School nurseries

We have 31 nurseries as part of our primary schools. All of our settings will operate one of two models:

  • 38 weeks a year
  • 48 weeks a year

As nurseries do not operate catchment areas (unlike schools), parents can choose from any local authority setting offering the model they would prefer. Alternatively you can choose to take your funded hours with a funded provider, childminder or a blend of these options. This, along with the ability to choose provision that will run throughout the traditional school holiday periods, offers greater flexibility.

38 weeks

Children will attend longer days Monday to Thursday (6.5 hours) and Friday mornings (4 hours) during term times only – you can view the calendars for 2021/22 and 2022/23 online. A snack and lunch will be provided free of charge. Some settings may offer an additional snack at a low cost - this will be discussed directly with families.

Find out which of our settings are offering the 38 week model

48 weeks

Children will attend longer days (9.5 hours per day) either Monday and Tuesday and alternate Fridays, or Wednesday and Thursday and alternate Fridays. Hours will continue throughout the year except Christmas holidays and in-service days/ public holidays - you can view the calendar for 2022/23 online. A snack and lunch will be provided free of charge. Some settings may offer an additional snack at a low cost - this will be discussed directly with families.

Find out which of our settings are offering the 48 week model

The 48 week model has been calculated to accommodate any closures on a Friday/Monday due to public holidays with the hours being divided across the full year. This means that each child will receive their full entitlement of hours regardless of the days they attend.

Choosing a setting

The nursery you choose will determine which model of hours your child will receive.

Parents/carers can decide to choose an alternative setting if this is not their preferred pattern of hours and days but please note spaces will be limited in all our settings and you may not be able to secure an alternative place. Please wait until you have received your email with your allocated place before making your decision; we cannot make changes to allocation requests at this stage.

We recommend that you do not turn down your allocated place until you are sure you have provision in place either in an alternative council facility or with a private nursery, childminder or community group.

Find out more about applying for early learning and childcare.

You can choose to take your hours with more than one provider. 

Blended placements in council settings

What this will look like will depend on whether you are attending a council setting for 38 or 48 weeks per year.

  • For children attending 38 weeks - you would receive three full days (6.5 hours per day) at your council setting, and one 10 hour day with a funded provider over 40 weeks – either a partner nursery, childminder or playgroup.
  • For children attending 48 weeks - you would receive two full days (9.5 hours per day) at your council setting, and 
    • if your child attends on Monday/Tuesday at the council setting – up to 5 hours per week over 50 weeks or up to 25 x 10 hour sessions (250 hours) at the funded provider
    • if your  child attends on Wednesday/Thursday at the council setting – up to 4 hours per week over 50 weeks or up to 20 x 10 hours sessions (200 hours) at the funded provider

Some funded providers will offer different funding models, please contact them direct to find out the model offered before making your decision.

East Lothian Council’s model of funded blended placements cannot make adjustments for individual circumstances. The funded models offered are in line with the Scottish Government guidance which states that although funding follows the child this does not however, mean unfettered choice for parents. There is no expectation that local authorities or any individual provider will tailor bespoke packages for every individual child.

If you would like to request a blended placement, please refer to the blended models above, discuss this with your current funded provider and arrange to complete the necessary funding paperwork with them. 

Once the blended placement has been agreed and the funding paperwork submitted no change can be made to this placement during that term.

Placement changes will only be considered in exceptional circumstances such as a house move to another town or village outwith the funded provider's cluster.

Covid-safe models

Parents with older children may be aware that, before Covid, we offered nursery across morning and afternoon sessions. Due to the essential Scottish Government guidance and public health guidelines during Covid we had to alter how we work to ensure that we keep everyone in our settings safe. Offering two full days meant that we could ensure staff do not mix across bubbles and all resources are fresh for the new group of children - an approach that was been praised by public health officials. These arrangements remain in place. Find out more.