ECCE & Other Government Schemes


On this page you’ll find information on several state funded schemes offering support for parents of young children.  For more details please call us on (01) 2450935 and we will be happy to assist you.

Giraffe Childcare offers four Government funded Childcare schemes:

  • Early Childhood Care and Education Scheme (ECCE)
  • Training and Employment Childcare scheme (TEC – formerly CETS)
  • Community Employment Childcare (CEC)
  • Community Childcare Scheme (CCS)



The state’s Early Childhood Care and Education Scheme (ECCE) is an initiative to provide a free pre-school year for children before they start primary school.

With effect from 1st September 2016, children can avail of the ECCE scheme for up to two years prior to starting primary school, depending on the date the child turned three years old. Once your child has turned three years old, there are three entry points during which a child can join the scheme. These entry points are 1st January, 1st April and 1st September of each year.

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 2013 September 2016
September 2013 to December   2013 January 2017
January 2014 to March 2014 April 2017
April 2014 to August 2014 September 2017
September 2014 to December 2014 January 2018
January 2015 to March 2015 April 2018

The ECCE scheme provides for a free placement of up to 15 hours per week for 38 weeks in line with the school term .The normal schedule for the free pre-school year is 3 hours per day over 38 weeks. However, children attending on a full-time/part-time schedule who are eligible for the ECCE pre-school year will receive the ECCE grant deducted from their monthly fees.

Once your child is three years of age, and has joined the ECCE scheme at the relevant entry point, they can remain in the scheme until they start primary school, at either four or five years of age. In delivering the ECCE scheme to all our Preschool children, Giraffe adheres to the principles of Síolta and Aistear, the national framework for early years care and education.

All Giraffe Childcare centres are registered for the Early Childhood Care and Education Scheme (ECCE) Government Pre School Scheme. 


Training and Employment Childcare scheme for ETB students (Education and Training Board; formerly FAS and VEC) – Providing Free Crèche places.

If you have applied for an ETB training programme, you may qualify for a free childcare place under the government Training and Employment Childcare (TEC) scheme. The purpose of this programme is to assist parents taking eligible ETB (formerly FÁS and VEC) courses to undertake training by providing supported childcare places.The allocation of places under the scheme is managed by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs, via the City and County Childcare Committees (CCC’s).

In order to book a childcare place in any of our crèches settings, you will require a letter from your course co-ordinator confirming that you are eligible for a TEC place. The letter should also outline the start date and finish date of the course. There is an additional charge where a child is less than 12 months old or is attending afterschool provision. 


Crèche places for Community Employment Participants – Government Funded CEC Scheme. The CEC programme provides subsidised part time crèche places (up to 19.5hours per week) for Community Employment participants. Giraffe operates the CEC scheme in all of its crèches and in order to book a place, you will require a letter from your sponsor confirming that you are eligible for a childcare place.


If you are currently availing of one or more of the following supports, you may qualify for a reduced cost childcare place under the government Community Childcare Scheme (CCS):

• Medical card • One Parent Family Payment • Illness/ Injury Benefit or Disability allowance • Carer’s Benefit/Allowance • Family Income Supplement (FIS) • Job Seekers Benefit/ Allowance • Secondary School students• Widows/Widowers/Invalidity/State Pension• Tus Payment• Community Employment/Back to Work Allowance• Springboard/ETB/Solas Students

In order to apply for this childcare scheme we will require copies of your government support letter and medical cards, together with dates of birth and pps numbers.

If you would like to know more about how you might avail of a childcare place under any of these government schemes, please contact us at (01) 2450935 or email us at and we will be happy to assist you.

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