From September 2017, EVERY FAMILY will be eligible for financial childcare support for ANY child aged between 6 – 36 months, in full or part-time Tusla-registered childcare.  And thousands more can receive further support for children up to age 15 years.

Here are the main changes to the current subsidised scheme:

Universal subsidy (not means-tested)

  • There is a new universal childcare subsidy for children between the ages of 6 and 36 months (or until they qualify for the free pre-school programme). Eligibility for this universal subsidy is not means-tested; it is available for families at any income level.  It will be paid directly to participating childcare services thereby reducing the fee that you pay.

Targeted subsidy (parents in receipt of certain welfare payments)

  • There will be significant increases of up to 50% in childcare subvention rates provided under the CCS/CCSP Scheme for children from birth up to 15 years.
  • There is a new eligibility Band ‘D’ aimed in particular at families in possession of a GP visit card for children over the age of 6 years.
  • There have been amendments to the eligibility criteria to help ensure that more families can benefit from more affordable childcare.

The ECCE (free pre-school) Programme continues as before without any changes in eligibility.  To check your child’s eligibility, go to

Even if your child was not eligible to start this September, s/he may be eligible to start next January or next April and still get another full free year after that.

The TEC (training and employment) programmes (CETS, ASCC & CEC) remain as they were with regard to eligibility, but the rates have been increased in some cases.

Further information on all programmes here.