The Minister for Education told MLAs he had found £72m in his budget to reallocate to a range of sectors over the following three years, on 15 May 2012.
John O'Dowd announced he would be ring-fencing £27m of funding for schools maintenance in 2012-13.
The minister was laying out his plans for the reallocation of funds made available through savings in other areas.
He said the funding for schools maintenance "will allow early commissioning of work in this area and will also go some way to providing support to the construction sector".
Mr O'Dowd announced funding for a number of aspects of pre-school education, including £3.9m for the voluntary/private sector and £4.4m for expansion of the Sure Start scheme.
Other allocations included £6m for special schools, and £2.2m for signage and lighting on dedicated school buses.