Childcare and pre-school

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Pre-school (3 and 4 years old)

In Northern Ireland, parents of all three and four year-olds can apply to receive 12.5 hours per week of free, also known as funded, preschool education.

Places are provided by nursery schools, primary schools with nursery units and some voluntary playgroups and private providers.

Click here to find out about the pre-school provisions in your area.  


Sure Start

The Sure Start programme supports parents with children aged under four years old, living in disadvantaged areas in Northern Ireland. The programme can help a parent from pregnancy until their child starts school. 

Click here to find out more.


Sure Start operates in the some parts of the following areas in Causeway Coast and Glens:


Coleraine and Portrush

Telephone: 028 7032 1032




Ballycastle, Ballymoney, Bushmills, Armoy

Phone: 028 2073 0444




Limavady, Dungiven and surrounding areas

Telephone: 028 7772 9826



Please note that only some areas of these towns are eligible for Sure Start services.


Finding a Childminder

NICMA Northern Ireland Childminders Association maintains a list of registered childminders.

You can search for childminders in your area by inputting your postcode on their website:

Tel: 028 9181 1015 



Help with Childcare Costs

Employers for Childcare can advise parents on the help available with childcare costs

Freephone 0800 028 3008