Pre-school education places for September 2019

The Pre-School Education Programme funds education for children in the year before they start primary school. Pre-school education is available to every child but it's not compulsory. If you want your child to have pre-school education, you need to apply for a place.

Children eligible for pre-school education places

Children born between 2 July 2015 and 1 July 2016 are eligible for pre-school education places starting in September 2019. 

When to apply for a pre-school education place

The Pre-School admissions process for the 2019/20 academic year has now ended.  Parents who applied during the process will have received a letter explaining the outcome of their application by 11 June 2019. 

If you wish to apply for a pre-school place, you can still do so by contacting the relevant pre-school education provider directly. You can find details of providers that may have places available at the link below. 

The admissions process for September 2020 will open in early 2020.

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:

More useful links

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