Childcare Schemes

The Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA) operates a number of childcare schemes. These schemes provide free or reduced rate childcare to eligible children. These schemes are administered locally by the City and County Childcare Committees. In Limerick, Limerick Childcare Committee is responsible for the local delivery of the schemes.

The schemes are:

The Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) Scheme

The Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) Scheme provides two years of free pre-school for children. Each pre-school year runs from September to June.  From September 2018, to be eligible to enter the scheme, the child must be aged at least 2 years 8 months on the 1st September, in that pre-school year.

For 2016/17 and 2017/18 only, the scheme allows access to children from the age of 3 years up to the time they commence primary school, with 3 entry points during the year:

  • September for children who turn 3 years on or before the 31st August
  • January for children who turn 3 years on or before the 31st December
  • April for children who turn 3 years on or before the 31st March

Please note that after April 2018 there will no longer be entry points throughout the year, entry will be in September only.

Participation in the ECCE Scheme is available in both community/not-for-profit and private childcare services.

The Community Childcare Subvention (CCS) Scheme & the Community Childcare Subvention Private (CCSP) Scheme

The Community Childcare Subvention (CCS) Scheme and the Community Childcare Subvention Private (CCSP) Scheme provide access to reduced rate childcare for parents in receipt of social welfare/low incomes.

Participation in the CCS Scheme is restricted to community/not-for-profit childcare services, whilst the CCSP Scheme is only available in private services.

Training and Employment Childcare (TEC) Programmes

TheTraining and Employment Childcare (TEC) Programmes support parents on eligible training courses and eligible categories of parents returning to work, by providing subsidised childcare places. The TEC Programme is made up of 3 strands.

  • Childcare Education and Training Support Programme (CETS)
  • After-school Childcare Programme (ASCC)
  • Community Employment Childcare Programme (CEC)

Participation in the TEC Programme is available in both community/not-for-profit and private childcare services.

Rules for DCYA Childcare Funding Programmes 2018-19Rules for DCYA Childcare Funding Programmes 2018-19 has been produced to provide an overview of the ECCE, CCS, CCSP and TEC childcare programmes. This document aims to provide a summary of each of the Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA) Childcare Funding Programmes. Whilst most of the information in this document is directed mainly at childcare service providers to use as instructions on how to administer the rules of the programmes, parents may also find it useful to understand the rules of the various programmes.