Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Questions (1203)

Joan Burton

Question:

1203. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the estimated number of children who will be in ECCE in September 2019, by year of birth and local authority. [13430/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

The Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) programme is a universal programme available to all children within the eligible age range. It was first introduced in 2010 as a one-year programme to provide children with their first formal experience of early learning prior to commencing primary school.

In line with a commitment in the Programme for Government, the ECCE Programme was extended in September 2018. Children are now eligible to enrol in this Programme once they are 2 years and 8 months of age in the September of a given programme year and are eligible to avail of two years of the programme (provided that they are not older than 5 years and 6 months at the end of the programme year). The proportion of children availing on this entitlement is determined by a range of factors, including the child’s month of birth and parental choice with regard to school starting age.

The estimated number of children enrolling in the ECCE Programme 2019/20 is 108,518. This estimate is derived using a number of data sources, including population data provided by the CSO and data on school starting age from the Pupil Online Database held by the Department of Education and Skills. It also reflects consistent trends in uptake of the ECCE Programme, which is in the region of 95% of the eligible cohort. It excludes children within the eligible cohort who may choose to enroll on other DCYA funded programmes.

Drawing on previous analysis from the Forward Planning Unit in the Department of Skills on the estimated number of children in each Local Authority that are within the eligible age range for this Programme, the estimated number of children enrolling in the Programme 2019/20 Programme Year in each Local Authority is provided as follows.

County

No.

Carlow

1,323

Dublin City

10,973

Dun Laoghaire - Rathdown

4,316

Fingal

8,570

South Dublin

7,297

Kildare

5,531

Kilkenny

2,272

Laois

2,061

Longford

980

Louth

3,043

Meath

5,046

Offaly

1,811

West Meath

2,124

Wexford

3,373

Wicklow

3,257

Clare

2,544

Cork City

2,181

Cork County

10,146

Kerry

2,889

Limerick

4,338

Tipperary

3,438

Waterford

2,536

Galway

5,900

Leitrim

711

Mayo

2,647

Roscommon

1,332

Sligo

1,428

Cavan

1,744

Donegal

3,319

Monaghan

1,388

Total

108,518