I am a Parent

What is the National Childcare Scheme?

The National Childcare Scheme is our pathway to truly accessible, affordable, quality childcare. 

The Scheme will open in 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.

Subsidies will be 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 two types of subsidies:

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. 

Read more about the Universal and Income Assessed subsidies.

Read the Parent Frequently Asked Questions.

To download a copy of the information leaflet click here.

To find out about all other existing Childcare schemes click here.

How to Apply

Online applications for the National Childcare Scheme will open in October 2019. 

To apply for the Scheme online you will need to have a verified MyGovID.

Learn about the steps in getting a verified MyGovID

Get in Touch

The National Childcare Scheme Parent Support Centre is open from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday  

Call 01 9068530 

Contact your local City or County Childcare Committee for information on the Scheme and services in your area. 

Find your local City or County Childcare Committee.

Email us at ncs@dcya.gov.ie