Types of childcare

Council nurseries: nursery classes

Stirling has 18 nursery classes which operate within some of our primary schools. Nursery classes are term-time only and most operate within the hours of 8.30 am -4.00 pm. Most nurseries provide for 3-5 year olds, with some providing for 2-5 year olds. Please contact your chosen nursery for exact opening hours. All our nurseries offer flexible sessions, which include the option for your child to stay for full days over lunchtime. Please contact your chosen nursery for availability.

Council nurseries: standalone nurseries

Stirling has 12 standalone nurseries which operate in separate buildings from primary schools. Standalone nurseries operate on an extended year basis, closing for one week each at Easter and Christmas, and on bank holidays. Standalone nurseries vary in opening times between 8 am and 5.30 pm. Some standalone nurseries cater for 0-5years, while others cater for 2-5 years. Please contact your chosen nursery for age ranges and individual opening times.

Private partners: nurseries

Most of our private partner nurseries operate all year round and cater for children age 0-5 years. Usual opening hours are between 8 am and 6 pm although some open earlier and later than this. Some of our private nursery settings also offer out of school care provision. Please contact your chosen nursery for opening hours and out of school care enquiries.  

Third sector partners: community nurseries and playgroups

Stirling has 3 community nurseries and playgroups. All are open mornings only and during term time. One operates over 4 longer mornings, providing a lunchtime option. Most community nurseries and playgroups accept children from 2 ½-5 years. Some are run by parents, while others are privately owned. 

All nurseries require to be registered with the Care Inspectorate and are also inspected by Education Scotland


Playgroups provide part-time play for children aged between 2½ and 5 years, some  groups cater for younger children. Most are run by groups of parents, although some may be privately owned.

Playgroups rely on parents/carers who volunteer their services but all groups also employ at least one paid playleader and/or assistant.

Some playgroups have entered into partnership arrangements with us and are providing places for pre-school children and/or 3 year olds on a commissioned basis.

Playgroups require to be registered by the Care Inspectorate.  

Toddler groups

Toddler groups provide opportunities for parents and carers (including childminders) and children to meet together to play, share experiences, offer mutual support and to take part in joint activities.

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