Early Childhood Care and Education


ECCE Programme -Information for Childcare Practitioners


The free Pre-School Year in Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) programme was introduced in January 2010.  The programme is administered by the Childcare Directorate of the Department of Children and Youth Affairs, with the local operation of the programme managed by the City and County Childcare Committees (CCCs).  


If you are a Childcare Practitioner and looking for more information on the ECCE programme and Administrative Procedures please visit the PIP Homepage

Information for Parents


  1. What is the Early Childhood Care and Education Programme?

The Early Childhood Care and Education Programme (ECCE) is designed to give children access to a free Pre-School Year of appropriate programme-based activities in the year before they start primary school. A good quality preschool helps get your child ready for Primary School.


  1. Is my child eligible for the ECCE Programme? When was your child born?

The age criteria for the current and coming pre-school year is as follows in relation to the ECCE Programme:


  1. What will my child’s pre-school place cost me?

If your child is eligible for the scheme then you are entitled to a pre-school session of 3 hours per day, 5 days per week, 38 weeks per year, for which you will not be charged anything.



  1. Will I have to pay any additional fees?

Parents will have to pay for hours which are additional to the free pre-school year. Services may also charge for optional extras, for example, additional activities such as trips, swimming, birthday parties etc. If you don’t pay for the additional activities, the childcare service must provide an alternative for your child.


  1. How do I know which Pre Schools are currently in the Scheme?

A list of current ECCE services is available on Dublin City Childcare Committee’s website.

Click here to access our searchable childcare provider database.


  1. How do I access a place?

Visit our searchable directory on our website for a list of ECCE childcare services in your area.

Make contact with some of the childcare facilities to see if they have a place available.

Ask for a parental declaration form or download it from the PIP Homepage , fill it in and give it to the childcare provider.


  1. What if my child is not eligible for a place?

You may still be able to reduce your childcare costs through the Community Childcare Subvention Scheme (CCS). This is a funding scheme offered by most community childcare facilities which offers reduced rates to certain parents. A list of current CCS services is available on our searchable directory 


If you are a parent and looking for more information on the ECCE programme please click on the links below:

Easy Guide to Childcare Funding Programmes 2015-2016


Free Pre School Year in Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) Guide for Parents 







Dublin City Childcare Committee
Ocean House
Arran Quay
Dublin 7


Tel. 01 8733696
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Mob.:  085 8715097
Fax:    01 873 4488

CRO No.: 358269



ECCE Calculator

To check when your child is eligible for an ECCE place please enter their date of birth


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