This article describes what a naíonra is, where you can find them, and the main organisations that are relevant to them.
A naíonra is an Irish-medium playgroup for pre-school children (aged between 3-5 years old) that usually runs for around 2 – 3.5 hrs per day, under the instruction of the naíonra director.
The aim is to support the physical, intellectual, creative, aesthetic, social, emotional and lingual development of the child. This is done through play and the Irish language in a safe, supportive and encouraging environment.
Where is my nearest naíonra?
Naíonraí are established throughout the country. A list of the naíonraí outside the Gaeltacht is maintained by the Gaeloideachas organisation and can be found here.
Who are Gaeloideachas?
Gaeloideachas is a national, voluntary organisation supporting the development of Irish-medium education.
Founded as Gaelscoileanna in 1973 to support Irish-medium schools, primary and post-primary, outside of the Gaeltacht, the organisation’s remit now includes the provision of support services for Irish-medium schools in Gaeltacht areas, and for Irish-medium preschools outside of the Gaeltacht.
Early education services in the North
Altram is the regional support group for Irish-medium early years projects. It was founded in 1990 by local pre-schools in Derry, Belfast, Armagh and Newry. Altram supports the Irish-medium early years providers, helps improve the standard of provision in the sector and promotes the importance of the early years in Irish medium education
Early education services in the Gaeltacht
Comhar Naíonraí na Gaeltachta provide the infrastructure for those offering early education services through Irish in the Gaeltacht. They provide administration services, support and training services for early childhood education and care services which includes naíonraí, crèches, breakfast clubs, afterschool services and parent and toddler groups in the Gaeltacht areas.
- Pre-school education and childcare (Citizens Information)
Date updated: July 2023