East Lothian Council

Nursery school places

Apply for a nursery place

Childrens slide

Local Authority nurseries

To apply for a place in a local authority nursery you should complete a nursery application form, around the time your child turns two years old.  The nursery application form is also available from any East Lothian nursery school/class.

You will be asked to list, in order of priority, up to three nursery choices.  The completed form should be submitted to your first choice nursery.  Nursery location and contact details can be found in our directory of nursery schools and classes.

Please note that all local authority nursery applications for August 17 must be received by 28 April 2017.

Partner provider centres

The following provide nursery education on behalf of the Council.  Contact the provider directly for further information.

  • Private day nurseries that are in partnership with the local authority offer pre-school education and childcare.
  • Community childcare centres.
  • Independent School nursery classes.

Choosing a nursery

Arrange a nursery visit

You may wish to visit a few nurseries before making a final decision on where to apply to.  You should phone in advance to make an appointment, as this will ensure staff have time to talk to you and answer your questions.

To find contact details of the places you would like to visit, search our directory of nursery schools and classes.

What our nurseries offer

Nursery education is about learning, playing, exploring and having fun.  Your child will be encouraged to do all these things with friends and on their own, choosing from a wide range of experiences and activities.

Staff are trained to create opportunities for play and learning to help your child's all round development.  They are skilled in talking sensitively to children.  By getting to know your child well, staff work with parents and carers to lay the foundations for learning.

Curriculum for Excellence

Throughout Scotland, children from 3-18 will experience learning through the Curriculum for Excellence.  All centres listed will be implementing this curriculum, to enable children to become successful learners.

A personal learning plan is the method used to support your child's progression and development in these areas.  Staff will encourage your contributions and engagement in this process.  This will support a smooth and seamless transition into primary school for your child.

Find out more about Curriculum for Excellence.

Which nursery can my child attend?

There are no catchment area restrictions for nurseries. This means that you can send your child to any nursery in East Lothian, if a place is available. 

Provision of a nursery place in a particular school does not influence the availability of a place in that school.

Partner Provider Centres are not run by the Council but have been commissioned by us to provide pre-school education.

If you take a place at a Partner Provider Centre, you will be able to receive a contribution towards your fees depending upon the number of sessions your child attends. Funding for the place is paid directly by the Council to the Partner Provider on a termly basis. You do not need to apply for funding. The Partner Provider will do this and can explain in more detail.

Additional support needs

All local authority nurseries and Partner Providers have places for children with additional support needs. If your child has additional support needs, you should discuss the level and nature of these needs with the head teacher or centre manager, to ensure that your child receives the support required to make the most of their time in nursery. 

Early Years and Childcare Team

Resources and People Services, John Muir House, Brewery Park, Haddington, EH41 3HA

Telephone: 01620 828786/820186

Fax: 01620 827291

East Lothian Council, John Muir House Brewery Park Haddington East Lothian EH41 3HA.