Update from the Best Crèche Team« Back To Parents' Hub
Free Pre School Places; is your child eligible?
The Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) Scheme provides a free year of early childhood care and education for children of pre-school age. Children are eligible for the ECCE scheme if they are aged between 3 years 2 months and 4 years 7 months on 1 September of the year that they will be starting.
In general, children only qualify for ECCE in one school year. However, a child who has been assessed as having a disability may be able to spread their free pre-school year over 2 years.
How the scheme works
The State pays a capitation fee to participating playschools and daycare services. In return, they provide a pre-school service free of charge to all children within the qualifying age range for a set number of hours over a set period of weeks.
How the ECCE scheme is provided
If your child attends a half-day or "sessional" service, such as Naíonra or Montessori, 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 a full-time or part-time daycare service, the normal pattern for the free pre-school year is 2 hours and 15 minutes per day over 50 weeks. If your child attends for longer than this each day, you will be charged for the extra time.
To facilitate parents whose children attend a full or part-time service for only 3 days a week, such a service can opt to provide 3 daily free pre-school sessions of 3 hours 45 minutes each week over 50 weeks.
To get a place for your child, apply to a member of the Best Crèche Group. You will need to provide your child's PPS number and a copy of their birth certificate.