Early Years
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National Standards for Pre-School Services

The National Quality Standards are intended to provide a clear and easy-to-use tool for Pre-School Inspectors, pre-school service providers and parents using pre-school services. The outcomes and the criteria have been designed to be easy to read and easy to understand, and to support providers to deliver a high quality service and support users in choosing the childcare service best suited to their needs.

In developing this document, a conscious effort was made to ensure that the Standards would encourage providers to deliver a higher level of quality than is strictly required under the Child Care (Pre-School Services) (No 2) Regulations.
National Pre-School Standards

The Child Care (Pre-School Services) (No. 2) Regulations 2006, which provide the regulatory framework for pre-school services in the State, were made by Brian Lenihan T.D., the then Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, and were brought into effect in September 2007.

As an Early Years Provider you need to comply with funding schemes

Early Years providers can avail of a number of grant/funding schemes under the National Childcare Investment Programme. These include:

  • ECCE: This is the free Pre-School Year in Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE).
    This scheme is designed to give children access to a free Pre-School Year of appropriate programme-based activities in the year before they start primary school. Early Years providers receive a capitation grant for each eligible child.
    Early Childhood Care and Education
  • CCS: The Community Childcare Subvention Scheme is available under the National Childcare Investment Programme (NCIP) to support community-based, not-for-profit, childcare services to enable them to provide quality childcare services at reduced rates to disadvantaged families.
    Community Childcare Subvention Scheme

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