Free ECC places

Free Preschool Places under the ECCE Scheme!

The 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 only one point of entry at the beginning of the programme year in September. There are no longer entry points in January and April. The programme is available to all children who have turned 2 years and 8 months of age before 1 September. They can continue until they transfer to primary school as long they won’t turn 5 years and 6 months on or before 30 June of the programme year.”

(Source: Citizens Advice)


There is no charge to parents for the 3 free hours provided under the ECCE scheme. The State capitation fee pays the playschool or daycare service to provide these ECCE hours. However, if your child attends for extra hours, you will have to pay for these extra hours in the normal way.

Free ECC places

How to apply

You can apply through your chosen childcare service.
You will need to provide a copy of your child’s birth certificate or passport and PPS number.
For more information on the ECCE scheme please visit Citizens Advice here  / or CLICK HERE

Check Eligibility

If you wish to check if you child is eligible for the ECCE Scheme please use the ECCE calculator below:-

Real Benefits Begin Early

The introduction of this scheme is a crucial step in the development of children’s education today. We at Little Scholars strongly believe in Maria Montessori’s philosophy that a child’s most responsive and important years of development are between the ages of 0-6years. Thus being within a pre-school environment at this young age is a must for your child to reach the best of their ability on there natural developmental path.

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Terms and Conditions apply

Preference goes to full time places over part time places. A refundable €50 euro deposit is required to secure a place in the Montessori. Please note Little Scholars is a private Montessori.Enrolment in our services located within a primary school does not secure an automatic place within the school. An application process for a place must be undertaken directly with the primary school.


The ECCE Scheme allows for two years of FREE pre-school, it was announced by the government in April 2009 and was introduced in January 2010. Parents are able to avail of this ECCE scheme for eligible children on a 38 week per year basis.

Make an Enquiry
Free Preschool Places


If you have received the notification from us that we have a place available for your child and would like to now register please do so here.