Written answers

Tuesday, 27 July 2021

Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth

Early Childhood Care and Education

Photo of Brendan GriffinBrendan Griffin (Kerry, Fine Gael)
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1222. To ask the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth the percentage of children availing of free preschool services for one and two years; if a county breakdown of same is available; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40441/21]

Photo of Roderic O'GormanRoderic O'Gorman (Dublin West, Green Party)
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The Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) programme is a two-year, universal pre-school programme available to all children within the eligible age range. Children are eligible to enrol in the  Programme once they are 2 years and 8 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 5 years and 6 months at the end of the programme year).

The ECCE programme is not a mandatory programme and parents can choose to send their child to the ECCE programme for two years, one year or not at all.  Since the introduction of the Programme in 2010, uptake rates have been approximately 95% of eligible children. The proportion of children availing of the full two-year entitlement is determined by a range of factors, including parental choice with regard to school starting age.

The figures supplied by the scheme administrator Pobal in the tables below shows the percentage of children enrolled in the ECCE programme in 2019 that availed of one or two years. This data is presented by county.

The figure for one year of the programme is calculated on the basis of the number of children with an ECCE registration in 2019 but no 2018 or 2020 ECCE registration. The figure for two years of the programme is  based on the number of children with a 2019 ECCE registration and also a 2018 or a 2020 ECCE registration.

County I year ECCE County 2 years ECCE
Carlow 13% Carlow 87%
Cavan 12% Cavan 88%
Clare 12% Clare 88%
Cork 10% Cork 90%
Donegal 15% Donegal 85%
Dublin 18% Dublin 82%
Galway 12% Galway 88%
Kerry 11% Kerry 89%
Kildare 13% Kildare 87%
Kilkenny 12% Kilkenny 88%
Laois 10% Laois 90%
Leitrim 15% Leitrim 85%
Limerick 15% Limerick 85%
Longford 18% Longford 82%
Louth 21% Louth 79%
Mayo 13% Mayo 87%
Meath 12% Meath 88%
Monaghan 23% Monaghan 77%
Offaly 14% Offaly 86%
Roscommon 15% Roscommon 85%
Sligo 15% Sligo 85%
Tipperary 12% Tipperary 88%
Waterford 17% Waterford 83%
Westmeath 12% Westmeath 88%
Wexford 12% Wexford 88%
Wicklow 13% Wicklow 87%


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