Your stories

We’ve had to move our daughter from her main nursery because it lost funding. We couldn’t get one with funding so picked a local one. It didn’t work as it made my commute too long. I’ve just started her in a nursery next to my work. The upheaval this has caused cannot be underestimated. My happy wee girl has been crying for a week. It has been so distressing – all because of a Glasgow City Council funding decision. She’d been at her original nursery for three and a half years. We are now only getting 3hrs funding a week. For the last school year it had been the full 15hrs. We’ve also had to pay 2 lots of deposits.

Parent, Glasgow


I live in South Lanarkshire where all children are funded and they work to  a process of funding goes to the child rather than the nursery. They told me they would also fund any children from outside the council boundaries. But I had to choose Glasgow for nursery as it’s very close to my work. My child’s nursery’s funding has been cut so it’s not a fully funded place and the nursery is effectively subsidising us.

Parent, South Lanarkshire


My grandson’s private nursery not receiving funded places from the council will most definitely result in my daughter-in-law reducing her working days/hours to make costs more reasonable, or else she may gave to give up work altogether.

Grandparent, Glasgow


My son had a funded place at a nursery in West Lothian. We moved house within West Lothian and moved nursery to keep travel time to a minimum in order not to extend what is already a long day for a 3 year old. We chose the only local nursery with opening hours which suited our working hours. To my surprise I found that funding would not be transferred and at the new nursery only 15 out of 70+ eligible children received funding. Since then our nursery has decided not to continue being a partnership nursery due to the costs and admin involved so now West Lothian has fewer than 10 partnership nurseries. We will lose out on approx £3500 over the 20 months when my son should have been eligible. Paying for childcare is crippling and it would have helped us hugely if if what was promised by the Scottish Government was being delivered by West Lothian Council.

Parent, West Lothian


My daughter’s nursery has just informed me Glasgow City Council has cut their pre school funding, which means am one of the few not to receive any. I feel totally penalised as a single parent, studying for a degree and working part time. I am doing everything possible I can to support my family financially so this is a total smack in the face. I have told them I will not move my daughter as her emotional and social well being is not being disturbed (they suggested I move her)! I will not rest till this decision is reviewed.

Parent, Glasgow


My child began receiving early years funding at her partnership nursery in April 2014. In June I was informed by the nursery manager that all funded places were to be withdrawn as of August. I contacted Glasgow City Council when I heard of this and was advised to seek an alternative place at a nursery that had been allocated funding. I had absolutely no wish to remove our child from the nursery where she has formed strong bonds with the staff and children, and where I have total confidence in the quality of care that she receives. I do, however, rely upon the financial help that the early years funding provides. We cannot practically use the half day, term time only places provided by many council run nurseries. There are seven council-run nurseries in our local area that offer full day places. Every one of them advised me that there are waiting lists for the full day places and I would have no guarantee of securing a place. The Childcare Information Service provided me with the details of all the partnership nurseries in my own postcode and the two adjoining postcodes. I contacted all thirteen nurseries listed and no suitable funded places were available.  It was also interesting to note that several of the partnership nurseries suggested to me as an alternative to our current nursery had exactly the same quality score from the Care Inspectorate.

Parent, Glasgow


We lived in Wales until July 2014 with our two children. Our three-year-old benefitted from the free hours at his private nursery in Chester and, given the ease with which we received these, we had no reason to think it wouldn’t be as simple when we moved home to Scotland. Upon calling pupil placement in West Lothian, we were told we couldn’t apply for a funded place at our choice of nursery (a private partner provider, as we need an institution that can cater for both our children during working hours) until two weeks before our move. We duly did this and were refused, despite the fact that the nursery had funded spaces available; West Lothian council refused to fund the private place as ‘council run nurseries had space’. Our one-year-old cannot be cared for by a council run nursery and we can’t physically be in two places at once to do drop off and pick up (and also split care between private and council providers to allow us to work!) Our son’s wellbeing whilst going through such a massive upheaval (new nursery, new house, new jobs for mummy and daddy) had to been given priority. Perhaps the most galling issue is the fact that after we were told the council would not fund our son’s place, a friend’s child was then offered a funded place at the same institution by the council – absolutely ridiculous! We are being crippled by childcare costs.

