Written answers

Tuesday, 26 February 2019

Department of Children and Youth Affairs

Early Childhood Care and Education Data

Photo of Joan BurtonJoan Burton (Dublin West, Labour)
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588. To ask the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the estimated proportion of children born in 2015 that are assumed to make use of the second year of the early childhood care and education scheme. [9622/19]

Photo of Katherine ZapponeKatherine Zappone (Dublin South West, Independent)
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The Early Childhood Care and Education, ECCE, programme is a universal programme available to all children within the eligible age range. It was first introduced in 2010 as a one-year programme to provide children with their first formal experience of early learning prior to commencing primary school.

In line with a commitment in the Programme for Government, the ECCE Programme was extended in September 2018. Children are now eligible to enrol in this Programme once they are two years and eight months of age in the September of a given programme year and are eligible to avail of two years of the programme (provided that they are not older than five years and six months at the end of the programme year year). The proportion of children availing on this full entitlement is determined by a range of factors, including the child’s month of birth, parental choice with regard to school starting age and average uptake rates since the Programme was introduced, for example 95% for the one year programme.

Based on data on school starting age from the Department of Education and Skills that rate to the 2013 birth cohort, it is estimated that 75% of children born in 2015 will avail of two full years of the ECCE programme. This proportion vary according to the child's month of birth and the age at which they enrol in primary school. Information on this is provided in the table below.

ECCE programme

-ECCE starting ageCohort starting school at age 4 Cohort starting school at age 5Proportion taking 2-year entitlement
Month of birthYearsMonths%No. of ECCE years%No. of ECCE years
* Based on average uptake rates since introduction of the Programme


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