Wednesday, April 24th, 2019 // BusyKids // Posted in News and Information
The National Childcare Scheme
An estimated 7,500 additional children will benefit from the Scheme, with over 40,000 other children, already eligible, seeing increases to their subsidies.
The National Childcare Scheme is to ensure parents have accessible, affordable, quality childcare. From October 2019 it will replace all previous targeted childcare programmes with a single, streamlined and user-friendly Scheme to help parents meet the cost of quality childcare.
Supports are available for families with children aged between 24 weeks and 15 years who are attending any participating Tusla registered childcare service, including any Tusla registered childminder.
There are 2 types of subsidies under the National Childcare Scheme:
- Universal Subsidies are available to all families with children under three years old. They are also available to families with children over three 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 up to 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. The subsidy can be used towards the cost of a registered childcare place for up to a maximum of 40 hours if you are working, studying or training, or in circumstances where you are unavailable for childcare, and a maximum of 15 hours if you are not working, studying or training.
How to Apply:
Applications for the National Childcare Scheme are due to open in October 2019. To apply for the Scheme online you will need to have a verified MyGovID. Your verified MyGovID is your single, secure account to unlock Irish Government services online. Click here to set up your verified MyGovID before you apply.
What will happen to the existing childcare support programmes?
To ensure continuity of service for both parents and providers, the existing childcare support programmes will continue to operate until the launch of the National Childcare Scheme, but in a limited way.
Applications for the current programmes can be made until the Scheme goes live (targeted for October 2019) after which applications to these programmes will close. This means that for the 2019/2020 programme year, both the National Childcare Scheme and the existing support programmes will run simultaneously. The Community Childcare Subvention Scheme (CCS) will be merged with the Community Childcare Subvention Scheme Plus (CCSP) for the final programme year and will cease completely in 2020. If you have any questions regarding the existing programmes please visit www.dcya.gov.ie or contact [email protected].
To make the transition as smooth as possible, you can choose to make the switch to the National Childcare Scheme immediately or remain on your current programme for the final programme year. If you wish to change at any stage throughout the year, you can remain on your current support programme right up until the point that your provider registers you for the National Childcare Scheme and you confirm this registration. For more information on the registration process please go to Question 10.
Does the National Childcare Scheme replace the free preschool / ECCE programme?
No, the free preschool programme (also known as ECCE- the Early Childhood Care and Education programme) will not be affected by the National Childcare Scheme. Instead, the National Childcare Scheme will offer ‘wrap-around’ care for families, providing financial support towards the cost of care for hours spent outside of preschool or school.
What is wrap-around care?
When you receive your subsidy award, the maximum hours for which your subsidy is payable are always inclusive of any hours that your child spends in school or preschool. Your subsidy can then be applied to any of the hours of care spent outside of school or preschool. This is known as wrap-around care. It includes childcare used before school/ preschool starts in the morning, after-school childcare, and childcare used outside of school/ preschool term times.
What happens when my child is not in school or preschool?
The hours for which your subsidy is payable will increase during any non-term time, such as school holidays or mid-term breaks. For example, if your child is in school and you qualify for 40 hours of subsidised childcare per week, your subsidy will be payable for up to 17 hours per week during term time, which can be used for before and after-school childcare. It will then increase and be payable for the maximum 40 hours per week for any non-term time childcare.
Siobhan and Jack?
Siobhan and Jack have two children; 2 year old Bobby and 5 year old Nora. Siobhan is working full time and Jack is studying for a Level 8 award on the National Framework of Qualifications.
They have a gross family income of €64,000 per year. Under the Scheme, their reckonable family income is €43,200. This is calculated by taking their gross income and subtracting their tax, PRSI and USC, as well as a €4,300 Multiple Child Discount (as they have two children under 15 in the family).
As they are both working and studying, they qualify for the maximum hours of subsidised childcare per week for both children. For Bobby, this is 40 hours a week. Bobby’s subsidy rate is €2.40 per hour, which amounts to €96 per week for 52 weeks.
Nora’s subsidy rate is €1.85 per hour. For the 36 weeks she spends in school during the year, Nora’s subsidy can be applied for up to 17 hours per week, which is the time she spends in her afterschool club. This amounts to €31.45 per week for 36 weeks. For the 16 weeks of non-term time (her school holidays) Nora’s subsidy can be applied for up to 40 hours of childcare per week, which amounts to €74 for 16 weeks.
Applying Bobby and Nora’s subsidies to the all of the hours they spend in childcare over the year, Siobhan and Jack will receive a total of €7308 off their childcare costs.
Jenny has one child who is 2 years old and needs 40 hours of childcare per week. She is a lone parent, working full-time with a gross income of €26,500 per year. Under the Scheme, her reckonable family income is €26,000 and she qualifies for a subsidy of €175 per week or €9,100 per year.
Charlie and Sam
Charlie and Sam have three children; a one year old and 2 year old twins who all need 40 hours of childcare per week. Charlie works full time, while Sam works part time. They have a gross income of €90,000 per year. Under the Scheme, their reckonable family income is €51,400 and they qualify for a total subsidy of €176 per week or €9,152 per year.
To find out more about the National Childcare Scheme please go to https://ncs.gov.ie – This website is full of insightful answers and information about the upcoming scheme.