Early Learning and Childcare

Early Learning and Childcare funding

The 1140 government funded hours per year can be used flexibly from 8am-6pm, Monday – Friday term time and throughout our holiday clubs (please refer to our calendar for dates).

Management will discuss this during enrolment in February, to advise and support your choice. Placements will then be confirmed but can be changed if required prior to your child starting should your needs change during this time. Once your child starts attending their allocated hours, any changes must be put in writing to the Centre Manager. Any hours over and above the number of government funded hours confirmed when your child starts, will be charged at the current childcare rate.

Entry date for Early Learning and Childcare

Your child will receive a funded place for Nursery in the term after his/her third birthday. If your child is three before the end of February, he/she may start after the Easter break. Any children with birthdays after 1st March may start, in August. Please note that children who start after Easter will move into their second year of their preschool education in August.

Children born in January or February, have the option to attend a further ‘advantage year’. This can be discussed with staff throughout your child’s time with us. The above regulations comply with current government legislation.

Although funded entitlement is not available until the term after a child’s 3rd birthday, children can register for childcare immediately after their 3rd birthday.

An hourly rate will be charged unless your child is eligible for the government funded Early Learning and Childcare.

Childcare fees are as follows:   £4.50 per hour, charged per half hour after the first hour.

Gaelic Medium Education

We offer a Gaelic language learning experience, as part of our Early Learning and Childcare. Parents therefore have the option of enrolling for English or Gaelic medium Early Learning and Childcare, or can opt to do both, if spaces allow.  There is an option for your child to continue with Gaelic Medium Education through into Primary school at Glen Urquhart Primary should this be something you wish to do.


Play is central to the Learning day. Children are encouraged to make their own choices and independently find; use and return the resources they require from the range available to them within the learning environment. Activities vary from day to day so that there is always something fresh and new to interest the children. All play activities offered to the children have an underlying educational purpose. Play is the process and means by which things are taught and children learn.

So why play?

  • Through play the mind and body are stimulated and active.
  • It is pleasurable and enjoyable which in turn will help to motivate the children.
  • It helps build self-confidence.
  • It allows the child to tackle new experiences in a familiar situation.
  • It can provide an escape, relieve boredom, allow for relaxation and the opportunity for solitude.
  • It helps the child to develop social skills and develop perceptions about other people.
  • Skills can be practiced and repeated as many times as is necessary for confidence and mastery.
  • Opportunities for sensory experiences which are the foundation of intellectual development are provided.
  • It provides reasons children can understand for acquiring skills and knowledge adults value.
  • Play creates context for language development.