Registering your Child for Early Learning and Childcare

Find out how to register your child for Early Learning and Childcare (ELC), change an existing placement, request an additional year of ELC or view common FAQ's.

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Registering your child for Early Learning and Childcare

To apply for a funded Early Learning & Childcare (ELC) space you will need a copy of your child's birth certificate and, from January 2024, a proof of address letter.

Children born between 1st March 2020 and 28th February 2021 are eligible for funded ELC in the academic year starting August 2023.

  • To make a late application please complete the 2023-24 application form found on our useful documents page. Please take this directly to your first choice ELC setting, with your child's birth certificate. 

Children born between 1st March 2021 and 28th February 2022 are eligible for funded ELC in the academic year starting August 2024.

  • You should apply for this ELC space online between 22nd January and 28th January 2024

You do not need to make an application during registration week for any child already attending a funded 2 year old ELC placement, who will remain at the same ELC setting. You should apply in the case of a change of ELC setting.

Any applications received from the Monday after the registration week for your child's date of birth, are a late application. This means the application will get lower priority if the ELC setting is oversubscribed. Applications cannot be accepted without clear copies of the required documents. 

Frequently Asked Questions & Advice

Read our Frequently Asked Questions

If you have any queries, and our useful documents page hasn't helped, please contact Early Years: Email or Tel 01369 708503.

Changing an existing placement

  • If you wish to change/cancel your child's funded ELC placement please provide 4 weeks written notice to all ELC settings involved (this can be via email).
  • 4 weeks notice can only be accepted if both ELC settings involved are open and not on holiday.
  • 4 weeks notice can not be given in February & March due to the registration process of new applications (changes can still take place where notice was given by 31st January). 
  • A change includes: increasing/decreasing hours, changing ELC setting, starting/stopping a blended placement, leaving an ELC setting.
  • If you are unable to give 4 weeks notice due to unforeseen circumstances you must seek approval from Early Years, explaining the extenuating circumstances surrounding your request.
  • New applications do not need to be made for a change of ELC setting, even where this is from the following August - please do not use the online registration form.

Cross boundary applications

  • A parent who lives in the Argyll and Bute Council area who wishes to access ELC in another authority should contact that local authority to apply.
  • A parent who lives in another local authority area and wishes to access ELC in Argyll & Bute Council, should apply during registration week. Afterwards late applications should be made directly to your chosen ELC setting.
  • All cross boundary requests go through a funding approval process involving the local authority you are resident in, so are subject to longer timescales for approval.

Additional year of ELC

If your child is still age 4 on the day they would usually start primary 1 (P1), you’ve got the right for them to start primary school the following year instead, when they’re 5.

Children who have their fifth birthday between March and the first day of the school year, are due to start school in August.

Who is eligible?

All children with birth dates between the second day of term in August and the end of February, are automatically entitled to receive an additional year of funded ELC and enter P1 the August after instead.

Applications for an additional year of funded ELC for children with birth dates between 1st March and the first day of term in August, will only be granted in cases warranting this at the discretion of Early Years. 

When do I need to decide/apply?

You need to indicate that you wish to apply for this additional year of ELC on the online P1 application form, during P1 registration week in January 2024.

Further Information

You can speak directly to your child’s keyworker to help make a decision on what is best for your child. You can also visit 


  • ELC provision has no entitlement to transport.
  • We are not obliged to provide transport, however we recognise the unique rural nature of Argyll and Bute therefore transport may be available in exceptional circumstances.
  • Following registration, parents who have exceptional transport difficulties should contact Early Years.
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