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 Reception place in the school year September 2021 - June 2022

What is a Reception Class?

A small number of primary schools provide a Reception class/group for children who are aged four at the date of their admission but who are not yet of compulsory school age (i.e. children whose fourth birthday is after 1 July in a year).

Children in Reception classes do not follow the primary one element of the Northern Ireland curriculum and cannot be admitted until they reach their fourth birthday.

Children who are not of compulsory school age will only be selected for admission after all children of compulsory school age have been allocated a place.

Can I apply for a funded pre-school place and a place in a reception class?

Yes, you may apply for both a pre-school place and a place in a reception class. These are two separate application procedures and therefore you will need to complete two separate applications.

Information on applying to a Reception Class can be viewed under the Primary Admissions Guide.

You can use the Search Schools facility on the website, to find out if a primary school in your area has a reception class. 

You can then apply for a Reception place on the Citizen Portal anytime from 12 noon 7 January 2021 to 12 noon 29 January 2021.


Admissions Helpdesk

If additional information is required or any difficulty is experienced, parents can contact the admissions helpdesk via the email addresses below:

Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm

Last updated: 18/12/2020