The Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) Scheme provides 2 free years of early childhood care and education for children at pre-school age. In general, children can start ECCE when they reach 2 years and 8 months of age and continue until they transfer to primary school (provided that they are not older than 5 years and 6 months at the end of the pre-school year).
National Childcare Scheme
The National Childcare Scheme (NCS) is a new scheme that provides financial support to help parents to meet the costs of childcare.
You can apply online at ncs.gov.ie.
To apply online, you need:
A verified MyGovID account
Your children’s information, including their date of birth and PPS numbers
Your employment and income-related details
Your partner’s PPS number (your partner does not need a verified MyGovID account)
Your partner’s employment and income-related details
You can get more information about getting a verified MyGovID from the MyGovID website.
The NCS website has a step-by-step guide to the online application process.