered Childminders, you can also make a complaint to the external regulator - the Care Inspectorate. https://www.careinspectorate.com/index.php/complaints