Eligibility for ECCE
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 August 31st 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.
The programme is available to all children from the September after the child has turned 2 years and 8 months.
This table shows the eligibility for ECCE by year of birth.
Birth date between ECCE start date ECCE end date
1st January 2017 - 31st December 2017 1st September 2020 + 1st September 2021 June 2022
1st January 2018 - 31st December 2018 1st September 2021 + 1st September 2022 June 2023
1st January 2019 - 31st December 2019 1st September 2022 + 1st September 2023 June 2024
1st January 2020 - 31st December 2020 1st September 2023 + 1st September 2024 June 2025
1st January 2021 - 31st December 2021 1st September 2024 + 1st September 2025 June 2026
Please click the following to view the:
More information available Here
You can now check to see when your child qualitifies for the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) scheme with our new ECCE calculator.
Useful ECCE documentation for Childcare Providers:
A childcare provider must ensure all staff working with children hold, at a minimum, a qualification that meets the requirements of the Regulations.
Room Leaders must, at a minimum, hold a qualification that meets the grant funding agreement requirements for ECCE Room Leader as set out on the published list of DCYA ‘Early Years Recognised Qualifications’ or hold a Letter of Eligibility to Practice at this level issued by the DCYA (see more information relating to qualifications, including the published list on https://www.gov.ie/en/organisation/department-of-children-and-youth-affairs/)
Higher CapitationFor more information please click here or contact us on 091-752039
Minimum ECCE Enrolment Exemptions
In certain circumstances a service may receive an exemption from the minimum number of ECCE children required per session for an ECCE contract. For more information and how to apply please see the following documents:
For further information, please click here to view the ECCE section of the DCYA website.