From August 2022, any pre-school child with a birthday from the start of the school term until the end of February will be entitled to a funded deferred year in nursery or with a partner childminder, if requested.

It was confirmed that the Scottish Government would introduce legislation in this parliamentary session to entitle all children whose school start is deferred to access funded early learning and childcare in their deferred year.

Last year, to progress the implementation of this policy, five pilot authorities were funded to offer an additional year or funded early learning and childcare to all children who choose to defer entry to primary 1. These authorities were: Angus, Argyll and Bute, Falkirk, Scottish Borders and Shetland Islands.

Five additional authorities have been selected to receive funding to implement this policy from August 2022. These authorities will be: Aberdeen City, Clackmannanshire, Fife, Glasgow City and Stirling.

Contact your child's nursery for more information.

Generally, children in Scotland start school when they are aged between 41/2 and 51/2.  Their eligibility to start school depends on when their 5th birthday falls:

  • If your child’s 5th birthday is on or between 1 March and the day before the first day of school in August, your child will usually start school in the August of the year they turn 5.
  • If your child’s 5th birthday falls between the first day of school in August up until the last day in February, your child will usually start school in the August before they turn 5, however, you have the option to defer your child’s entry to school.

You will need to submit your deferral application to the local authority in which you live. Please let your Stirling ELC provider know you have applied to defer your child’s entry to school and if your application to your own authority has been successful.  Some local authorities may not be able to fund an additional year of early learning and childcare if you don’t meet their current criteria.

Last updated: Friday, October 29, 2021 4:17 PM