CHILDCARE SCHEMES

The Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA) operates a number of childcare schemes which 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.

NATIONAL CHILDCARE SCHEME

There are two types of subsidies available under the National Childcare Scheme:

Universal Subsidies are available to all families with children under 3 years old. They are also available to families with children over 3 years who have not yet qualified for the free preschool programme (ECCE). This subsidy is not means tested and provides 50c per hour towards the cost of a registered childcare place for a maximum of 40 hours per week.

Income Assessed Subsidies are available to families with children aged between 24 weeks and 15 years. This subsidy is means tested and will be calculated based on your individual circumstances. Your rate will vary depending on your level of family income, your child’s age and educational stage, and the number of children in your family.

To find out more about NCS, please visit https://ncs.gov.ie/en/

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.

Please note that since April 2018 the only entry point to this programme is September.

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

Community Childcare Subvention (CCS) Plus Scheme

The Community Childcare Subvention (CCS) Plus Scheme provides access to reduced rate childcare for parents in receipt of social welfare/low incomes.

It is available in private and community services (use the ‘Search for Childcare’ option to see where the programmes are available).

Training and Employment Childcare (TEC) Programmes

The Training 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:

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

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

2019-20 Transitional Rules for DCYA Targeted Childcare Programmes (CCSP CCSU CCSR CCSR(T) and TEC) has been produced to provide an overview of the ECCE, 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.