Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Questions (1004)

Noel Harrington

Question:

1004. Deputy Noel Harrington asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if the free preschool year in respect of a child (details supplied) in County Cork can be deferred until September 2015; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22761/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

The Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) programme provides one free preschool year to all eligible children before the commence primary school. The programme includes a number of additional provisions to take account of children with special needs. These include an exemption from the upper age limit for qualification under the programme where a child is developmentally delayed and would benefit from starting primary school at a later age. In addition, children with special needs can apply to have the preschool year split over two years on a pro-rata basis, for example availing of the programme for 2 days a week in the first year and for 3 days a week in the second year. Applications for exemptions are considered by officials in the Early Years Policies and Programmes unit in my Department. I have asked officials to examine the documentation submitted by the Deputy and to write directly to the parents in this matter.