What do changes to the ECCE scheme mean for children with disabilities?




The ECCE scheme provides for two years of State funded preschool. The various departments involved in administering the scheme believe that as it has been extended from one year to two years for all children, the flexibility to apply for an overage exemption is no longer needed. There is now only one starting point (rather than three) for the scheme. This is in September. The dates your child is eligible for the ECCE scheme now depends entirely on their year of birth, so for example all children born in 2015 are eligible for the scheme from September 2018 until June 2020. The time of year your child is born will determine how old they are when they start and finish. For example: Children born early in 2015 will be over three by the time they start, and 5 when they go to primary school. Children born later in the year (after September) will be two when they start, and will go to primary school at 4. Down Syndrome Ireland is calling for flexibility to be restored with both starting date and finishing date. We are also calling for consultation ahead of the decisions in the future.

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