Education Authority
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Pre-School Admissions

Pre-School Admissions

Pre-school education is not statutory. It is designed for children in the year immediately before they enter P1, although a limited number of places may be available for younger children in some centres.

Funded pre-school places are available in a range of pre-school centres (providers) including:

  • nursery schools;
  • nursery units in primary schools; and
  • voluntary and private playgroups and day nurseries which are part of the Pre-school Education Programme (these centres may also offer fee paying places to parents).


  • Read all information carefully
  • Step 1: Download and read the parents guide
  • Step 2: Download and check the Places Available document
  • Step 3: Check school criteria
  • Step 4: Complete application form and return

Step 1: Read parents guide for admissions to pre-school

The parents guide provides information on how the admissions procedure operates, how schools select pupils and when you will be informed of the outcome of your application.

Step 2: Places Available

A list of settings with funded pre-school places remaining available for September 2016 can be found in the document below. 

If you have not previously applied and now wish to be considered for a place in one of these settings you should download and complete the form in the document Notes of Guidance and Application Form for Admission to Pre-School Education in September 2016.

Note: Each school has a number of reference books for viewing which detail the admissions criteria for all schools in their area. 

Search for School Criteria

Use the search options to find Pre-Schools and their criteria information.  The Keywords search will search for school name or location.  Enter a postcode if you wish to do a mileage range search.

Search Results

  • click on a School name to view full schools details
  • click the School Criteria Document to view school admissions criteria.
  • click back button to return to search results

If you require further help, please contact the appropriate EA admissions office.

Step 3: School Criteria Search

Step 4: Complete application form and return

If you have received a letter advising that your child has not been selected for admission and wish to be considered for a place in one of the places available settings please complete and return the form which was enclosed with your letter.


The Education and Library Boards (ELBs) were dissolved on 31 March 2015. The Education Authority was established on 01 April 2015 and is now responsible for all of the operational functions previously carried out by the five ELBs in accordance with the Education Orders.

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