What is the nursery expansion programme?
The Scottish Government have set out plans to increase the number of hours children across the country can access for free at nursery.
At the moment all 3 and 4 year olds and some 2 year olds receive 600 hours of early learning and childcare a year for free. Under the new plans, this will increase to 1140 hours, almost double the current level of entitlement.
In order to make sure families across the city can access their new entitlement, Glasgow City Council is carrying out an expansion programme, looking to increase the amount of nursery places available across the city over the next few years.
What does this mean for me?
Under the new plans, all children who are currently entitled to free early learning and childcare will see the amount of hours they receive almost double, increasing from 600 to 1140 hours.
This will mean that children will be able to spend more time in nursery for no extra cost, whilst parents who already use more than their entitlement will see big savings in the amount they have to pay out for extra hours.
Over the last few years we’ve been speaking to parents across the city and you’ve told us that you want to be able to access more hours. Under these new plans, we’re putting this into action and making sure that we provide a service that works better for you and your family.
When will all this happen?
With the number of hours that children will be entitled to almost doubling, we’ve got a big job to make sure that we’ve got enough nursery places, in the right areas of the city, to provide the service that works best for families.
We know we can’t just turn on this extra capacity all over the city so over the next few years we will be gradually introducing extended hours at nurseries across the city, giving parents the opportunity to change how they use the service. This will give us the chance to see what works and what we need to change to get it right. Your nursery will be in touch with you to keep you updated on the introduction of these extra hours.
The introduction of the extra entitlement of up to 1140 hours a year will be available to all 3 and 4 year olds and certain 2 year olds from August 2020.
What are the Council doing in the meantime?
Over the last few months we’ve been working hard to get our plans underway to expand nursery provision across the city. There’s going to be lots of work across all of our nurseries to make sure they’re ready to increase the number of hours children all over the city are able to access come August 2020.
Some nurseries might have to extend or change the way they work, and we might even have to look at building new nurseries in different areas across the city.
With a big increase in the number of hours families are able to access, we’re also going to have to make sure we’ve got the right number of staff in place to offer children the best nursery experience possible. In the last year the Council has already started to recruit and train extra staff to work in our nurseries and we’ll be continuing to look for more new staff in the months and years ahead.
What if I use a partner nursery – will I still be entitled to the extra hours?
Lots of families all over the city use their current entitlement in partner nurseries and that’s not going to change!
Glasgow City Council works really closely with our partners across the city. Every week, thousands of children access their entitlement through our partners who can sometimes offer greater flexibility which works better for lots of families.
We are committed to continuing to work closely with our partners and are already looking at how we can work better to ensure that families all over the city can access nursery, whether council or partner, in the right setting for them and their child. It shouldn’t make a difference where someone chooses to access nursery – they should get the same offer and service.
I’m happy with what I get just now for my child – will I have to change?
That’s absolutely fine – you can continue to get what you receive just now. There is no obligation to use any of your extra entitlement if you don’t want to.
We know that every family is different and has different circumstances so we want to make sure you have the flexibility that works best for you and your family.
Will I be able to get more hours to better suit my circumstances?
We’re making sure that nurseries become more flexible to meet your family needs. Whether its work or family commitments, we want to make sure that early learning and childcare suits your circumstances whilst still offering your child the best quality experience.
We will be continuing to speak with parents across the city over the next few years to make sure we take all different circumstances into account when designing our new service. In the meantime, you can speak to staff at your nursery if you want to discuss what might be available locally.
What childcare services are available in my local area?
Our online search facility lets you look for childcare by area or type of service and also gives you lots more information about what each service can provide.
How do I apply for a place in a nursery or out of school childcare service?
You can get an application form directly from the nursery you would like your child to attend. Get in touch directly with the nursery and they will give you help and advice with the application process.
Council run nurseries use a priority admissions criteria to decide how to allocate places. The nursery will be able to give you more information on this or you can find it online here.
Jobs & Business Glasgow also run some nurseries in the city but they don’t use the Council’s admissions criteria to allocate places. Places are offered on a first come first served basis.
Many nurseries in Glasgow are run as either private businesses or in some cases by charities or voluntary groups. Our online search facility will tell you which organisation runs each nursery.
If you want a place in a private or voluntary sector nursery, you should contact the nursery directly to ask about their application process. Places in private nurseries are usually allocated on a first come first served basis but other criteria may apply in voluntary sector nurseries.
Out of School Childcare
Out of school childcare groups in Glasgow are all run by either the voluntary sector or private businesses. Our online search facility will tell you which organisation runs each out of school childcare group.
If you want a place in an out of school childcare group, you should contact the group directly to ask about their application process. Places in out of school childcare groups are usually allocated on a first come first served basis.
Am I entitled to a place in a nursery or out of school childcare group ?
Places in Nurseries for 3, 4 and some 2 year olds
In Scotland, all children aged 3 or 4 years old and some 2 year olds (https://www.scottishfamilies.gov.uk/NationalCategoryDetail.aspx?ncid=8) are entitled to a part-time, funded nursery place in either a Council nursery or in a nursery or playgroup which has a partnership contract with the Council.
It is not always possible to guarantee that this place will be in your first choice of nursery.
