Help with fees

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

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 2018/19, the annual amounts were: Edinburgh Council: £2,280 per year and Midlothian Council: £2,200 per year.

There are a limited number of places in each 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

We now offer term time placements for children of any age. You would book your weekly set sessions and would not be charged outwith your term time dates (unless you booked extra sessions which are available as required).

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.

Basic-rate taxpayers can pay for up to £243 of childcare with vouchers each month (£55/week). This is per parent, so two working parents could get £486 of vouchers each month. (This also applies to higher/top-rate payers who joined before 5 April 2011, as long as they don't take a break from the childcare voucher scheme of more than 12 months.)

There is a handy online calculator available to decide if you would be better to use childcare vouchers or tax credits. Click here.

* From April 2018 Childcare Vouchers will no longer be available to new parents signing up, the Tax Free Childcare scheme has take over from the Childcare Vouchers for all new parents. Please go to Tax free childcare information.

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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