Improvements to free preschool places

Improvements to preschool places for children, parents and providers were announced this week.
Childcare providers will receive an increase of 7% in capitation payments for ECCE free pre-school from September. The top payment is to rise to €80.25 per child per week, an increase of €5.25 per week.
Approximately 120,000 children benefited from this universal scheme last year which offers 15 hours per week of free preschool to children across the school year. The scheme is being extended from September to offer up to two years (76 weeks) to every child from the age of two years and eight months until they start in school.
Childcare providers will see the weekly payments for children registered on the scheme rise by 7% to as much as €80.25 where staff have degrees, or €69 where staff have the minimum qualification of Level 5 and 6.
High quality and affordable childcare remains a Government priority. Children and families availing of early childhood services need and deserve high quality services delivered by valued professionals.