Choosing Childcare and Early Education Opportunities

What Parents need to look for…

Choosing childcare and early education is a big step for you and your child.

Choosing Childcare

Choosing Childcare

Choosing Childcare  Adobe pdf 460 KB

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There are three things that contribute to quality childcare:

  • A carer who provides your child with care and support and who works with you and your family to make sure that your child grows and learns in the best way possible.
  • A setting that keeps your child safe and healthy and promotes a sense of well being.
  • Activities and a learning environment that are suited to your child's stage of growth and that help your child develop mentally, physically, socially and emotionally.
What is the Pre-school Education Expansion Programme (PSEEP)?

The PSEEP's main objective is to provide one year's pre-school education to every child whose parents choose to avail of it.

Pre-school education is a non-compulsory phase of education that is designed for children who are in the year immediately before they enter Primary 1.

Most pre-school places are available on a part-time basis; at least two and a half hours per day up to four hours.

How does the Pre-school Education Expansion Programme work?

The Pre-school Education Expansion Programme incorporates a number of features designed to promote high quality pre-school provision and which follow a common curriculum in all settings in line with the curricular guidance for Pre-school Education published by the Northern Ireland Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment (CCEA).

Many groups are able to offer funded places through this Government Programme. This is available in statutory nursery settings and in those voluntary playgroups and private day nurseries participating in the Pre-school Education Expansion Programme.

Pre-school places are allocated to children on the basis of the setting's admissions criteria, combined with the parents' stated order of preference for the setting they wish their child to attend. However currently, independent, statutory and voluntary sector providers are required to give priority in their admissions criteria to children from socially disadvantaged circumstances, who, as research shows, benefit most from pre-school education. Priority is also given to the oldest four year olds (those with July and August birthdays).

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