Scheme billed as a landmark in child education
THE free pre-school year for all children was first outlined in the April 2009 emergency Budget.
It replaced the early childhood supplement which was worth €1,100 and was intended for childcare costs.
The scheme was billed as a landmark development in the provision of early childhood care and education services, an area where Ireland's record was one of the worst in the OECD.
It is expected that 60,000 children -- or 90pc of those in the year before school -- will take part from next month.
Almost every pre-school service in the country is participating and they are funded for 15 hours per child per week.