claimFree early learning and childcare places are available throughout Scotland for all three and four-year-old children and some two-year-olds who qualify.

If you are looking to find a place for your child, it’s best to contact your local council or family information service. Local councils are responsible for making places available in your area.

You can either visit their website or call their main switchboard and ask to be transferred to the right department. On most council websites, you’ll find the information by searching ‘early learning’ or ‘childcare’. Or you can often find information under ‘Education’ or ‘Schools’.

You can also find contact information for your local Family Information Services on the Scottish Families Information Service website.

Nikki says; ‘The hours Max spent at nursery gave us both time to focus on our studies and get work done. It allowed me to complete an Access to Nursing course and I’ve been accepted to go on to do a full-time nursing degree at Dundee University this September. As a relatively young mum, the time without Max has allowed me to do something for me, to develop myself more, and knowing that Max was having a great time in nursery was an essential part of this.

Nikki Campbell, 26 from Glenrothes, in Fife

Read the full case study >

It may also be possible to approach local early learning and childcare providers and ask them about a place for your child. They may be able to provide more information on how to apply for a free place, or who to speak to at the council.

You can find more information on starting and stopping dates for early learning and childcare here.