What is the ECCE Scheme?

The Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) Scheme provides early childhood care and education for children of pre-school age. From September 2018, children are eligible for the ECCE scheme if they are aged over 2 years and 8 months and not older than 5 and a half years.

The State pays a capitation fee to participating playschools and daycare services, of which Stepping Stones Early Learning Centre is one. In return, we provide a pre-school service free of charge to all children within the qualifying age range for three hours a day for 76 weeks over two academic years. The school year is normally from September to June and is generally in line with the primary school calendar. The current calendar for Stepping Stones Early Learning Centre is available in the Parents Portal.

There will be only one entry point to the ECCE scheme from September 2018.  Children must be 2 years 8 months by the 31st of August to start on the ECCE scheme in September.  Children will then be able to continue their pre-school education until they transfer to primary school.

You can calculate when your child is eligible for his/her free space using our bespoke ECCE calculator below.

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