Family Life and Education

Pre-School Children

Childcare Facilities

If you want your children to attend the Queen's Creche you should contact the creche as soon as you are offered a place at Queen's (i.e. as far in advance of your arrival as possible).  There is usually a large waiting list and you are not guaranteed a place.  You can also choose to use other childcare facilities.  You will find more information about childcare from the Department of Health and Social Services

Childcare +

In 2005, the University implemented a Salary Sacrifice Scheme.  This scheme has now been incorporated within the University’s Benefits+ initiative and has been renamed as Childcare+.  As a member of staff at Queen’s you are eligible to join this scheme.  

Should you decide to join the Scheme, you will need to complete and sign an application form on an annual basis.  If you need further information on the scheme please do not hesitate to contact us on 02890 975342.

As a member of staff, financial support can also be obtained from the Employers for Childcare Vouchers scheme. 

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School Children

Information on Schools in NI

Education is compulsory for all children between five and sixteen years of age. School term dates in Northern Ireland normally run from the beginning of September until the end of June each year, with breaks in October, Christmas, February and Easter.

Guidance for school attendance in the UK can be found at the Department for Children, Schools and Families website.

Many schools also offer breakfast clubs and after schools/homework facilities which will help bridge the gap between school hours and working hours.

If you are moving to Queen’s with children of school age it is recommended you contact your preferred school as soon as possible in order to ensure you have secured an appropriate school place in good time. For further information please see 

Types of schools in the UK

Children's education in the UK begins with primary education at the age of five to eleven.  Children then move to secondary education where they stay until they reach at least 16 years of age, but can stay up until they are 18 years old.  These are normally local authority maintained schools and are free to all children between the ages of 5-16.  You could also choose to send your child to an independent school (private school) but you would pay for their education.

You are expected to make sure that your child has adequate stationary (e.g. pens, pencils, rulers, notebooks) but other costs such as more specialised equipment, text books, or examination fees is covered by the school.  You will be expected to pay for your child's school uniform and items of sportswear.  Charges may also be made for music lessons and for board and lodgings on residential trips.  When you have found a school you would like your children to attend, you must make an appointment with the Head Teacher to discuss whether they have places available.

Northern Ireland is devided into different Education and Library Boards.  For famillies living in the University area the Belfast Education and Library Board will be the one which is relevant to you. 

A list of schools in the Belfast area is available on the Belfast Education and Library Board website. You can search for schools by name or by entering your postal code to find a school near your accommodation.

School Lists >
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There are many places and activities around Belfast city for families to enjoy. Exploring historic buildings with adventure playgrounds; taking part in family sports and music sessions; and visiting child-friendly museums, are just some of the things you can look forward to.  

More Information Here