Council Early Learning and Childcare Funding

Is your child turning 3 soon? From the age of 3 your child will be entitled to a funded nursery place for up to 30 hours per week. Some 2 year old children are also entitled to a funded place (please ask us about eligibility). The funding start date depends on their date of birth.



Your child does not need to go to council nursery in order to get into their catchment school, and parents/carers can choose between ELC settings whether this be private or council nurseries, according to the childcare hours they need to suit working patterns or preferences. Your child can receive the same high standard of Early Learning and Childcare in a private nursery setting, and robust transition arrangements are in place to ensure a smooth transition to P1. We have children attending Hopefield who go on to each of the schools in Bonnyrigg and Rosewell, so your child will be starting school with many familiar faces.

As a partner provider setting with Midlothian Council, we offer funded places for Good Time To Be 2 eligible children and all 3-5 year olds. You can claim 30 hours of funding with us each week (term time) or 22.35 hours of funding each week (51 weeks of the year). You can also split the funded place between us and council nursery to suit your working pattern. 51 week funding starts on 1st August for 22.35 hours per week and ends on 31st July the following year (22.35 hours x 51 weeks = 1140 hours total). Term time funding starts on the first day of the school year for 30 hours per week and finishes on the last day of the school year (30 hours x 38 weeks = 1140 hours total).

For more information on the 2020 expansion please visit

When your child is approaching their third birthday, we will ask you to complete a funding application form and provide us with a copy of your child’s birth certificate or passport to confirm eligibility. Once this is completed, our existing children are automatically allocated a funded place, which will reduce your nursery fees dramatically!

If you would like any more information about council funding, please message us on Famly.


We can help. Please contact us.

Tax Free Childcare for Working Parents

You can get up to £500 every 3 months (£2,000 a year) for each of your children to help with the costs of childcare.



You can get up to £500 every 3 months (£2,000 a year) for each of your children to help with the costs of childcare. If you get Tax-Free Childcare, the government will pay £2 for every £8 you pay your childcare provider. This is paid via an online childcare account that you set up for your child. You can get Tax-Free Childcare at the same time as the council funded/free childcare hours if you’re eligible for both.

For more information go to:

You may also be entitled to help with childcare costs through Tax Credits or Universal Credit.

To check your eligibility visit