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Early learning and childcare establishments (ELC)

How to apply for a nursery place for a 2 year old

Find out how to apply for an early learning and childcare place for a 2 year old and if your child qualifies for a free place.

Do you qualify for free early learning and childcare?

You can get free early learning and childcare if your child is 2 and you get one of these benefits:

  • Income Support (IS)
  • Job Seeker's Allowance (income based)
  • any income related element of Employment and Support Allowance
  • Incapacity or Severe Disablement Allowance
  • State Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit (CTC), but not Working Tax Credit and your income is less than £16,105
  • both maximum CTC and maximum Working Tax Credit and your income is under £6,420
  • Support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • Universal Credit (you can claim this if your income is less than £610 a month)

Other qualifying criteria

You can also get free early learning and childcare place if your child is:

  • looked after by a local council
  • the subject of a kinship care order
  • the subject of a guardianship order
  • has additional support needs as assessed by psychological services

Priority groups

Parents of all 2 year olds can apply. Places are limited and are allocated in order of priority.

Priority groups
GroupDetailsFree place

Priority group 1

  • households where parents receive qualifying benefits
  • children considered to be in need of protection (including kinship care)
  • children with additional support needs assessed by psychological services
Priority group 2East Renfrewshire children who don't qualify under priority 1No. Current charges apply,
Priority group 3Children who don't live in East RenfrewshireNo. Current charges apply.

How to apply

word icon Nursery application form for 2 year olds [63kb]

When to apply

You can apply 2 months before your child's 2nd birthday. We'll process your application but your child won't start nursery until they are 2 years old.

Offer of nursery place

Your application will be assessed by an admissions panel. They take into consideration your child's age, where they live and any needs of the child or the family.

The panel meets monthly during term time. They allocate places in order of priority.

If you're offered a nursery place, we'll write to you to tell you. We'll also ask you to provide the following documents:

  • proof of child's age

  • proof of your current address

  • evidence of any benefits you get

Nursery start date

Your child will normally start at the term following their 2nd birthday.

Start dates

Child turning 2

Start date

Between 1 March and 31 August

August term

Between 1 September and 31 December

January term

Between 1 January and end of February

April term

Family centres

We have 6 family centres which provide early learning and childcare for 2 year olds.

Partner early learning and childcare providers

We work in partnership with private and voluntary providers. Your child could also be allocated a place with one of our partners.

Partnership early learning and childcare providers

Contact Early Learning and Childcare Team

0141 577 3288

Related information

How to apply for a nursery place for a 3 or 4 year old

Find other childcare providers in East Renfrewshire

Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014

Education Scotland inspection reports









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