All children who will be 3 years of age before 1 March 2021 are entitled to a nursery place during school session August 2021 until June 2022, some before depending on birth date and availability of places.

The funding eligibility dates for school session 2021/2022 are:

  • Children who will be 3 years of age between 1 March 2021 and 16 August 2021 may start nursery on 17 August 2021. Some children will be placed earlier in line with our policy for admissions.
  • Children who will be 3 years of age between 16 August 2021 and 28 February 2022 can start nursery the month after their 3rd birthday.
  • Most parents applying to West Dunbartonshire Council from another Local Authority (Cross Boundary Protocol will apply); the child’s entitlement can start the month after their 3rd birthday. Except those who are 3 years between March and August. Those children will take their entitlement in August. The Cross Boundary Protocol applies to parents taking funded places at Partner Providers.

In the lead up to full implementation of the statutory duty to provide 1140 hours for all three and four year olds and eligible 2 year olds parents In West Dunbartonshire are free to apply for a place at any time of year. The majority of Council nursery places or commissioned places in partner provider centres will be allocated just after Easter, for the session beginning in August 2021.

If your child will be eligible for a nursery placement in session 2021/2022 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 Friday 2 April 2021.

Letters notifying parents/carers of nursery placement decisions will be issued following the Spring break.

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 January to February, whose parents have exercised the right to defer 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 resident out with West Dunbartonshire whose parents make a request for this

All children will be entitled to at least 4 terms of early learning and childcare with some older children being entitled to a maximum of 6 terms. All services offering statutory early years 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.

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


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.