September 2018 Pre-School application deadline is this Wednesday!

In Northern Ireland, children are entitled to a funded pre-school place in the year before they start their first year of primary school. These places are funded by the Department of Education and are not compulsory. They are intended to build upon the learning that children experience at home and provide a rich variety of challenging play activities and other experiences in a stimulating environment to help prepare children for primary school.

A pre-school place is normally provided across five sessions per week, each lasting at least 2½ hours per day during the school year. Places are provided by nursery schools, primary schools with nursery units and some voluntary and private providers. Each setting will provide details of its own provision and admissions criteria.

Who should apply?

If your child was born on or between 2 July 2014 and 1 July 2015 then you can apply for a funded pre-school place for the academic year beginning in September 2018.

How do I apply?

You can get an application form from your local pre-school setting or from the Education Authority’s website. Complete the form giving at least three preferences of pre-school settings and return it to your first choice of provider. You should check the admission criteria for each pre-school education setting you prefer. When you list the settings you prefer, it is important to show how your child meets the admission criteria for each setting.

What is the deadline?

The closing date for applications is 12.00 noon on Wednesday 10 January 2018.

Where can I get more information?

Visit the website of the Education Authority to find out more.

For further information on pre-school places or any other childcare or work related issue, call our Family Benefits Advisors today on 028 9267 8200 or email