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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
Railway Street Nursery SchoolPre-school EducationSouthern
Rainbow Child & Family Centre DerryPre-school EducationWestern
Rainbow Community Playgroup, OmaghPre-school EducationWestern
Rainbow Corner Pre school and Playgroup MoiraPre-school EducationSouth Eastern
Rainbow Playgroup CarrickfergusPre-school EducationNorth Eastern
Rainbow Playgroup EglishPre-school EducationSouthern
Rainbow Pre-School Pre-school EducationSouthern
Rainbow Private Day NurseryPre-school EducationNorth Eastern
Rainbow Stop PlaygroupPre-school EducationSouthern
Randalstown Community PlaygroupPre-school EducationNorth Eastern
Rascals Community Playgroup, GortinPre-school EducationWestern
Rascals n Ruffians PlaygroupPre-school EducationSouthern
Rascals Playstation Community Playgroup BallinamallardPre-school EducationWestern
Rasharkin Community PlaygroupPre-school EducationNorth Eastern
Rathcoole PS Nursery UnitPre-school EducationNorth Eastern
Rathfriland Pre-School PlaygroupPre-school EducationSouthern
Rathkeltair Cross Community Pre-school DownpatrickPre-school EducationSouth Eastern
Rathmore PS Nursery Unit BangorPre-school EducationSouth Eastern
Ravenscroft Nursery SchoolPre-school EducationBelfast
Resurrection Nursery & PlaygroupPre-school EducationBelfast
Rhyme Times Playgroup LisburnPre-school EducationSouth Eastern
Richmount PlaygroupPre-school EducationSouthern
Right Rascals Day Nursery Pre-school Unit KillinchyPre-school EducationSouth Eastern
Rockmount Day Nursery BallynahinchPre-school EducationSouth Eastern
Roe Valley Community PlaygroupPre-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.

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