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 50 cents 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.