Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) Registration - Frequently Asked Questions

Children born between 1st March 2018 and 28th February 2019 are eligible for funded Early Learning and Childcare from August 2021.

Due to Covid-19 ELC registration will take place online

To complete the online application, you will need to upload a picture of your child’s birth certificate/passport. If you think you will have any problems uploading a copy of your child’s birth certificate/passport please phone 01369 708503 and speak to an Early Years Staff member.

1.      Where can I found out information on what ELC is available in my area?

A full list of ELC settings across Argyll and Bute can be accessed by clicking on the link noted at the top of this document.

You should be familiar with what pattern of attendance your ELC setting offers and what you require prior to making your application.

This contains up-to-date information on all Funded Providers across Argyll and Bute, including indoor settings, Childminders and Outdoor Settings. The information covers topics such as individual setting Ethos/Vision, what funded hours they offer and links to their own service website/social media pages.

Please also feel free to contact your preferred ELC setting directly to discuss anything in relation to ELC e.g. funded hours.

2.      When can my child start their funded ELC hours?

If your child's birthday is on or between 1 March – 31 July: They will be eligible from August (autumn term) 2021

If your child's birthday is on or between 1 August – 28/29 February they will be eligible from the Monday following their 3rd birthday.

3.      Do I have to use all the funded hours?

No, the hours are an entitlement, not a requirement, so you can choose to take all or some of the hours available to you.

Further information on what hours each setting offers is available via the link noted at the top of this document.

You may also wish to discuss directly with your ELC setting prior to completing your online registration.

4.      Can I split my child’s funded ELC over more than one setting?

Yes, this is known as a blended placement.

 “The aim is that children experience consistent high quality early learning and childcare. This means consistency of relationships with staff and other children; and consistency of experiences”. Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 Early Learning and Childcare, Statutory Guidance.

However, a range of settings can also be beneficial for children and parents. Argyll and Bute Council will accommodate shared placements across 2 different providers across the week, where this meets the needs of the child and parents or carers.

The local authority has a strong expectation that ELC Providers will share information on attendance patterns and anything else that might have an impact on a child’s wellbeing, development and learning. This could be through visits, telephone contact, email or any other suitable means of regular communication.

Parents can expect to be kept informed of how ELC settings are sharing progress and working together to ensure continuity in learning and care for their child and, through their own active engagement, will have an important role to play in this.

5.      Can my child access his/her funded ELC a different authority?

Yes, a significant number of parents / carers are opting for this level of flexibility and choice to meet childcare and family requirements; in particular they are requesting early learning and childcare funding from a local authority that they are not resident in.

Further information is available via the link noted at the top of this document.

6.      Is transport provided for ELC?

ELC provision has no entitlement to transport, unless in exceptional circumstances. Further information is available via the link noted at the top of this document.

7.      Will there be a chance to visit the ELC setting both as a parent and a child?

If and when Covid-19 restrictions allow for this settings will be in touch with you with arrangements. If Covid-19 restrictions are not lifted individual settings will be in touch with you about individual, alternative arrangements for example virtual tours.

8.      There is additional information about my child that you need to know such as additional support needs, health information or allergies. How do you I let you know about this?

You will be contacted by the ELC setting following the registration period and will be able to discuss your child’s needs directly with the setting.

9.      Why do you need my email and phone number?

Your contact details will be used to communicate with you both prior to your child starting ELC and once they are enrolled. We will be able to advise you of any open days (depending on Covid-19 regulations), send you copies of the ELC handbook and communicate with you about any questions you may have about your child starting ELC. We will also use it to collect any additional information that we may need about your child’s health or additional support needs.

10.   What happens now that I have completed the online application form for ELC?

Your information will be shared with your chosen ELC setting to allow them to start planning for the new academic session. Settings will contact you to request further information about your child.

 11.   When will I receive confirmation that my child’s place is confirmed?

No later than May, following ELC registration. There are a number of processes that follow registration week, including ensuring there is sufficient capacity at the setting you have applied for and staffing levels are correct as per Care Inspectorate standards.

 12.   What happens if there are not enough spaces at my chosen setting?

Every effort will be made to meet your first preference but this will depend on the number of places that are available and on the priority given to applications. If there are not enough places at your chosen ELC setting a ballot will be held using the priorities of that setting. If you are unsuccessful in the ballot for your preferred provider, you will be offered another ELC place, with your 2nd or sometimes 3rd choice.

You will be kept up-to-date throughout this process.

 13.   I made a mistake on the form I submitted – what do I do?

Please phone 01369 708503 and speak to an Early Years Staff member who will be able to take the correct information and update your application. Please do not submit another application form.

 14.   What happens if I am unable to complete the online ELC application form?

Please either phone your preferred ELC setting or Central Early Years helpline: 01369 708503 and advice that you need to make an over the phone application. They will key your details directly into the online application form. A discussion may need to be had to confirm the best way for you to submit your child’s birth certificate/passport whilst also ensuring COVID-19 guidelines are met.