Thursday, 17 August 2017
Latest Issue

advice

Christmas 2012 & New Year 2012

Free Pre-School Places

Chris Briggs from the Charity Employers For Childcare gives advice and closing dates for pre-school applications.

It may seem like no time since you were celebrating your child’s second birthday but already you are being encouraged to think ahead to their education and schooling. Parents of children born between 2 July 2009 and 1 July 2010 can now apply for a free pre-school place for the academic year beginning September 2013.

However, you need to act quickly. Application forms are available from the start of December and the deadline for the return of applications is strictly 12 noon on Friday 11 January 2013.


What are Free Pre-School Places?

In Northern Ireland, children are entitled to a free pre-school place of at least 12.5 hours per week for 38 weeks in the year before they start primary one.

Pre-school education is not compulsory however there is strong evidence to suggest that high quality pre-school education has immensely positive outcomes for children. The Northern Ireland Government has given a commitment to ‘ensure that at least one year of pre-school education is available to every family that wants it’.


How can I apply?

Application forms should currently be available from the pre-school setting or directly from the Education and Library Board. The application form should be completed giving the maximum number of pre-school settings you wish your child to be considered for.
The completed application form must be returned to your first choice provider by the date stated on the application form. This will be 12 noon on 11 January 2013.


What are the criteria?

Pre-school settings must adhere to strict admissions criteria which will be published in the Board’s prospectus. Each provider will have its own set of criteria which may include:

•Children of parents who receive certain means-tested benefits
•Children whose application names that particular setting as first preference
•Children who have siblings who have attended the setting or where parents are employed by the setting (or in the case of some nursery units, the adjoining school)
•Children who live nearest to the setting.

Parents are required to provide proof of the information given on the application form, such as the child’s address and date of birth.

Some providers may accept applications for younger children in the year before their pre-school year, but strict admissions criteria will be adhered to, giving preference to children in their final pre-school year.


Where can I access more information?

More information, application forms and pre-school prospectus are available from your local Education and Library Board:

BELB 028 9056 4080 www.belb.org.uk
SEELB 028 9056 6981 www.seelb.org.uk
NEELB 028 2566 2197 www.neelb.org.uk
SELB 028 3751 2455 www.selb.org
WELB 028 8241 1458 www.welbni.org

Don’t forget, the closing date for completed applications will be 12 noon on Friday 11 January 2013.

For further information on pre-school places or any other childcare and work related issues contact cba@employersforchildcare.org or Tel: 0800 028 6538.

Your Comments

  • Baby Talk by Chris Briggs

    The birth of a child is a wonderful time for expectant parents and their families however the arrival of a tiny baby will also have a big impact on your family finances. Help is available, so be pr More..

  • Summer Fun? By Chris Briggs

    Over the summer months childcare can require even more planning than during term time. Many parents are using different childcare through summer schemes or extra childcare to cover those hours where c More..

  • Don’t delay – contact HMRC today

    We have received an influx of calls from parents who have been told by the Tax Credit Office that they are no longer entitled to the benefit because their income is too high. However, remember tha More..

  • Tax Credit Renewal time is approaching

    Why does the pack give me details of last year’s payments? HMRC need to re-check all your details from the previous year to ensure that you received the appropriate amount of Tax Credits. The renew More..

  • Tax credit changes imminent

    Many households will have received a letter from HMRC stating that their entitlement may end from April. This has obviously caused much concern and confusion as the letters do not make clear the cri More..

  • Working Tax Credits - changes to working hours

    I have received a letter from Tax Credits saying that from April 2012 I will no longer be eligible for Working Tax Credit due to my working hours. Why is this? My family circumstances are not chan More..


Download boredom busting activity sheets here

Web design and development by Creative Online Media, Belfast. Copyright 2007-2008. All rights reserved.

This page is valid XHTML 1.0 Strict, CSS