Help with fees

Here are a funding options and government initiatives about how you can get help with your childcare fees.

The funding rate set for 2021/22 is £5.60 per hour and each eligible child is entitled to receive a maximum of 600 hours funding per year - the total annual funding available is £3,360.

The maximum number of hours that can be funded in a week is 16. The minimum funded hours per day is 3hrs 10min and the maximum funded hours per day is 8 hours.

The funding period starts on 12th August 2021 - if a child starts after that date, funding will be pro rata. Likewise, if a child attends for less than 16 hours in a week, funding will be pro rata.

For further information, please click here

The Scottish Government is committed to expanding the provision of funded Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) for eligible 2 year olds and all 3 and 4 years olds. (Eskbank, Lasswade & Penicuik nurseries only, as its Midlothian council)

This expansion will increase the entitlement from 600 hours each year to 1140 hours from August 2020. The expansion prioritises a high quality experience for each child, recognising the significant contribution that universally accessible ELC can make to a child’s development.

For further information please click here

Pinocchio's partnership agreement with their local councils means you can save money on your fees through grant funding.  This funding commences the first school term after your child's third birthday and is for 600 hours. 

In 2019/20, the annual amounts were: Edinburgh Council: £2,340 per year and Midlothian Council: £2,700 per year.

There are a limited number of places in our Eskbank nursery for 16 funded hours per week, for 38 weeks of the year as per nursery schools. As this would be fully funded, there would be no additional fees to pay. The nursery sessions would be for example: 3 afternoons per week: 2 sessions from 1pm to 6pm and 1 session 12pm-6pm. Please contact the nursery to check availability

16 funded hours per week for early learning and childcare are now available for children who are 2 years old in Midlothian who meet specific criteria. The nursery sessions would be for example: 3 afternoons per week: 2 sessions from 1pm to 6pm and 1 session 12pm-6pm. Please contact the nursery to check availability. Which would be fully funded, at no cost to the parent. 

The children must be looked after or the parent or carer is in receipt of out of work benefits—in particular:

  • Income support
  • Job seekers allowance (income based)
  • Employment Support Allowance (income based)
  • Incapacity benefit or severe disablement allowance
  • Pension credita

Tax credits are payouts made regularly by the government into bank accounts to support those with children or in work but with a low income. They're paid via the tax office and anyone aged over 16 who normally lives in the UK can apply to get them.

There are two types of tax credits. You can be eligible for none, one or both: Child Tax Credits -anyone with children, whether working or not, could be eligible. Working Tax Credits - anyone who works, whether they've got children or not, could be eligible. Remember to inform HMRC of your childcare costs when you do so.

There is an online calculator to help you calculate how much you may be entitled to. Click here.

Tax-free childcare is a digital service to help parents pay for childcare. For every £8 a parent pays into their childcare account, the government will add an extra £2. Parents can then use that money to pay their childcare provider.

If you would like to find our more about this service you can visit or you can call them on 0300 123 4097.

Pinocchio's Children’s Nurseries are a group of 5 award winning children's nurseries across Edinburgh & Midlothian.

We currently have purpose built day nurseries in Eskbank, Lasswade, Penicuik, Heriot Watt and Gilmerton.

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