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Free Pre-School Year in Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE)

Introduction of a free Pre-School Year in Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE)

As part of the April 2009 Budget, the Government announced a new scheme to provide for a free Pre-School Year in Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE).

The new scheme will be implemented by the Office of the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, or OMCYA, and will be open to all private and voluntary pre-school services which meet the requirements of the scheme.

Pre-school services which are notified to the HSE, and services which are registered with the IMEB, can apply to participate in the scheme. The OMCYA will contact these services, which total almost 5,000, by the end of May 2009, providing an information pack and details regarding the application process.  Childminders who are notified to the HSE will be included in this process. 

All queries on this new scheme can be directed to the Office of the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs:

The OMCYA helpline is 1890 30 30 39

Queries can also be directed to childcare_mail@health.gov.ie

General information on the new scheme, together with answers to the most frequently-asked questions, can be accessed through the OMCYA website at www.omcya.ie.

29th April 2009

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