Applications for early learning and childcare hours in Aberdeen will open next week.
Parents and carers will be able to begin applying for places for their children for the 2021/22 session online from Monday, January 25 for council-run nurseries.
From August, parents and carers will now be able to access up to 1,140 funded hours of early learning and childcare (ELC).
Schools and nurseries across the region have been redesigned, refurbished and in some cases rebuilt to ready them for an increase in provision.
A requirement set down by Holyrood required local authorities to provide up to 1,140 hours of free childcare for all three and four-year-olds by August last year.
Parents were previously offered a maximum of 600 hours.
But the new rules were pushed back due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on construction projects.
Aberdeen City Council has confirmed it would be delivering the hours from August 2021.
Those who are applying for a place at an Aberdeen City Council nursery are asked to complete an online application with their child’s birth certificate and a photograph uploaded by February 18.
Any applications to a funded provider such as a childminder, playgroup or private nursery should be made directly to the provider.
Councillor John Wheeler, Aberdeen City Council’s education operational delivery convener, said: “As with our Primary 1 school places registration which is already underway, the use of online innovation for ELC applications means that parents and carers no longer have to attend in person at their preferred nursery setting.
“In addition to being convenient, the new process also helps ensure people’s safety while we contend with the coronavirus.
“Digital technology is one of several work strands we have embarked upon, including a bold £23 million investment in new nursery settings, as we build towards our ELC expansion that will see each child benefit from 1,140 hours of learning per annum.”
Parents will be asked to nominate their first, second and third preferred nursery choices for their children.
They will also have the choice of blended provisions for their funded hours, such as a nursery and childminder, or a nursery and private provider.
Aberdeen City Council has also been preparing for the expansion of funded hours by investing in renovating or building new nurseries across 27 different sites in Aberdeen, including building a new outdoor learning facility at Duthie Park and Hazlehead Park.
Parents and carers can apply for a place for their children online via https://www.aberdeencity.gov.uk/services/education-and-childcare/apply-nursery-school-place-202122