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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
Safe n Sound Nursery BallynahinchPre-school EducationSouth Eastern
Saints and Scholars Integrated PS Nursery UnitPre-school EducationSouthern
Sandbrook Nursery SchoolPre-school EducationBelfast
Saul Pre school DownpatrickPre-school EducationSouth Eastern
Scotwell House PlaygroupPre-school EducationSouthern
Seagoe PS Nursery Unit (Church of Ireland)Pre-school EducationSouthern
Seaview Nursery SchoolPre-school EducationSouthern
Seaview PS Nursery UnitPre-school EducationBelfast
See-Saw PlaygroupPre-school EducationNorth Eastern
Seymour Hill Pre school DunmurryPre-school EducationSouth Eastern
Shaftesbury Nursery SchoolPre-school EducationBelfast
Silverstream PS Nursery UnitPre-school EducationNorth Eastern
Sion Mills PS Nursery UnitPre-school EducationWestern
Slievegallion Community Pre-SchoolPre-school EducationNorth Eastern
Small-Fry Community PlaygroupPre-school EducationWestern
Springfield PS PlaygroupPre-school EducationBelfast
Springhill PlaygroupPre-school EducationBelfast
Squirrels Montessori NurseryPre-school EducationWestern
St Aloysius PS Nursery Unit LisburnPre-school EducationSouth Eastern
St Annes PS Nursery Unit BelfastPre-school EducationBelfast
St Anthonys Nursery SchoolPre-school EducationNorth Eastern
St Anthonys PS Nursery UnitPre-school EducationSouthern
St Bernadettes Nursery School BelfastPre-school EducationBelfast
St Bernadettes Playgroup DerryPre-school EducationWestern
St Bernards PlaygroupPre-school EducationNorth 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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