We provide the ECCE programme in all our four centres in Greystones. It is very important to book early to ensure a place
What is the ECCE Scheme (free Pre-School Year in Early Childhood Care and Education)?
The ECCE programme 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. Participation in the pre-school programme often provides children with their first formal experience of early learning, the starting-point of their educational and social development outside the home. Children who avail of pre-school are more likely to be ready for school and a formal learning and social environment. In general, each eligible child is entitled to one free pre-school year. Certain children with special needs may avail of a pro-rata provision over two years, provided they fulfil certain conditions.
When will my child be eligible to participate in the ECCE programme?
The ECCE programme is open to all children aged between 3 years 3 months and 4 years 6 months on 1st September each year. To avail of the programme at any stage during the pre-school year commencing in September 2012, children must have been born between 2nd February 2008 and 30th June 2009 (both dates inclusive).
Are there any exceptions to the age-related eligibility rule?
There are no exceptions to the lower age limit. The upper age limit of 4 years 6 months may be extended where a child is not in a position to commence primary school until s/he is more than 5 years 6 months of age, due either to the enrolment policy of the local school, or because s/he has been assessed as developmentally delayed. Applications for an extension of the upper age limit are examined on a case-by-case basis by the government department that manage the scheme. When you enrol your child we will discuss how to proceed should these circumstances apply to your child.
Children with special needs
Where a child has been assessed by the Health Service Executive, or treating consultant, as having special needs which will either delay his/her entry to primary school or make it more suitable that s/he avails of the pre-school year on a pro-rata basis over two years, this will be examined on a case-by-case basis. In such cases, the child may avail of the pre-school year over two years by availing of the ECCE sessions, for example, for two days in the first year and three days in the second year, or vice versa.
How is the Pre-School Year funded?
Pre-School services participating in the programme are paid a capitation fee for each qualifying child enrolled. Pre-school services are required to notify the Department of the details of each child enrolled in the programme, so you will be asked by the pre-school service in which your child is enrolled to complete a form which includes your child’s date of birth and Personal Public Service Number (PPSN). You will also be asked to provide documentary evidence of these details (a copy of the child’s birth certificate or passport, and a copy of official proof of the child’s PPSN which can be in the form of a copy of an official document or card showing the child’s name and PPSN, e.g. a Drug Payment Scheme card, a Medical Card, or a letter from the Department of Social Protection). In return we provide a programme of activities in early childhood care and education free to parents.
How will the Pre-School Year be provided?
Children will normally receive pre-school year sessions for 3 hours a day, 5 days a week, over 38 weeks (September to June). The weekly capitation fee for these sessions is €62.50. This attendance option takes place from 9.45am to 12.45pm and is provided free to parents. Should the parent wish their child to attend for longer hours a fee applies.