The ecce free pre-school year

The Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) Scheme provides a free year of early childhood care and education for children of pre-school age. In general, children are eligible for the ECCE scheme if they are aged over 3 years 2 months and less than 4 years 7 months on 1 September of the year that they will be starting

From September 2016, the ECCE scheme will be extended to children aged between 3 years and 5 years 6 months, or until they start primary school.

The normal hours for the free ECCE year are 3 hours per day, 5 days a week. An optional extra half an hour per day is available for an additional fee per month.