Little Learners Pre-School and After-School Drumcondra Dublin 9
Telephone: (+353 0) 85 144 9610

ECCE Scheme

The Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) Scheme provides a free year of early childhood care and education for children of pre-school age. In general, children are eligible for the ECCE scheme if they are aged over 3 years 2 months and less than 4 years 7 months on 1 September of the year that they will be starting. The upper age limit can be extended in some cases – see ‘Rules’ below.

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 (see ‘How the ECCE scheme is provided’ below).

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 - see 'Children with special needs' below.

Further Information available here: Department of Children and Youth Affairs

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