Provider FAQs

1. Do I have to sign up for the National Childcare Scheme?

As with all Department of Children and Youth Affairs funded support programmes, participation in the National Childcare Scheme is voluntary. 

2. How do I sign up?

If you would like to sign up to participate in the Scheme, and your service is already registered with Tusla, you can apply to enter into a contract for the Scheme. The National Childcare Scheme contract and explanatory notes are on this website. 

3. Why do I have to be registered with Tusla?

Services are required under legislation to be registered with Tusla to participate in the Scheme. If you are not currently registered with Tusla and would like to find out more, there is further information about the process on Tusla's website.

4. Does this include after school services?

Yes, any service participating in the Scheme must be Tusla registered, including school age services and childminders. 

The Registration of School Age Services Regulations came into effect in February 2018, allowing school age services to register with Tusla for the first time. 

5. What programmes are being replaced by the National Childcare Scheme?

The Community Childcare Subvention (CCS), Community Childcare Subvention Plus (CCSP), Community Childcare Subvention Resettlement (CCSR) Community Childcare Subvention Resettlement (Transitional) (CCSR(T)) and Training and Employment Childcare (TEC) programmes will all, eventually, be replaced by the National Childcare Scheme.

The Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) programme and the Access and Inclusion Model (AIM) will not be affected by the National Childcare Scheme.

6. When will the National Childcare Scheme replace these programmes?

To ensure that the transition to the new Scheme is as smooth as possible for both parents and providers, the existing programmes will continue to operate for one final programme year*, that is the 2019/2020 programme year. New registrations for the existing programmes will close once the National Childcare Scheme launches in October.

*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. Further information on this on the DCYA website.

7. Do I have to re-contract for the existing programmes?

Yes, you will need to re-contract for the existing support programmes for the 2019/2020 programme year. Contracting will be completed on PIP as usual. Further information is available from Pobal.

8. Will the National Childcare Scheme operate on PIP?

No, the National Childcare Scheme will operate on the new Early Years Platform (EYP). Most providers will be automatically migrated from PIP to the EYP for the Scheme. The process will be covered in detail at the Phase 2 Training Sessions.

9. What will happen to PIP?

For the first year of the Scheme, PIP will continue to operate to facilitate the existing programmes. Contracting for the National Childcare Scheme will also be done on PIP for the first year. 

10. Will I have to use PIP and the new EYP?

Yes, but only for the first year. The existing programmes will continue to operate on PIP for the final programme year, as well as the ECCE, AIM and Capital Programmes. Once the legacy programmes have ceased, the National Childcare Scheme, ECCE, AIM and Capital Programmes will all operate on the Early Years Platform.  

11. What supports will be available during the transition period?

Over 600 training sessions will be held nationwide throughout the year providing further information on the Scheme. A full suite of training and information materials will also be available to access online, including all of the information covered in the sessions.  Training sessions are facilitated by local City and County Childcare Committees and will be delivered in two phases:

Phase 1 Training Sessions: How the Scheme works. These sessions covered the rules of the Scheme and their practical application, as well as compliance requirements for service providers who choose to participate. They started on the 25th March 2019 and were completed in May 2019. 

The Phase 1 Training materials are available to view here.

If you have any further questions regarding Phase 1 Training please contact your local City or County Childcare Committee directly or email ncs@dcya.gov.ie

Phase 2 Training Sessions: Using the system. These sessions will provide practical training on the use of the National Childcare Scheme‚Äôs IT system, covering both the service provider portal and the parent application process. They will start on 19th of August 2019 and will run until October 2019.    

Book your Phase 2 Training Session now!

Ongoing support and training is available from your local City or County Childcare Committee, as well as from a dedicated Pobal Provider Centre.

In addition to the training, a once off Transitional Support Payment will be paid to providers who sign up the National Childcare Scheme. This payment recognises the work involved for providers during the initial transition period when the new Scheme and the legacy programmes will both run. Full details on the Transitional Support Payment can be found here.    

Capital funding will be available to service providers who sign up to the new National Childcare Scheme. The funding will allow service providers to purchase ICT hardware and software support. Detailed guidelines on the application process are available here.

12. How can I get in touch? 

Contact your local City or County Childcare Committee for information and training. 

Call Pobal on (01) 511 7222

Email onlinesupport@pobal.ie or ncs.gov.ie