The Early Childhood Care and Education Programme (ECCE) programme is a universal two-year pre-school programme available to all children within the eligible age range.
It provides children with their first formal experience of early learning prior to commencing primary school. The programme is provided for three hours per day, five days per week over 38 weeks per year and the programme year runs from September to June each year.
There is one point of entry at the beginning of the programme year. The programme will be available to all children who have turned 2 years and 8 months of age before September 1st as long they won’t turn 5 years and 6 months of age on or before June 30th of the programme year.
Childcare services taking part in the ECCE programme must provide an appropriate pre-school educational programme which adheres to the principles of Síolta, the national framework for early years care and education.
Eligibility for ECCE
The programme is available to all children from the September after the child has turned 2 years and 8 months.