Pre-school Admissions Guide

Although pre-school isn't compulsory it has benefits. Our guide will help you understand more about the process and what to expect when applying for a place in pre-school for your child.

Applying for a Pre-School place in the school year September 2019 - June 2020

  • Online applications have been introduced for admission to Pre-School in the 2019/2020 school year.
  • If your child is born on or between 2 July 2015 and 1 July 2016 they will be in their target pre-school and you will be eligible to apply for admission to either a Nursery School or Nursery Unit or Playgroup for the school year 2019-2020. 
  • If funded places are still available after target age children are admitted then underage (penultimate) children born on or between 2 July 2016 and 1 July 2017 may also be admitted.  If your child falls within this age group you will be eligible to apply to only a Nursery School or a Nursery Unit.
  • If your child is under 2 years old click here for information. 
  • The Pre-School application procedure is open from Wednesday 2 January 2019 and closes at 12.00 midnight on Thursday 31 January 2019;
  • You can complete your application online during the above timeframe – it is quick, easy and there is a user guide and helpdesk available if you need any assistance;
  • If you do not have internet access at home you can use the data on your smartphone to apply. 
  • If poor mobile reception is an issue in your area then mobile network providers e.g. O2 have wifi hotspots and you can find more details of where these are by visiting their websites.
  • You can also access the internet via libraries throughout Northern Ireland.  The EA plans to have digital assistance clinics in January and further details about these will be available on this website in due course.
  • It is hoped that as many parents as possible will apply online.
  • If you do not have an email address or are unable to use the online Parent Portal you will still be able to access a paper application form via your local pre-school.
  • It is very important that you submit a punctual application as any applications received after 12.00 midnight on Thursday 31 January 2019 will be treated as ‘late’
  • Having completed an application you will need to provide your child’s birth certificate, as well as any other supporting documentation required within the published admissions criteria of any of your preferred pre-schools.  Documentation should be submitted to the pre-school provider listed at first preference on your application by 12.00 noon on Friday 8 February 2019.
  • You can now read information available on this website about the pre-school admission procedure.  The ‘Find a Pre-School’ option on this website will assist you in identifying pre-school providers in your area.
  • The admissions criteria for pre-schools are available on this website.
  • Parents should continue to read the information available on this website and check for further updates.
Last updated: 01/01/2019