Information for the registration of children - school session 2023/2024

All children who will be 3 years of age before the 1 March 2023 are entitled to a nursery place during school session August 2023 until June 2024.

The funding eligibility dates for school session 2023/2024 are:

  • Children who will be 3 years of age between 1 March 2023 and 16 August 2023 may start nursery from 17 August 2023
  • Children who will be 3 years of age between 17 August 2023 and 29th of February 2024 can start nursery the month after their 3rd birthday
  • The Cross Boundary Protocol will apply to parents applying for a nursery place to West Dunbartonshire Council from another Local Authority. This applies to Funded Partner Providers only

If your child will be eligible for a nursery placement in session 2023/2024 you should complete and submit your first choice council nursery establishment or partner provider nursery who provides a service for the council no later than Thursday 30 March 2023. The majority of Council nursery places or funded places in partner provider centres will be allocated just after Easter, for the session beginning in August 2023. Applications received after the 30 of March 2023 will be considered as late applications.

Letters notifying parents/carers of nursery placement decisions will be issued in May 2023.

For children residing within West Dunbartonshire, places will be allocated in accordance with the following priority criteria:

  • Priority 1 - Child Protection, Prevention, Looked After and Additional Support Needs
  • Priority 2 - Any child born August to February, whose parent wishes to defer their entry to primary school
  • Priority 3 - Pre-school children within their allocated community as indicated by address
  • Priority 4 - Ante pre-school children within their allocated community as indicated by address
  • Priority 5 - Admission will be given to children out with West Dunbartonshire whose parents make a request for this through the cross boundary protocol 

All services offering statutory early learning and childcare places will follow the council procedures/policy to ensure uniformity in the allocations process across the authority.

The admissions process will take place each year for the allocation of nursery places for the following academic year. Where an establishment has more applications than capacity a laid down procedure will be followed for balloting of places.

The nursery IT system (NAMS) will be used to facilitate the allocation of nursery places.

For further information on early learning and childcare provision including partner providers visit the ELC for 3 and 4 year olds page.

Please visit the Frequently Asked Questions Admissions page.

Eligible 2 Year Olds

Early Learning & Childcare places are available for eligible 2 year olds. To check the criteria for eligibility and to find out how to apply visit the ELC for 2 year olds page.

Cross Boundary Applications

Parents and carers can ask a funded provider working in partnership with any named local authority to make a request to the host authority for cross boundary funding.

A cross boundary admissions panel meets very May to review funding requests submitted to host authorities before the end of February for the new session beginning in August. Any requests submitted after this date will be considered by individual authorities, throughout the year, on an individual basis.

Armed Forces Families

Children from armed forces families can have additional support needs related to moving into a new education setting and admission into school dates may differ across the UK. To support the needs of individual children we will be flexible in tailoring admission decisions to the best interest of children and in line with latest Scottish Government Guidance.


You can now apply online for a nursery place using the form below.

Apply for a Nursery place

Find out more information on early learning and childcare provision including partner providers and entitlement to early learning and childcare for 3 to 4 year olds.