Community Childcare Subvention (CCS) Scheme

The Community Childcare Subvention (CCS) Scheme operated by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA), provides access to reduced rate childcare, for parents in receipt of social welfare/low incomes.

The Community Childcare Subvention Scheme is offered in 41 community childcare services in Limerick city and county.

How is Childcare Reduced? Who is Eligible?

Under the CCS Scheme, the DCYA provides 4 levels of subvention.  These are Band A, Band AJ, Band B and Band D.  The DCYA pays a capitation directly to the early years (childcare) service, depending on which band the parent qualifies for.  Details of bands and rates can be viewed in CCS and CCSP bands and subvention rates Sept 2018

How to Apply

To access the scheme, children must be attending a participating service during the ‘snapshot window’ set by the DCYA.  (The ‘snapshot window’ for the 2018/19 programme is from Monday 17th September 2018 to Friday 12th October 2018.)  In general, this is the only time a child can join the scheme, there are exceptions, outlined below:

Where a child in receipt of CCS funding leaves the scheme, the service can reallocate the remaining funding to another child whose parents meet the eligibility criteria.

A parent of an infant, birth to 12 months, unable to apply for CCS subvention before/during the snapshot window, may do so at any stage during the CCS year.

The service will provide the parent with a Registration Form.  Eligibility of the applying parent/guardian is determined by their status with the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (DEASP). The level of subvention is determined by the parent’s DEASP status and also by the level of childcare required.

In order to confirm eligibility, both the parent/guardian and child’s Personal Public Service Numbers (PPSNs) and date of birth are required when the CCS Child Registration Form is being completed.  PPSNs are cross-referenced with the DEASP and the HSE to determine eligibility and verify entitlement to subvention.

0-12mth Exemption

The DCYA will consider applications for infants aged 0-12 months throughout the CCS year. Reasons may include:

Parent unable to access service during the snapshot week due to its underage restrictions (0-12 months only). The child might not be old enough to attend the service, the majority of services have a minimum start age, e.g. 3 months or 6 months.
Parent not in a position to enrol infant during the snapshot week due to maternity leave, ill health or other domestic situations.
The child was not yet born by the snapshot week.

The following conditions will apply:
– The infant for whom a CCS subvention application is being made, outside of the snapshot week, may only be aged up to 12 months of age on the day of enrolment.
– CCS funding may be granted in such a case, only where the parent is otherwise eligible during the snapshot week (e.g. social welfare payment, medical card). The child’s CCS band eligibility will be calculated accordingly.
– A CCS service must have capacity for the child.
– The CCS service must not already be receiving CCS funding for a child who has left that service and not yet been replaced. They must provide the available CCS-funded place to the infant prior to any new applications for funding.

In cases where the child who left the service was eligible under a reduced band or service level, application for increased CCS funding can be made in respect of the 0 – 12 month infant eligible at the higher band.

Fee Policy and Calendar of Open Days

The early years (childcare) service must provide the parent with a copy of the following:

A CCS Service Fees Information Letter for the Service – This letter details how much the service charges full fee paying parents, and those parents who fall under Band A, AJ, B and D. It also shows if the service charges a deposit and/or optional extras.

CCS Calendar Letter this states the dates (inclusive) that the service will be open and the specific dates on which the service will be closed.

CCS Plus Scheme

Unlike the Community Childcare Subvention Scheme (CCS) which is only available in community childcare services, CCS Plus is available in both private and community services (use the ‘Search for Childcare’ option on this website to see which childcare services offer the various programmes). Eligibility bands are the same as for CCS above.  The main difference to CCS is that there is no snapshot week.  Eligibility is reckoned on the date the child starts in the programme. See CCS Plus Information for Parents Sept 2018 for more detail.

DCYA Administrative Guide

The DCYA has published Rules for DCYA Childcare Funding Programmes 2018-19 which covers all aspects of the scheme and, while aimed primarily at early years services, it also provides useful information for parents.