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 If you wish your child to attend Cairdeas for their Early Childhood Care and Education Programme (ECCE), please book their place as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.


In January 2010 the government introduced the new ECCE scheme designed to give all children access to a free Pre-School Year prior to going to primary school. This year has now been extended to two years for all children. The programme is designed to provide children with their first formal experience of early learning, the starting point of their educational and social development outside the home.


Will my child be eligible?

The ECCE scheme is open to all children aged over 2 years 8 months. Check your childs elegibility from the table below:

Birth date between                                          Eligible Enrolment date(s)                                  ECCE end date

1st January 2019 - 31st December 2019        1st September 2022 + 1st September 2023       June 2024                                                                                        1st January 2020 - 31st December 2020     1st September 2023 +1st  September 2024    June 2025

1st January 2021-  31st December 2021        1st September 2024 + 1st September 2025       June 2026 

1st January 2022 - 31st December 2022     1st September 2025 + 1st September 2026    June 2027

1st January 2023 - 31st December 2023        1st September 2026 + 1st September 2027       June 2028  


The ECCE scheme is funded through a capitation fee for each qualifying child enrolled. When enrolling your child in the centre we ask for a deposit of €60. This deposit secures your child's place. The deposit may then be used towards the cost of providing a Christmas party and visit from

Santa at the end of term party and our Preschool outing at the end of the pre-school year.


We operate the ECCE scheme through our preschool service. There are four sessions, 9.00am to 12.00pm, 9.15am to 12.15pm, 9.30am to 12.30 pm and 9.45am to 12.45pm, each day from September to June for 38 weeks. We open generally in line with the local primary school. You will be advised of closing times during the school year.  Our ECCE sessional rooms are called, Holly Room, Oak Room, Birch Room and Hawthorn Room.


The ECCE scheme is also available to qualifying children who attend our full day care service. In the case of full day care children their weekly fee will be reduced by the capitation fee over the course of the year.


More details about the scheme are available at,  information leaflets are also available from our centre or from Westmeath County Childcare Committee. (044 9335454)

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