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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 guide for parents
  • Step 2: Download application form
  • Step 3: Check school criteria
  • Step 4: Complete application form and return to first preference pre-school provider

Step 1: Read guide for parents

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

Step 2: Download application form

Download and print the application form in preparation for completion.  A printed copy of an application form can be obtained if necessary from your local pre-school provider.  The closing time for submitting the application form to your first prefernce provider is no later than 12 noon on Wednesday 10 January 2018.

Note: Each pre-school has a reference book for viewing which details the admissions criteria for all pre-school providers in their council 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

NOTE: if searching for the term 'Mary' type a space in front of it to avoid the total return of primary.


School NameEducation PhaseArea
Daisy Chain Day CarePre-school EducationSouthern
Dara PlaygroupPre-school EducationSouthern
Denamona Pre-School Education CentrePre-school EducationWestern
Derrytrasna PlaygroupPre-school EducationSouthern
Dervock Community PlaygroupPre-school EducationNorth Eastern
Dickson Primary School Nursery UnitPre-school EducationSouthern
Discovering Kids PlaygroupPre-school EducationSouthern
Dominican at Early Years PlaygroupPre-school EducationSouthern
Donacloney Primary School Nursery UnitPre-school EducationSouthern
Donagh "Wee Folk" PlayschoolPre-school EducationWestern
Donaghadee PS Nursery UnitPre-school EducationSouth Eastern
Downpatrick Nursery SchoolPre-school EducationSouth Eastern
Downshire Nursery SchoolPre-school EducationSouthern
Downshire PS Nursery Unit HillsboroughPre-school EducationSouth Eastern
Dromara Pre school and PlaygroupPre-school EducationSouth Eastern
Dromore Community PlaygroupPre-school EducationWestern
Dromore Nursery SchoolPre-school EducationSouthern
Drumadonnell Primary School Nursery UnitPre-school EducationSouthern
Drumahoe Community PlaygroupPre-school EducationWestern
Drumaness Cross Community PlaygroupPre-school EducationSouth Eastern
Drumgor Primary School Nursery UnitPre-school EducationSouthern
Drumnamoe Nursery SchoolPre-school EducationSouthern
Dunclug Nursery SchoolPre-school EducationNorth Eastern
Dundela Infants PS Nursery UnitPre-school EducationBelfast
Dundonald PS Nursery UnitPre-school EducationSouth Eastern

Step 4: Complete application form and return to first preference pre-school provider

Parents should complete a single application form that lists in order of preference those pre-schools where you would consider sending your child.

Form must be returned to your first preference pre-school provider by 12 noon on Wednesday 10 January 2018.


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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