If your child turns three between 1 March and 28 or 29 February, they are entitled to a free nursery place. Children can continue to have a nursery place until they start Primary 1.
Every child is entitled to 600 funded hours of early learning and childcare each full year they attend, but it is up to parents how many hours they use. In Orkney from August 2020 we are required by the Scottish Government to provide 1140 hours of early learning and childcare to 3 and 4 year olds and eligible 2 year olds. In 2019/2020 as part of our preparation for this we will be offering increased hours in some of the settings, parents will be asked to indicate how many hours they would like to use.
Most parents choose a nursery in their local parish or catchment area. You can also choose a childminder who is in partnership with the council to offer funded early learning and childcare. If you would like to use a nursery or setting that is not in your area, then please fill in a placing request.
Nurseries and childminders do deliver the hours differently. Further information on what each nursery setting or childminder offers is available from the 'Settings' page within the 'Related Links' section of this page.
During registration week some nursery settings invite children and parents for a visit and to meet staff, and some have an open day or evening. Please get in touch with your local setting to find out what they do. As it gets nearer to the time of your child’s start date, there will be more opportunities to visit the nursery and meet the staff, for example, coming along to a session, or having a home visit. Your nursery will let you know about these.
Parents are asked to complete a registration form for their child’s three year old year and return it to your local setting, or by email to Early Learning and Childcare.
Registration forms are available in PDF format from the 'Related Downloads' section of this page.
If your child is having a second year of nursery, you do not have to re-register them or fill in a registration form unless you would like to change settings.