Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE)


The Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) Programme gives children access to 2 years’ free preschool education before the start primary school i.e. 3hours per day, 5 days per week 38 weeks of the year.

There are three enrolments each year: September, January and April.


Parent’s wishing to enrol their child for the ECCE programme can register with an Early Year’s provider of their choice. To see a list of all services providing the ECCE programme in your area, visit the Childcare Search Directory on our homepage. Once you have found this list of services, we would advise you to make contact with the childcare facilities to see if they have a place available.



Is my child eligible for the ECCE Programme?

Please see the ECCE Calculator above to check your child's eligibility.

The following poster and help-sheet can tell you when your child is eligible for ECCE:

 ECCE Eligibility Poster



ECCE Eligibility Help Sheet


PLEASE NOTE: Changes to ECCE 2018 have been announced in the 2017 Budget.

For details and guidance on these changes see DCYA's FAQs re Early Years Budget 2018 changes https://www.dcya.gov.ie/documents/earlyyears/20171012FAQsEarlyYearsBudget2018.pdf 


Further information on the ECCE Programme is available on the links below:


Department of Children and Youth Affairs: Rules for DCYA Childcare Funding Programmes  CLICK HERE


DCYA Early Childhood Care and Education information:  Click Here 


A Parents Guide to the National Childcare Funding Programmes 2017-2018