Early Learning & Childcare - Information for Parents
Find all the information you need to register your child for early learning and childcare.
All three and four year olds, and some two year olds, can receive funded early learning and childcare for 600 hours a year. From 2018, there will be a phased approach to increasing the hours available – up to 1,140 hours a year. In 2020, the increased hours will be available to everyone.
|A child whose date
of birth is between:
|Will be eligible for
a funded place from:
|Type of place:|
|15 August 2012 and
28 February 2013
|15 August 2017||Deferred Entry|
|1 March 2013 and
28 February 2014
|15 August 2017||Pre-school|
|1 March 2014 and
31 August 2014
|15 August 2017||Ante pre-school|
|1 September 2014 and
31 December 2014
|8 January 2018||Ante pre-school|
|1 January 2015 and
28 February 2015
|16 April 2018||Ante pre-school|
The first postcode areas eligible for the increased hours in August 2018 and registration starting in January 2018 have been released. Check if you’re eligible.
From August 2019, more postcode areas will be able to take up their places with registration starting in January 2019.
When offering funded early learning and childcare places, the criteria to prioritise eligibility is:
- Child with existing attendance at the centre
- Child resident in secondary catchment area and sibling at centre
- Child resident in secondary catchment
- Child with Co-ordinated Support Plan (CSP), and/or assessment by the Education Authority
- Child outwith secondary catchment area and sibling at centre
- Child outwith the secondary catchment area
Priority within any of the six categories above, where it is necessary to be determined, will be given to older children first and then to those resident closest (distance being calculated by the straight line method).
If you are eligible, there are two ways to receive funded early learning and childcare for your two year old:
- View qualifying benefits for up to 600 hours.
- Check your postcode - your address may be eligible for increased hours, up to 1,140, from August 2018.
Additional eligibility criteria may apply. Additional places will be released for increased hours for 2019.
The choice of nursery or childminder is entirely up to you. Register with your preferred your choice. There are a limited number of places available so you will be asked to list a second and third choice.
You are invited to register your child at your preferred nursery or childminder during the registration week. This takes place week commencing 15 January 2018 for children born between 1 March 2015 and 19 February 2016 (school session 2018/19).
To register, complete a registration form and return to your preferred choice. Take your child's birth certificate and a proof of address with you at the time of registration. If you are not able to register during the registration week, please contact us.
Registration is not the same as enrolment and funded places can be allocated during the school year.
|Eligible start date||Allocation schedule|
|August||April or May|
|January||November or December|
|April||February or March|
Please note: you will not receive a letter if your choice for early learning and childcare is full. You will automatically be contacted by the nursery or childminder that you listed as your next choice.
If all of your choices are full, you will be contacted to discuss alternatives.
Education and Social Care