Schools & Education

all you need for relocation to scotland: edinburgh

Nursery schools in Edinburgh 

From the age of 3, children in Scotland are entitled to free pre-school nursery education (run by councils).

A pre-school education place is usually 5 sessions per week, each session lasting 2 ½ hours (morning or afternoon), for 38 weeks of the year. 

If, until your child was 3, he or she attended a private nursery, check if they were a partner provider for The City of Edinburgh Council (applies to other local authorities as well). It is important as parents of all eligible children attending the pre-school nursery will receive grant money from the council – normally every 3 months.



Your child's eligibility for pre-school nursery depends on their birthday: 

•If your child turns 3 between 1 March and 31 August they will be entitled to pre-school education from Term 1 (August)

•If your child turns 3 between 1 September and 31 December they will be entitled to pre-school education from Term 2 (January)

•If your child turns 3 between 1 January and the last day in February they will be entitled to pre-school education from Term 3 (April).

For instance, a child aged 2 in October 2013 would be entitled to join a pre-school nursery run by the council in January 2014.


Applying for a place at nursery

Contact the council nursery school directly to place your child’s name on a waiting list as soon as after his/her 2nd birthday.

warning-32.png Nursery schools are not managed by catchment area, so although you are free to choose city-wide (subject to availability), do bear in mind that placement in a primary school will be based on your home address.

Put differently, pupils who attend a nursery school are not guaranteed a place in the primary school where the nursery school also is, if they do not live within the primary school's catchment area.


Pre-school nurseries in my area

To find pre-school nurseries  near your area, visit the Scottish Childcare website.



The link to the Scottish Childcare website explains simply what you need to do to to secure a funded part-time pre-school education place.


School term dates

To find out about school term dates for 2014/2015 for Edinburgh and the Lothians visit our school term dates page.

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Schools & Education

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