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2. Apply for an ELC place in a Council establishment or for funding to attend a partner establishment

Find out how to apply for an ELC place for a 3 or 4 year old child in a West Lothian Council establishment or for funding to attend a partner establishment.

We send letters to the parents/carers of all the children we know of in West Lothian, who have just reached 2 years of age, with information on our admissions system.

The Council's School Placement Panel has responsibility for deciding these applications.

Funded ELC for 3 and 4 year olds will increase from 600 hours per year to 1,140 hours in August 2020. We are phasing in increased entitlement and choice in preparation for August 2020. 

From August 2019 there are three ways children can access funded ELC.

1. Council nurseries To allow for the phased increase, council nurseries will offer a choice of four mornings (AM), four afternoons (PM) or two full day (2FD) placements and some will also be open for 50 weeks a year (closed Christmas school holidays) from August 2019.  We will no longer provide ELC on a Friday or wraparound care, but all children will be able to access more than the current 600 hours under the new times.  Some of our smaller village nurseries will offer four school days per week.  Please see 'Appendix 1' in the Guidance Notes for the opening times for each nursery.

2. Private partner nurseries You must apply to the council for funding first.  You arrange the hours and the council will pay the nursery.  Please see 'Appendix 2' in the Guidance Notes for the list of our current Private Partner Nurseries, this will be updated if/when further private nurseries qualify.

3. Childminders who are registered with the Scottish Childminding Association.  You must apply to the council for funding first.  You arrange the hours and the council will pay the childminder.  Please see 'Appendix 3' in the Guidance Notes for further details.

Before starting to complete an application form please carefully read both the pdf icon Pre School Admission - Policy and ​​​​​​​Procedure [60kb] and the pdf icon Early Learning & Childcare (3 and 4 year old) provision Admission -Guidance Notes [639kb] . As they explain the process of making decisions and provide a list of West Lothian Council and partner ELC establishments with details of provision times/days and contact details with contact details, as well as links to other sources of useful information on ELC placement applications, respectively.

What will I need to apply?

  • If you've moved home recently, please provide some proof of your new address, such as a recent Council Tax bill, a recent utility bill or a copy of a Child Benefit award letter sent recently to you at your new address.
  • If your child has not previously attended a West Lothian Council or partner ELC establishment, please provide a copy of your child's birth certificate.

How do I Apply?

The easiest way to apply is to use the 2. Early Learning & Childcare (ELC) 3 and 4 year old provision Application Form on-line form.

Alternatively, if you would prefer to complete a paper form, application packs are available from Pupil Placement, from West Lothian Council ELC establishments and from Council Information offices.

What happens to my application?

We will acknowledge your application and send you another letter, to inform you of the outcome of your application.

For August and January placements (children born between 1 March and 31 December), letters will be issued by the end of May.  For April placements (children born between 1 January and 28 or 29 February), letters will be issued by the end of February.