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Children who are three years old are entitled to a place within an Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) setting.

At present all children who are 3 years old are entitled to 600 hours of free childcare from the term after they turn 3.   Entitlement to 600 hours is usually delivered during the school year.

The 600 hours entitlement of ELC equates to daily sessions of 3 hours and 10 minutes per day, during the school term. Usually parents / carers opt to spread this over 5 mornings or afternoons. More flexibility can be offered which will support longer days and different patterns of attendance.

When your child starts their funded nursery place depends on their date of birth. If between

  • 1 March and 31 August 2014, they start in August 2017 for the autumn term.
  • 1 September and 31 December 2014, they start in January 2018 for the spring term.
  • 1 January and 28 February 2015, they start in April 2018 for the summer term.

Nursery places for children younger than three are provided at full cost by private nurseries, unless you are eligible for free early learning and childcare for two year olds. Eligible children are entitled to 600 hours free childcare when they turn 2, you can find more information on ELCC Entitlement for 2 year olds

WDC works in partnership with private partner ELC providers and child-minders to provide high quality, affordable and accessible childcare. In certain cases families can be offered a place for their child with a private partner provider. These are called commissioned places. Details of the private partner ELC's are available in our directory. 

Further information is available in the Admission to ELCC in related links section.


You can now apply online for a nursery place using the form below.

Apply for a Nursery place

Find a nursery

You can search for Council run ELC's and Private Partner ELC's in our directory

Read nursery inspection reports (external link) on the Care Inspectorate website.