Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) Programme
The Early Childhood Care and Education Programme (ECCE) is a universal childcare programme designed to give children access to a maximum of 2 years free pre-school education before they start primary school.
Participation in a pre-school programme 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 fulfill certain conditions.