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Government Funding Programmes

Access & Inclusion Model (AIM)

AIM Website Information

The Access and Inclusion Model (AIM) is a model of supports designed to ensure that children with disabilities can access the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) Programme. Access & Inclusion Model (AIM) is a child-centered model, involving seven levels of progressive support, moving from the universal to the targeted, based on the needs of the child and the pre-school service.

For many children, the universal supports offered under the model will be sufficient.  For others, one particular discrete support may be required to enable participation in the ECCE Programme, such as access to a piece of specialised equipment.  For a small number, a suite of different services and supports may be necessary.  In other words, the model is designed to be responsive to the needs of each individual child in the context of their pre-school setting.  It offers tailored, practical supports based on need and does not require a formal diagnosis of disability. Further information relating to Access & Inclusion Model (AIM) can be found here.

Early Childhood Care & Education (ECCE)

ECCE Website Information

The Free Pre-School year in the Early Childhood Care and Education Programme (ECCE) is a universal childcare programme designed to give children access to up to 2 years of free pre-school education before they start primary school .

The ECCE programme is a universal programme available to all children within the eligible age range. The programme is provided for three hours per day, five days per week over 38 weeks per year and the programme year runs from September to June.

The point of entry to the programme is September. Childcare services taking part in the ECCE scheme provide an appropriate pre-school educational programme which adheres to the principles of Síolta and Aistear, the national frameworks for early years care and education.

You can access the ECCE Calculator here to determine if your child is eligible for the 2 year programme.

The National Childcare Scheme

The National Childcare Scheme

The National Childcare Scheme is a pathway to truly accessible, affordable, quality childcare. From October 2019 it replaced all previous targeted childcare programmes with a single, streamlined and user-friendly Scheme to help parents meet the cost of quality childcare.

Supports are available for families with children aged between 24 weeks and 15 years who are attending any participating Tusla-registered childcare service, including any Tusla-registered childminder.

If you are a parent looking for more information on the National Childcare Scheme, click on the link here. Applications for the National Childcare Scheme opened in October 2019. To apply for the Scheme online, you will need to have a verified MyGovID. Your verified MyGovID is your single, secure account to unlock Irish Government Services online here.