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Register for Early Learning and Childcare

From the start of the new term in August 2023 Cairn Primary School, Maybole and Gardenrose Primary School, Maybole will merge as part of the new Maybole Community Campus and will be named Culzean Primary School and Early Years Centre which will be located on the current Carrick Academy site. 

South Ayrshire Council is committed to providing a high quality early years experience for every child. Our Early Years Centres and Funded Providers offer a nurturing, caring and child friendly environment where practitioners follow national guidelines for the care and learning of children aged 0-5 years encouraging learning through play.

There are 35 early years centres in South Ayrshire; 5 standalone and 30 based in primary schools. There are currently 12 Funded Providers delivering early learning and childcare. Various patterns of attendance are offered across the authority offering around 30 hours a week during term-time, or around 22.5 hrs hours a week year-round.  The funded entitlement can be accessed in Local Authority Early Years Centres, Funded Providers or a blend of both.

When and How do I apply?

Early years registration is week of the 6th March 2023. Places for early learning and childcare are not allocated by school catchment areas. Applications can be made on line.

When will my child be eligible to start early learning and childcare?

4 Year Olds

If your child's date of birth is on or between 1 March 2019 and 29 February 2020

He/she will be eligible for a funded early learning and childcare place from August 2023

3 Year Olds

If your child's date of birth is on or between 1 March 2020 and 28 February 2021

He/she will be eligible for a funded early learning and childcare place as set out as follows:

1 March 2020 - 31 August 2020

from August 2023

1 September 2020 - 28 February 2021

The first Monday after their third birthday (unless a public holiday or in-service day)

For children with a DOB from 21 August -31 August funding can start from the day of their 3rd birthday.

Apply (August 2023 - July 2024)

To complete the application you may be asked for the following:

  • A scan or photo of:
  • Your child's birth certificate
  • Proof of residence (current council tax notice or recent utility bill)

Early Years Registration (3 to 5 years) August 2023 - July 2024

A separate application is required per child.

Please view this short video highlighting some key information for registration.

If you are unable to submit an on line application please contact your preferred Early Years Centre


Educational Services 01292 612162

Please note places are allocated according to our admissions priorities, below, and not on a first come first served basis. 

Applications for children who reside out with South Ayrshire Council : Children who live out with the boundary of South Ayrshire Council can make an application to a South Ayrshire Council Early Years Centre or Funded Provider.

Additional charges

Additional sessions/hours of early learning and childcare can be purchased for children aged 3-5 years and for children aged 2-3 years (South Ayrshire residents only), where space and staffing allows.

Places available for children aged 2-3 years are very limited and may only be available in our rural EYC's.

Information on how to apply and current can be found at Purchase of additional early learning and childcare.

Many of our Funded Providers offer wrap-around / extra hours and charge parents directly for this. Contact the individual funded provider directly for details of the costs.

Can I get help with childcare costs?

Assistance towards the costs of childcare may be available through Tax Free Childcare

Best Start

If you're in receipt of certain benefits and tax credits you may be eligible for a Best Start Grant Early Learning Payment. To apply call 0800 182 2222 or visit