Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE)

The Early Childhood Care and Education Programme (ECCE) is a universal childcare programme designed to give children access to up to 2 years free preschool education before they start primary school.


Parents wishing to enrol their child for the ECCE programme can register with an Early Years provider of their choice. To see a list of services, 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 offer the ECCE programme and if they have a place available.


Is my child eligible for the ECCE Programme?

The ECCE programme is available to all children from the September after they have turned 2 years and 8 months. For the programme year 2022-2023, a child must have turned 2 years and 8 months on or before 31 August 2022 and not be older than 5 years and 6 months on or before 30 June 2022. 

Check your child's eligibility