Parent, West Lothian


I don’t want to move my child from the nursery where he is settled and has close attachments to staff and other children. Nonetheless, when I was told we wouldn’t receive partnership funding I looked into places at other partnership providers who had been awarded the highest number of places by the council. Many of these nurseries didn’t have enough funding to go around but, what is worse, the highest ranked partnership nurseries in our local area were also the most expensive. To chase the funding would have meant us being £700-£2000 a year worse off. We haven’t found a suitable council place. We are staying put in the nursery where our child is happy, without the benefit of a funded place. I feel really let down by the government and the council.

Parent, Glasgow


My son has been at a reputable nursery for over 2 years and his education and happiness have been well looked after. My private nursery is also local but has only been awarded 14 places for all 3 & 4 year olds which is an absolute disgrace. Furthermore, the waiting list system for 1st, 2nd, 3rd choice nurseries is unacceptable and I still do not have a 15 hour placement for my 3 year old even though I was on a waiting list for over a year. I am very disappointed with how Scotland is treating working parents and their pre-schoolers. This needs to change.

Parent, Glasgow

7 thoughts on “Your stories

  1. I can’t believe these stories – so many families are missing out. These parents aren’t in this situation through their own bad planning, they can’t access free childcare because it’s not available. Free childcare should be available to everyone, just because you pay for it because you have to in order to work shouldn’t mean you end up as a low priority for what is meant to be an all inclusive policy.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have twin girls, the financial strain has been huge and at times overwhelming. I thought when they were three things would get better. I had a place for them at nursery and they were due to start in September. In August we were told the funded places had been cut, I now receive six hours per child not sixteen. It was too late to make other plans and we have the challenge of finding two places together.


  3. We have a 5 year old at school who we didn’t get funding for as Glasgow Council said the private nursery we use missed out on last run of funding. We are now in situation where our 3 year old at same nursery wont get funding either as council still refuses to fund nursery despite its hard work to achieve funding status. Upshot is that this time we may probably have to move child to get free place


  4. Our son is two and a quarter, we’re expecting our second child in august. I’ll be back at work in spring 2016, and we’ve just found out our son won’t be getting his free childcare hours at our glasgow partnership nursery. I changed jobs last year and condensed my hours so we could drop him from being in 4 days a week to 3 days to save money. Now It’ll will be 6 days a week we’ll need to pay for them both and we just don’t earn enough to pay both kids childcare and don’t know what we’re going to do. Council nursery is no good, opening hours are too short for our jobs, they don’t take under 3s which is no good for second child and waiting list huge. We both have ‘good jobs’ and still can’t afford it. It’s really stressful.


  5. Interesting that South Lanarkshire failed to provide figures for recent ‘half-days’ report (link included). Our 3yr old is at a South Lanarkshire nursery that currently operates a 2-tier system, where some kids are funded for 600hrs and some are funded for 1140hrs (early phase-in trials). Despite being told, before we applied, that the nursery does not operate a half-days system and there were spaces available in the 1140hrs trial, our wee one was allocated 600hrs on a half-day basis. Whilst appreciative of that, we’re concerned about a system that openly treats kids differently, at such an important developmental stage. Our concerns and complaints to nursery management, council officials, MSPs, etc., fell on deaf-ears.
    Just another SNP pledge causing issues before it’s fully implemented.


    1. Thanks Nigel. That does sound unfair, and really frustrating that you were told the wrong thing. Normally we’d advise you to contact your MSP but you’ve tried that – have you tried contacting the Director of Education at South Lanarkshire?


  6. My child currently attends a North Lanarkshire nursery as it is close to my work. NLC decided in March 2019 to pilot the 1140 extended hours from August 2019. In a document available to anyone from the ELC page (which I have downloaded) in April 2019 NLC stated that the 1140 trial would include cross boundary children currently in an NLC nursery Involved in the pilot. NLC also confirmed this to parents and the private nursery. On June 25th 2019 NLC said they might not offer it to cross boundary children and on the 28th said this would not apply. They have given no satisfactory answer as to why they have changed their mind. Terrible treatment to our young people. We are residents in south Lanarkshire.


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