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30 Funded Hours at ESMS Nursery

By admissions at ESMS School

We have exciting news to share! From August 2022, ESMS Nursery will be in Partnership with the City of Edinburgh Council to support the delivery of 1140 hours of funded early learning and childcare (ELC).

What does this mean for parents?

This means that, from the start of the 2022/23 term in August, parents of children aged 3 and 4 can benefit from 1140 hours of Early Learning and Childcare funding a year. This equates to 30 hours of funded childcare a week, during term time, from 8.30am to 2.30pm, Monday – Friday and includes a hot lunch in our bespoke early years dining facility. The funded hours are available starting the term after your child’s third birthday and does not apply to Wraparound care. There are some caveats to the funding, so please contact our Admissions Manager, Hannah Ireland (details below), who will help you confirm whether you are eligible.

What is ESMS Nursery like?

We pride ourselves on creating a happy, caring environment where your children can thrive. Children spend their days exploring and having fun in light and airy playrooms.  Our highly qualified teachers and practitioners take the time to get to know every child, helping them to grow into well-rounded, confident young people with good hearts and strong values. But don’t just take it from us…

“I'm always amazed at parents' evenings how well staff know him. He has met some lovely friends and he skips into nursery every day and comes home happy each afternoon”

Laura McOscar, ESMS Nursery Parent

What makes ESMS Nursery different?

At ESMS Nursery, our children experience the extraordinary! The ethos in the Nursery is creative and hands-on, and our staff make the Nursery a very special place to be. We keep our teacher and pupil ratios small, and we take the time to build strong relationships with every child so that we get to know them personally and understand how to support and nurture them.

We are home to the largest outdoor play space of any Nursery in Edinburgh. Our children spend their days exploring the acres of forest on site, and all have the chance to take part in our Forest Kindergarten initiatives. These take place outdoors in specially developed wild areas of our extensive school grounds and are supported and encouraged by one of our many trained Forest Kindergarten leaders.

Our relationship with the ESMS Junior School also sets us apart and provides endless opportunities for the Nursery children to learn from our specialist Music, PE and Digital Learning teachers in the Junior School. This allows us to gently introduce children to a range of new experiences which are then built upon as they move through school. The Nursery children are just across the corridor from the Primary 1 classes, meaning that the exciting progression from Nursery to Primary 1 takes place in a familiar environment.

Are there wraparound childcare options outside nursery hours?

Absolutely! Our Wraparound care, e-Plus, gives you access to plenty of flexible childcare. You are covered from 7.45 am until 6.00 pm, five days a week and during holidays. You can opt-in and out whenever suits you, and children can use a combination of wraparound services, and with Holiday Club you can be reassured that almost 50 weeks of care is available. For more information or to ask a specific question regarding your family's needs, please contact our e-Plus Manager on 0131 347 5844/

Our Nursery also offers an Extended Nursery Day, where parents can pay for their child to enjoy an extra hour of play in the Nursery rooms from 2:30-3:30 pm. This option must be booked for all five days a week and for the whole year. To find out more or to book your child a place, please contact our Junior School Reception 0131 347 5777 or

How do I find out more?

The best way to get a feel for what we do here is to come and meet us, take a look around our wonderful facilities, and speak to our teachers yourself.

To find out more about our Nursery and the funded hours, you can contact our Admissions Manager, Hannah Ireland, who would be delighted to answer any questions you might have and arrange a personal tour:

We look forward to welcoming you soon.


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