Find out all you need to know to inform parents about subsidies they may benefit from, and how to administer these schemes through the Early Years Hive.
The Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth offers a number of government funded schemes which are administered by Pobal through the the Early Years Hive. Services may enter these schemes through The Early Years Hive. The Universal Programmes, which are available to all children attending Tusla Registered Early Years Services, are as follows.
What is the National Childcare Scheme?
The National Childcare Scheme provides subsidies to help parents meet the cost of quality Early Learning and Care and School Age Childcare. It has replaced all previous targeted childcare support programmes with a single, streamlined and user friendly Scheme.
Under the National Childcare Scheme, subsidies are available for families with children aged between 24 weeks and 15 years who are attending any participating Tusla registered childcare services, including any Tusla registered childminder and school age childcare services.
There are two types of subsidies available under the National Childcare Scheme: a Universal subsidy and an Income Assessed subsidy.
- Universal subsidies are available to all families with children under 3 years, or families with children over 3 years who have not yet qualified for the free preschool (ECCE) programme. It is not means tested and provides €1.40 per hour for up to 45 hours per week off the cost of a Tusla registered childcare place.
- Income Assessed subsidies are available to families with children aged between 24 weeks and 15 years. They are means tested and will be calculated based on your individual circumstances. The subsidy rate will vary depending on your level of reckonable family income, your child’s age and their educational stage. It can be used towards the cost of a Tusla registered childcare place for up to a maximum of 45 hours per week. To apply for an Income Assessed subsidy, your reckonable family income has to be less than €60,000 per year.
You can find out more information on this here.
The National Childcare Scheme is processed online via the Early Years Hive.
There is National Childcare Scheme Parent Call Centre. Parents can call 01 906 8530 for information or any queries they have on the National Childcare Scheme. Open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.
What is Core Funding?
Core Funding is a payment to providers designed to support quality, sustainability, and enhanced public management, with associated conditions in relation to fee control and cost transparency, incorporating funding for administration and to support the employment of graduate staff.
Core Funding is a grant to Early Learning and Care (ELC) and/or School Age Childcare (SAC) providers to support them in meeting increased operating costs.
It is designed to deliver:
▪ affordability for parents through ensuring no increases in fees and offering NCS and ECCE to all
▪ quality in services, including through better terms and conditions for staff and supporting
graduate leadership in services; and
▪ sustainability for providers through substantially increased funding to the sector, paid on a consistent and equitable basis.
Core Funding is a key pillar of the new funding model recommended by an Expert Group in their report, Partnership for the Public Good: a New Funding Model for Early Learning and Care and School-Age Childcare, published in December 2021.
It is designed to enable a new type of partnership between the State and ELC
and SAC providers to deliver the public good.
Core Funding will operate alongside NCS, ECCE (at standard capitation rates), AIM and the CCSP Saver Programme and be in addition to income from these funding streams and any income received in parental fees.
Importantly, Core Funding will only come into effect and is contingent upon Employment Regulation Orders
being in effect to cover all roles across the sector as defined in the Early Years’ Service Joint Labour Committee Establishment Order.
For full details on Core Funding click Here
ECCE – The Early Childhood Care and Education Programme
This programme offers 15 hours of free sessional preschool per week – for 3 hours per day, 5 days per week over 38 weeks of the year. Children will become eligible at the entry point following their third birthday, for up to two years until they begin primary school. The starting age has been adjusted for children from September 2018, when children become eligible for ECCE once they are aged 2years 8months by the 1st September.
The ECCE programme is processed online via the Early Years Hive.
You can use our ECCE Calculator to work out the eligibility according to the child’s birthday.
Graduate uplift is payable where the ECCE Room Leader holds a recognised qualification at QQI level 7/8/9, along with sufficient experience. For more information on the recognition of an Early Years Qualification see here.
The DCEDIY Legacy Targeted Childcare Support which is available is CCSP. These programmes require that families meet certain eligibility criteria in order to register. These programmes are processed online via the Early Years Hive. The details of who is eligible are outlined below.
CCSP – Community Childcare Subvention Plus
The CCSP Saver Programme provides support for eligible parent/guardians on a low income to avail of reduced childcare costs at participating childcare services. The children who were registered for CCSP in the 2019/2020 programme year and retain registrations under CCSP Saver Programme are referred to as ‘Savers’.
No new registrations can be made under the CCSP Saver Programme for children who have not been previously registered on CCSP 2019/2020 programme year.
If a child ages out of the CCSP Saver Programme i.e. turns 15 years of age or choses to move to NCS the parent will no longer be eligible for reduced childcare costs for this child under this programme.
The CCSP Saver Programme is processed online via the Early Years Hive.
1) How do I apply to provide a DCEDIY funding scheme?
A provider can contact KKCCC to apply enter a programme. Contracting, Fee Payment Policies, Service Calendars and individual registrations are then submitted through the Early Years Hive.
2) How can I determine the eligibility of a child for a funding programme?
Eligibility for DCEDIY Universal Funding Programmes, NCS and ECCE are based on the age ranges outlined above.
Eligibility for DCEDIY Legacy Targeted Childcare Supports are based on children who were registered for CCSP in the 2019/20 programme year.
If you are unsure about a child’s eligibility you are welcome to contact us to discuss it.
3) What are the Pobal requirements for compliance with funding programmes?
Providers should familiarize themselves with the Pobal FAQ, Rules for Funding Programmes and Grant Agreements, which are also available through your Early Years Hive. A compliance checklist is also made available by Pobal for information purposes. Pobal also have developed a set of guidelines for documenting attendance which you can find on Early Years Hive.
4) How many weeks of subsidy will I be paid for?
The number of payable weeks will depend on the programme, your service calendar. ECCE programme is payable for 38 weeks, NCS and CCSP is payable for up to 52 weeks.
5) A parent in my service wants to know what their options are regarding funding to reduce their childcare bill.
You may direct parents to our parents funding website page which has some helpful resources, or to contact us for advice where necessary. If you are unsure about the parents eligibility and would like to discuss it then please get in touch.