Pre-school and childcare in Dublin


Childcare in DublinChildcare in Dublin is widely available, but often demands an even wider wallet. To ease parents' expenses, the government has introduced the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) Scheme. This provides free pre-school education and childcare at certain approved centres.

The ECCE Scheme has limits, though, covering a certain number of hours per week only and any extra time must be paid for. Parents who opt not to use the ECCE Scheme will be subject to the full cost of fees.

Pre-schools in Dublin

As compulsory primary education only starts at the age of six, it is not mandatory for children to attend pre-school in Ireland. However, the vast majority of parents in Ireland opt to send their children to pre-school anyway. The minimum age for pre-school is four years old, but some children only start pre-school at age five. Primary schools offer pre-school education in the form of "infant classes" for children aged four and five.

Childcare centres in Dublin

These centres can be found in every urban area and are growing in popularity in rural areas. They usually cater to children aged from three months to 12 years. Opening hours vary but most open early in the morning for parents who need to drop their children off before work. Many offer after-school care for older children as well.

In general, the cost of childcare in Dublin is significantly higher than in other parts of the country, so parents who do not make use of the ECCE Scheme should budget appropriately to manage the extra expense of school fees.


Childminders in Dublin

This system is great for parents who wish to leave their children in a private home with a smaller number of children, or for those who would rather have a childminder come to their house. Usually a childminder will take in one to four children at a time. The relationship between childminder and parents, not to mention childminder and child, can become very close.

The cost of using a childminder rather than a childcare centre can be lower, but one downside is that if the minder is ill or needs to take time off work, there is no back-up for the working parent.

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