ECCE Scheme for preschool year: what is it?
The ECCE year, or Early Childhood Care and Education scheme is designed to give children between the ages of three years and three months, and four years and six months a free year of structured preschool education before they reach their first year of formal schooling.
There are nearly 5,000 preschool and Montessori schools that are eligible for the program, and each local area’s Health Centre should be able to give you a list of these in your area.
The services are free to all parents, and offer a fixed number of hours of structured preschool education to children, based on the type of child care they are in, and the number of hours that they attend. Any time spent at a preschool or day care facility over and above these hours, however, will be charge for at the discretion of the facility in question.
In some special cases, your child may be eligible earlier or later than the ages stipulated, but this will have to be confirmed with the local HSE or with the schools or facilities in question.
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