Most children allocated places at pre-school of choice

John O'Dowd MLA Minister of Education
John O'Dowd MLA Minister of Education

More than 23,000 children in Northern Ireland have been allocated places in the pre-school chosen by their parents.

Figures from the Department of Education show that 99.9 per cent of the parents who applied for a place at the beginning of the application process - and stayed with the process to the end - have been allocated a funded pre-school place.

Parents and guardians have now been advised of the outcome of their application at stage two of the pre-school admissions process.

Education Minister John O’Dowd said: “This year, 23,485 applications were received, up almost two per cent on last year’s number.

“Over 450 more funded places have been allocated than last year. The department has provided sufficient funding to meet the growth in demand for pre-school places.”

He added: “The department and the education and library boards have worked hard to meet demand and as well as making extra places available in voluntary and private settings, an additional 91 places in statutory settings have been approved under new arrangements for temporary flexibility which have been made available for the first time this year, following the publication of the Learning to Learn framework.

“The education and library boards will continue to work with parents of the very small number who have not secured a place.”