Parent questions & childcare services in your area

When do the new subsidies start?

Registrations for the new childcare subsidies start from August 21st. Childcare services are currently registering children for both universal and targeted supports and may continue to do so throughout the year.

Where do I apply? Is there an application form?

There is no application form for the new scheme. Some providers do have their own application form but this is solely for their own use. Childcare providers collect the relevant information and upload it to a secure computer system on behalf of the Department of Children and Youth Affairs.

How can I find out which childcare providers are signed up to deliver these subsidies in my city/county?

You can view a list of childcare services in your county that have contracted to the CCS Plus Contract (targeted and universal subsidies) by clicking here (updated 01st October).

TEC (returning to training and employment), ECCE (free pre school) and CCS (targeted subsidies within community childcare settings) are also available in many services. To find out which services in your area offer TEC, ECCE and CCS please click here to contact your local Childcare Committee office who will be delighted to assist.

What if my preferred childcare provider does not participate in the scheme?

Over 3,000 (c.86%) of childcare services have signed up to deliver the CCS Plus scheme (the targeted and universal subsidies).

As childcare providers are private entities which are locally managed and governed, it is matter for each provider to decide whether or not to opt in to each scheme. The Department is aware that some providers have expressed concerns around the administration of the new measures.

To support providers in this and to encourage their sign-up, the Department has announced in recent months payments towards “non-contact” (which includes administration) for all childcare providers who register for the enhanced childcare measures under the Community Childcare Scheme. These payments will range from €28 per child for a full time universal registration up to as much as €203 per child registered on the more targeted supports.

Where a provider has concerns, they should contact their local City and County Childcare Committee (CCC) for support and guidance. That committee will also provide support and guidance to parents. Click here to find the contact details of your local CCC

Do parents have to provide any eligibility documentation for the universal subsidy?

No. The universal subsidy is non-means tested and therefore available to all children of the relevant age (i.e. from six months of age up until the time that the child qualifies for entry to the ECCE Programme) in registered childcare. Parents must supply only the name, PPSNs and data of birth of the parent and child.

Is the universal subsidy paid to the parent or the childcare provider?

The universal subsidy is paid to the childcare provider. It should be offset against the cost of childcare for that provider. If, for example, a childcare provider charges €170 per week for a full day care place, the amount charged to parents when the universal subsidy is applied should be €150 per week.

Who is eligible to receive the Universal Subsidy?

Every child in registered childcare from the age of 6 months until they are eligible to start the free pre-school programme (ECCE), is eligible for the universal subsidy. Some children may therefore be slightly older than three years of age.

What if my childcare provider puts their fees up?

Childcare fees are set by childcare providers and may be determined by many factors, such as rent, electricity, insurance etc. Childcare providers have been provided with an additional €3.5m ‘non-contact payment’ to administer these supports to families so any rise in childcare fees should not relate to availability of these supports to your family.

What does ‘registered’ childcare mean?

All childcare services in the Republic of Ireland are compelled to register with Túsla; the Child and Family Agency and are subject to regulation and inspection. Some childminders are also registered with Túsla and therefore may also participate in the scheme. Click here to check what childcare services are Túsla registered in your county.

Is the universal subsidy available all year round?

The universal subsidy is available for the full 2017/2018 CCS and CCSP Programmes starting from the 21st August 2017 (up to 52 weeks per year). Childcare provider calendars (weeks open) apply.

Are the subsidies available per child or per family?

The subsidies are available for each eligible child in your family. For instance if you have two children who are not yet old enough to avail of the ECCE (free pre school programme) then both will qualify to receive the universal subsidy of up to €20 per week. This adds up to €1,040 per year per child in full time childcare.

What are the Universal Subsidy Rates?

CCS Session Type Universal Band (CCS Band U) (Weekly Subsidy)
Full-time (i.e. 5.01 or more hours) €20
Part-time (i.e. 3.31 to 5 hours) €10
Sessional (i.e. 2.16 to 3.30 hours) €7
Half-sessional (i.e. 1 to 2.15 hours) €3.50

What if my child is only availing of childcare for a couple of days per week?

The universal subsidy is available on a pro-rata basis. For example, if a child is availing childcare for two days per week, the amount of subsidy available would be €8 per week (€20/5 = €4 x 2 days = €8). The table below gives a breakdown of the daily and weekly universal subsidy rates:

CCS Session Type (Universal) Weekly Subsidy Daily Subsidy
Full-time (i.e. 5.01 or more hours) €20 €4
Part-time (i.e. 3.31 to 5 hours) €10 €2
Sessional (i.e. 2.16 to 3.30 hours) €7 €1.40
Half-sessional (i.e. 1 to 2.15 hours) €3.50 €0.70

If my child is eligible for the ECCE Programme, but can’t find a place within a service, will my child be eligible to receive the universal subsidy until an ECCE place is available?

No. The universal subsidy is only available until the child becomes eligible for the ECCE Programme. However, children eligible for the ECCE Programme may still be eligible for the targeted subsidies provided under the CCS and TEC Programmes.

Who is eligible for CCS/CCSP personalised support subsidies?

Take a look at the table below. If you are in receipt of the supports listed you may qualify for childcare subsidies of as much as €145 per week per child.

Band A (with medical card unless otherwise stated) Band AJ (with medical card) Band B Band D
Eligibility criteria
  • One Parent Family Payment
  • Widows/Widowers Pension
  • Farm Assist
  • State Pension
  • Blind Pension
  • Guardian’s Payment
  • Illness/Injury Benefit
  • Disability Allowance
  • Carer’s Benefit/Allowance
  • Back to Work Enterprise/Education Allowance
  • Community Employment/Rural Social Scheme
  • Domiciliary Care Allowance
  • Working Family Payment (WFP)(formerly Family Income Supplement(FIS))
  • Secondary Students
  • Invalidity Pension
  • Disablement Pension
  • Official Tusla Referrals (no medical card required)
  • HSE Public Health Nurse referrals (no medical card required)
  • TÚS
  • Part-time Job IncentiveScheme
  • Gateway
  • Job Seeker’s Benefit/Allowance*
  • Supplementary Welfare Allowance**
  • Medical Card
  • Parents who are in receipt of Social Welfare payments listed underBand A/AJ but have no medical card
  • GP Visit Card (over 6yrs+only)***
  • Parents who no longer qualify for Band A/AJ this year but who were verified as being on Band A/AJ at the end of the previous school year

*parents who qualify for Band AJ under Jobseeker’s allowance/benefit receive maximum subvented childcare of €80 for full day care per week.

**parents who qualify for Band AJ under Supplementary Welfare Allowance payments receive maximum subvented childcare of €80 for full day care per week.

*** GP visit card is now universal for children 0-6 and therefore will now only apply to Band B subvention eligibility for 6yrs+.

****Please note GP Visit Card for children 0-6 years of age does not qualify for CCS/CCSP.

What are the new CCS personalised support subsidy rates?

Weekly rate Band A (with medical card unless otherwise stated) Band AJ (with medical card) Band B Band D
(Full-Day payment (5.01 hrs +)) €145 €80 €70 €50
(Part-time payment (3:31-5:00)) €80 €80 €35 €25
(Sessional payment (2:16-3:30)) €45 €45 €25 €17
(Half-session payment (1-2:15)) €22.50 €22.50 €12.50 €8.50

Contact details for your local CCC are available here.