About the Scheme:

Full details about the scheme can be found on the DCEDIY website.

Child Age Eligibility

The programme is available to all children from the September after the child has turned 2 years and 8 months.

This table shows the eligibility for ECCE by year of birth.

Birth date between ECCE start date ECCE end date
1st January 2015 – 31st December 2015 1st September 2018 +1st September 2019 June 2020
1st January 2016 – 31st December 2016 1st September 2019 + 1st September 2020 June 2021
1st January 2017 – 31st December 2017 1st September 2020 + 1st September 2021 June 2022
1st January 2018 – 31st December 2018 1st September 2021 + 1st September 2022 June 2023
1st January 2019 – 31st December 2019 1st September 2022 + 1st September 2023 June 2024


Sessional Services

If your child attends a half-day or “sessional” service, such as a playschool, Montessori or Naíonra, 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’s sessional service cannot open for 5 days a week, the normal pattern for the free pre-school year is 3 hours and 30 minutes a day, 4 days a week, over 41 weeks.





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