Changes to the Free Pre-School Year…the detail explained

There’s great news for parents of pre-school children with the announcement of the extension of the free pre-school year in the budget yesterday.

From September 2016, every child will be eligible at the age of three until they start primary school which has greatly increased access; and children will be able to enrol in the ECCE scheme at the start of each term in September, January and April which makes it much more flexible for parents.

This will be really positive for young children as they will have a longer time in pre-school and will be ready to start school. Currently children are entitled to 38 weeks of free early education but under the new arrangements, many children could benefit from up to 23 additional weeks depending on when their birthday falls.

The scheme will also be funded at a higher level of €2,450 per annum which works out as €204 per month (it is currently €2,375 per annum).

The examples below may assist you with in ascertaining when your child will be eligible:

If born within these dates below:Your child can join the ECCE scheme at the entry point below:
July 2012 to August 2013September 2016
September 2013 to December   2013January 2017
January 2014 to March 2014April 2017
April 2014 to August 2014September 2017
September 2014 to December 2014January 2018
January 2015 to March 2015April 2018

We’ll be able to help you with all the details once your child turns three. For more information, call us on (01) 2450935


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