Government promises almost 20,000 extra free preschool places this month

Childcare providers say they are working for nothing to fulfill a Government promise of almost 20,000 extra free preschool places for children this month.

They warn that further expanding the scheme to create 35,000 more places by next April will place an impossible burden on many preschools — unless proper financial support is provided.

Minister for Children Katherine Zappone yesterday heralded the success of the expanded Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) scheme which previously provided 67,000 children with three hours free preschool care a day for 38 weeks in the year prior to them starting school.

As of this month, the scheme is extended to two preschool years, kicking in once a child turns three years of age and catering for them for as much as 88 weeks by the time they start school.

Read the full article on the Irish Examiner