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.

Pre-School Preferences

The process for admission to pre-school is preference based and it is not always possible to accommodate everyone’s first preference. For this reason, a parent is encouraged to list a number of preferences that they would be prepared to send their child to. You should list at least four preferences and on the Citizen Portal you can list up to six preferences and if you wish to list more than six preferences you should email the additional preference and reasons for preference to the Education Authority at clearly stating your child’s details.

Please note you cannot list the same preferences more than once. The only exception to this is if you wish to apply for a nursery school or nursery unit which offers both Full-Time (FT) and Part-Time (PT) provision, in which case, you will need to list the pre-school provider twice, in your order of preference, if you want the provider to consider your application for both Full-time and Part-time e.g. (this is an example, use the provider’s correct name when listing preferences):-

1st Provider A FT

2nd Provider B

3rd Provider A PT

You should be aware that after 27 April 2021 (Close of Stage 1) a number of pre-schools will have allocated all their funded places. Therefore, it is important that you give very careful consideration to the stated order of your preference and ensure all relevant information is provided by 12 noon on Friday 5 February 2021. Refer to section on ‘Document Upload’ on this website.

Types of Pre-Schools

Ensure you choose the correct pre-school when listing preferences.  Some pre-schools have similar names but will be clearly identified by their locality e.g. St. Mary's PS NU Omagh, or St. Mary's PS NU Banbridge.

Any abbreviations within a pre-school provider’s name or referred to in this website are as follows:

PG = Playgroup
NS = Nursery School
Community NS = Community Nursery School
PS NU = Primary School Nursery Unit
IPS NU = Integrated Primary School Nursery Unit
PT = Part Time
FT = Full Time

Admissions Helpdesk

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

Monday – Thursday (8am – 8pm)
and Friday (8am - 5pm)

Last updated: 04/01/2021