Childcare for children aged two to four
In Scotland, all three- and four-year-olds, and eligible two-year-olds, can get 1,140 hours of funded early learning and childcare each year.
Funded childcare with Stirling Council
Funded places can be at a Stirling Council nursery, a private, voluntary, or independent nursery, or with a childminder who has a partnership contract with Stirling Council.
Free childcare places for two-year-olds
The Scottish Government funds free childcare places for eligible two-year-olds. To be eligible, the parent or carer of the child must receive at least one of the following:
- income-based Job Seekers Allowance
- Income Support
- Employment and Support Allowance
- Incapacity or Severe Disablement Allowance
- State Pension Credit
- Child Tax Credit but not Working Tax Credit — and your income is £18,725 or less
- maximum Child Tax Credit and maximum Working Tax Credit — and your income is £8,717 a year or less
- Universal Credit — and have household take-home pay of £726 a month or less
- support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
It’s also available where the child:
- is looked after by the local council
- is the subject of a Kinship or Guardianship Order
- has a parent who was in care as a child
- has a parent who is supported by the Family Nurse Partnership
We provide several nursery places for children under age three. These are popular, so we apply an admissions policy to ensure fairness. It’s not always possible to guarantee that we’ll be able to offer your child a place in your preferred nursery.
For more information, contact the participating nursery directly.
Stirling Council nurseries
Most private nurseries and some voluntary sector groups also provide places for children under age three. Contact them directly for more information.
For details of childminders that offer free childcare for children under three, contact Kelly Eckley of the Scottish Childminding Association.
Telephone: 01786 445 377
Childcare for three- and four-year-olds
All children aged three and four are eligible for 1,140 hours of funded childcare each year.
Paying for unfunded childcare
If your child needs more than 1,140 hours of childcare each year, you’ll have to pay for the excess yourself.
From August 2023 the hourly charge for any unfunded hours at a Stirling Council nursery is £4.10 - a 5-hour session is £20.50 and 10 hours costs £41.00. Private nurseries set their own charges.
Your employer might be able to help you with approved childcare costs using childcare vouchers or schemes. There’s more information about support for childcare costs on the Gov.uk website.
How to apply for childcare
- Contact your first choice of nursery or childminder and ask them for an application form.
- Fill out the form with the hours and days you want your child to attend. You'll also be asked for a second and third choice of nursery as your first choice might not be available.
- Return the completed form to your first choice of nursery. If they can’t help you, they’ll forward your request to your second choice.