An examination of the age qualifying criteria of the Early Childhood Care and Education Scheme and it's potential implications for access to the free pre-school year and school starting age
Community-Academic Research Links, University College Cork
This study is a Community-Academic Research Links (CARL) project managed between Cork Early Years Network, UCC Applied Social Studies Department and the researcher. The aim of this thesis is to explore whether the age restrictions of the Early Childhood Care and Education scheme have implications for access to the offer on a free preschool year and for school starting age. Through qualitative means the study uses professional interviews and a survey for parents to investigate and identify any concerns for the dual focus of research question. The age limits of the ECCE scheme are a concern to early years’ professionals but they do not present as a significant concern for parents, however, the scheme appears limited in its present offer as it only affords one free year of preschool to children as young three years and three months. The study found that many four year old children are still entering primary school even though a significant number of parents feel four is too young for school. The majority of parents would consider two years of preschool for their children, especially if their child was not ready or old enough for school and if provision was free or affordable. The study concludes that it would be feasible to extend the free pre-school year offer in the ECCE scheme to two years.
Early childhood care , Free pre-school year , School starting age , Age restrictions , ECCE scheme
Reid, M. (2014) An examination of the age qualifying criteria of the Early Childhood Care and Education Scheme and it's potential implications for access to the free pre-school year and school starting age. Cork: Community-Academic Research Links, University College Cork.
©2014, Mary Reid.