Funded places are for up to 16 hours per week (600 hours per year) and across all of the nurseries in Glasgow. These hours can be offered in a very wide variety of patterns to suit the needs of families.
If your child is offered a full day place, you can access a maximum of 8 funded hours per day/16 funded hours per week during term-time.
In Glasgow, children become eligible for places at the START of the term during which your child has his/her 3rd birthday. This means that parents in Glasgow can access their child’s funded place up to 5 months earlier (depending on child’s birth date) than the national entitlement for 3 year olds across Scotland.
This also applies in partner nurseries and playgroups. Funding will be applied per session i.e in blocks of 3 hours 10minutes per day.
Places for Children under 3
There is no entitlement to nursery places for children under 3, other than for those 2 year olds who meet the criteria set out in the Children & Young People’s Act 2014.
Glasgow City Council provides a high number of nursery places for children under 3 but these are popular and a priority criteria is used to allocate the places.
Most private nurseries and some voluntary sector groups also provide places for children under 3. There are currently no funded places available for children under 3 years old in partner nurseries or playgroups.
Out of School Childcare
There is no entitlement to out of school childcare and it is not currently available in all schools.
Our online search facility will tell you where your local out of school childcare services are and will also give you information on which schools they cater for.
I want to defer my child’s entry to school – is my child entitled to a nursery place ?
Nursery Places for children deferring entry to Primary School
Children should start school in the year during which they have their 5th birthday. This means that some children may be younger than the majority of their classmates when the school year starts in August and may or may not be ready to get off to a good start in Primary One.
If your child’s birthday is in January or February and you feel he/she is not ready to start school as they will still only be 4 years old at the start of the term in August, then you are automatically entitled to a further funded year (16 hours per week/600 hours in total) in nursery.
If your child’s birthday is between the start of term in August and the end of December, you can still choose to defer their school start date but you are not automatically entitled to a funded place and charges may apply.
The nursery or playgroup can offer advice on whether your child is ready or not and can help you with the deferred entry application process. More information on deferred entry to primary school can be found here. (link)
I live in Glasgow but I want a nursery place in another local authority area. Is my child entitled to a place ?
It is up to the other local authority to decide whether they will offer nursery places to Glasgow children either within their own nurseries or within their partner nurseries. The majority of local authorities do allow this but like Glasgow, will give priority to children living in their own area first.
Glasgow City Council does not purchase nursery places for children in other local authority areas.
I don’t live in Glasgow – is my child entitled to a nursery place ?
Where we have availability, Glasgow City Council offers nursery places in its own and in our partner nurseries and playgroups to families who don’t live in Glasgow. In the first instance however, priority is given to Glasgow residents.
How do I find out the balance on my nursery account ?
You can access this information by calling 0141 287 3080 / Option 2: Early Years / Option 2: Invoicing
What will a nursery or out of school childcare place cost me ?
Costs for Children in Funded Places
In Council run nurseries, if your child is aged 3 or 4 or is an eligible 2 year old and you only need up to 16 hours per week for your child, there will be no cost for the place – other than a small charge (26p) for a daily snack.
If you need more than 16 hours per week in a Council nursery, then charges will apply for the extra hours. You will also have to pay for any meals (breakfast or lunch) that your child has in nursery as well as daily snacks. Depending on your circumstances, you may be eligible for a reduced charging rate.
Parent Pack 2017/18
Free School Meals
Families who meet the Free School Meal criteria can have free meals for their children in Glasgow City Council nurseries. For more information on how to apply go to Glasgow City Council Website or telephone : 0141 276 1177
Many private nurseries and voluntary playgroups in Glasgow work in partnership with the Council to provide funded places for 3 and 4 year olds for up to 16 hours per week (600 hours per year).
Any available Council funded places will be offered first to children living in Glasgow and priority is given to pre-school children (4 year olds) if there are more applications than places available.
Our online search facility will tell you which private nurseries and playgroups have a partnership contract with the Council.
You should contact the nursery or group directly to find out whether they have funded places available and whether any additional charges will apply.
If your child is under 3 and NOT entitled to a funded 16 hour place, then charges will apply for all hours attended within a Council nursery. Depending on your circumstances, you may be eligible for a reduced charging rate. You can find more information on our charges here.
Partner nurseries and playgroups do not currently provide funded places for eligible 2 year olds.
The cost of out of school childcare varies from service to service. Some services charge a sessional rate, some charge a daily rate and some charge a weekly rate. The average weekly rate currently is around £50 per week.
You should contact the out of school childcare group directly for information on their charges. Click here to use our online search facility.
What do I do if I am having problems finding a nursery or out of school childcare place for my child?
The GFIS can offer you more information and support in finding a childcare service that suits your needs. They can talk to you about your needs, help you with understanding the nursery admissions process and may be able to offer advice or ideas around other forms of childcare for you to consider.
I’m concerned about a childcare service – who should I talk to ?
In the first instance, where possible, you should always talk to the Head or Manager of the service about your concerns. They may be able to resolve them quickly and easily and will be happy to confirm their Complaints Procedure if required.
If they cannot help with your concern, all childcare services are regulated by the
and you may want to contact them.