Children eligible for pre-school education places
Children born between 2 July 2016 and 1 July 2017 are eligible for pre-school education places starting in September 2020.
When to apply for a pre-school education place
The Pre-School application procedure opens on Tuesday 7 January 2020 at 12.00 pm.
All applications received on or before 12.00 pm on 30 January 2020 will be treated as 'punctual'. Places are not awarded on a first-come-first-served basis.
Where pre-school education places are provided
Funded pre-school education places are provided in:
- nursery schools
- primary schools with nursery units
- voluntary and private pre-school education settings with government-funded places
All pre-school education settings follow the same Curricular Guidance for Pre-school Education. Read the guidance at the link below.
The Education and Training Inspectorate inspects every pre-school setting. Read the inspection reports at the link below.
Funded pre-school education places
All pre-school places available under the Pre-School Education Programme are funded by the government. Parents don't pay for these places.
Admissions criteria for pre-school settings
You should check the admissions criteria for each pre-school education setting that you are considering for your child. In your child’s application, it’s important to show how your child meets the admissions criteria for each pre-school setting.
To read admissions criteria for all pre-school settings, go to:
More information about pre-school places
If you need more information about applying for a pre-school education place, contact: