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Parents and carers - early learning and childcare expansion

Although the statutory entitlement for Early Learning and Childcare is 600 hours, families residing in Aberdeenshire can currently access up to 1140 hours at providers that have capacity. We are in partnership with childminders, playgroups and private nurseries. You can contact afis@aberdeenshire.gov.uk to find out about providers in your local area. We are reviewing capacity across the early years sector on an ongoing basis in line with COVID-19 guidance. Current COVID-19 restrictions may impact on how your child receives their hours.

The legal entitlement for families to access additional hours starts in 2020. Our expansion plans must be developed gradually. This will ensure provision continues to be high quality and that the roll-out works for both families and early learning and childcare settings.

Applications to settings for 600 hours will continue in the usual way. If additional hours are available at a setting, parents will be invited to put in a request for this. Requests will be subject to eligibility criteria, prioritising our most vulnerable children and families, where demand exceeds the number of places available.

Things to bear in mind:

  • As more than one third of children use partner providers, we will make sure additional hours can continue to be used in a range of settings
  • Parents will have the choice to apply for additional hours up to the 1140 hours per year. There is no legal requirement nor expectation to do so and we would like families to choose what works best for them 
  • We will continue to seek parents’ views, as the additional hours become available, in order to shape future provision in the best way possible

In the meantime, please email Earlyyears1140expansion@aberdeenshire.gov.uk if you have any questions.