The Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) Scheme provides early childhood care and education for children of pre-school age. Participation in a preschool programme provides children with their first formal experience of early learning, the starting-point of their educational and social development outside the home.

  • From September 2018, the ECCE scheme will be made available to all children over the age of 2 years and 8 months for two full programme years.
  • The ECCE scheme will operate with a single entry point in September,commencing September 2018. However, children eligible to start in Sept 2018 but whose parents would like them to delay until a later stage may so do. Just be aware that your child will then just be entitled to the balance of the 2 years free pre school.
  • All children within the relevant bracket will be entitled to 76 weeks of the scheme ( two 38 week programme years). The upper age limit on finishing the ECCE remains the same at 5years and 6 months.



Birth Dates for eligibility to ECCE:

Following announcements made in Budget 2018 the ECCE scheme will operate with a single entry point in September of each programme year( an ECCE programme year runs September- June.) Children eligible for entry in January 2018 and April 2018 can still enter at those entry points. Going forward there will be one entry point this will begin in September 2018. 

For further information contact us on 062 64200

ECCE and Children with Special Needs

In order to support children with a disability to access free pre-school, a major new programme of supports, the Access and Inclusion Model, has been introduced.

The Access and Inclusion Model (AIM) is a programme of supports designed to ensure that children with disabilities can access the Early Childhood Care and Education Programme in mainstream pre-school settings and can participate fully in the pre-school curriculum alongside their peers.

Please see the link below for a more detailed information :

Please contact us on : 062 64200 for further information.

ECCE Calculator