Migrant Ireland
Migrant Ireland

Medical cards
Entitlement to health services
Maternity Services
Private Health Care
European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)
Early childhood education
Post-Primary Schools
Third level education

Primary Schools

The school year for primary school children is from September until the end of June. The primary school cycle is 8 years long starting with 2 years of infant classes and followed by 1st to 6th class.


There are various early education or pre-school facilities available but they are largely private and fees have to be paid. However, the State now funds one year of free pre-schooling under the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) Scheme. There are some State-funded pre-school facilities, which are largely for children who are disadvantaged or have special needs.

You should contact your local primary school to get a copy of its enrolment policy and a copy of its enrolment form. You should apply in writing for a school place as early as possible due to long waiting lists in many areas. You will need a copy of your child’s Birth Certificate when enrolling your child in school. All schools are required to enrol in accordance with their enrolment policies. Problems can arise in securing a school place if classes are full and if there is a waiting list for school places. Some post-primary schools give priority to students from certain primary schools so it may be useful to plan ahead when choosing a primary school for your child.

The rules about school attendance apply from age 6. In practice, nearly all 5-year-olds are at school and about half of 4-year-olds in Ireland also attend school. Children may not be enrolled at primary school before the age of 4.