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Sacred Heart Junior National School, Tallaght, Dublin
Sacred Heart Junior National School, Tallaght, Dublin

Early Start

An Croí Ró Naofa J.N.S. has a pre-school known as the 'Early Start' pre-school.  Early Start is a Department of Education and Skills initiative since 1994. Early Start pre-school is a one year preventative intervention programme.  It is designed to cater for children in the year before they enter junior infants.  The programme focuses on three main areas - language development, cognitive development and social, emotional and personal development.  Early Start is a play based programme through which children are actively learning in an age appropriate setting.

The pre-school is staffed by two primary school teachers and two qualified childcare workers.  It caters for 60 children daily – 15 in each of two morning groups and 15 in each of two afternoon groups. Times of sessions are:


9.00 a.m. - 11.30 a.m. morning group

12.00 p.m. - 2.30 p.m. afternoon group.


Parental support and involvement is a key element of the Early Start programme and is crucial to its success. Parents are welcome and encouraged to take part in activities during the school year, e.g.

  • Help with outings
  • Parents in the class
  • Bedtime reading club
  • Play sessions     

The pre-school has the same holidays as the Junior School and introduces the children to the rules of the Junior School and environment.

Admission Criteria

1.    A child seeking entry to Early Start must be:

 (a) 3 years and 2 months on or before the 1st September of  the  year of admittance.  

(b)  toilet trained.

 2. Priority will be given to children who are most at risk of not reaching their potential in the education system due to the effects of 

     social/economic disadvantage ( DES guidelines).

3.    Priority will be given to the above from the immediate catchment  area.