Working parents in Carlow to benefit from expanded free preschool scheme – DEERING

8th September, 2016

 

Fine Gael Carlow TD Pat Deering has said that the announcement by Minister for Children, of an expansion to the Early Childhood Care and Education Programme, (ECCE), will be of huge benefit to working parents in Carlow.

Deering stated “Thanks to a major expansion of the free preschool scheme known as the ECCE, thousands of extra children across the country are going to be able to access free preschool places.

“All children reaching three years of age are now entitled to a free preschool place, meaning that 85,000 children are now eligible for the scheme nationwide. Eligible children will now be able access the expanded ECCE Programme across two (and in some cases three) school years. In previous years, eligible children were only permitted to access the ECCE Programme from the September of that preschool year; two further eligibility entry points have been added, in January and April, to facilitate additional access.

“This expansion of the free preschool scheme will be of huge benefit to working parents in Carlow. It is estimated that for each place on the scheme, a family can save between €2,500 – €4,000 in childcare costs and these savings of up to €4,000 will help to ease their financial burden significantly.

“As well as the financial benefits, international studies show that children who take part in schemes such as the ECCE, have better outcomes later in life, particularly those children experiencing disadvantage.