Education Authority
Education Authority
Home > I Want To > Apply for a School Place or Transfer Between Schools > Pre-School Admissions
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
Nai­scoil Na FuiseoigePre-school EducationSouth Eastern
Naiscoil an Cheide PlaygroupPre-school EducationSouthern
Naiscoil an ChreagainPre-school EducationSouthern
Naiscoil an Droichid Pre-school EducationBelfast
Naiscoil An LonnainPre-school EducationBelfast
Naiscoil an luir PlaygroupPre-school EducationSouthern
Naiscoil an Traonaigh Lisnaskea Pre-school EducationWestern
Naiscoil an tSleibhe DhuibhPre-school EducationBelfast
Naiscoil an tSratha Bain Strabane Pre-school EducationWestern
Naiscoil Aodha RuaPre-school EducationSouthern
Naiscoil Bheann MhadagainPre-school EducationBelfast
Naiscoil Bheanna BoirchePre-school EducationSouth Eastern
Naiscoil BhreandainPre-school EducationBelfast
Naiscoil Charn TochairPre-school EducationNorth Eastern
Naiscoil Chois LochaPre-school EducationSouthern
Naiscoil Cholmcille CarrickmorePre-school EducationWestern
Naiscoil Cholmcille DerryPre-school EducationWestern
Naiscoil DhoirePre-school EducationWestern
Naiscoil Dhun PadraigPre-school EducationSouth Eastern
Naiscoil Eadain MhoirPre-school EducationWestern
Naiscoil EannaPre-school EducationNorth Eastern
Naiscoil Eoghain (Irish Medium Nursery Unit of Gaelscoil Eoghain)Pre-school EducationSouthern
Naiscoil Ghleann An IolairPre-school EducationNorth Eastern
Naiscoil Ghleann DarachPre-school EducationNorth Eastern
Naiscoil Leim an Mhadaidh Limavady Pre-school EducationWestern

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.

40 Academy Street, Belfast, BT1 2NQ