What is the ECCE free pre-school year?
The Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) Scheme provides a free year of early childhood care and education for children of pre-school age.
The scheme is offered for 3 hours a day, 5 days a week, 38 weeks of the year.
All children are entitled to 2 full academic years on the ECCE scheme.
Children are eligible to start the ECCE scheme in the September of the year that they turn 3 years old. For example, a child turning 3 years old in 2019 can be registered on the ECCE scheme in September 2019.
Exemptions from age limit
If your child is over the eligibility age requirement due to special needs they may be able to get an exemption from the upper age limit for the ECCE Scheme
If your child attends half-day or “sessional” hours, the normal pattern for the free pre-school year is 3 hours a day, 5 days a week, over 38 weeks. If your child attends for more than 3 hours, you will be charged for the extra time.
If your child attends full-time or part-time, the normal pattern for the free pre-school year is 3 hours per day over 38 weeks. If your child attends for longer than this each day, you will be charged for the extra time. You will also be charged for the extra number of weeks attended.