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Press Release

Minister Zappone welcomes launch of the Postal Application Process for the National Childcare Scheme

Published: 11 March 2020
From: Department of Children and Youth Affairs

30,359 applications received to date for 39,572 children.

The National Childcare Scheme (NCS) opened for online applications on 20th November 2019. To date 30,359 applications for support for 39,572 children have been processed. 3,646 childcare providers have contracted to deliver services under the NCS.

Welcoming the launch of the NCS postal application process, Minister Zappone said:

“I am delighted with the response to the National Childcare Scheme. Applications have been received for almost 40,000 children since the launch of the NCS on the 20th November 2019.
“The introduction of the postal application process provides another route for families who choose an “offline” route. I would like to see the numbers making applications continue to grow, and I encourage parents to visit our website www.ncs.gov.ie for more information on what they may be eligible for and how to apply using the online or postal application process.”

From 13 March 2020, families can continue to opt to apply online for subsidies under the NCS, or, they may choose to apply offline, by requesting a paper application form from the National Childcare Scheme - Parent Support Centre.

For most families, the quickest and easiest way to apply and receive a subsidy is by using the online application process. This requires a verified MyGovID account and families can apply directly at www.ncs.gov.ie. The innovative, purpose-built IT system of the NCS aims to process a universal application in a matter of minutes, and an income assessed application in a matter of days.

Alternatively, families who wish to apply for subsidies by post can contact the National Childcare Scheme - Parent Support Centre by phone (see details below) and the appropriate form will then be posted out for completion.

Subsidies awarded to families can be used with any participating Tusla registered, early learning and care and school age childcare providers. This includes Tusla registered childminders.

Under the NCS, families are being supported to meet the cost of quality early learning and care and school age childcare through a system of universal and income-related subsidies. Additional funding provided under Budgets 2019 and 2020 seeks to ensure that thousands of extra children will benefit from the NCS, beyond that originally expected. The additional investment should also ensure that thousands of other children will see increases to subsidies they were already eligible for. Income based subsidies are available to families with reckonable household incomes of up to €60,000 per annum. Depending on family circumstances, this can be in the region of €90,000 in gross income.

The NCS is paving the way for Ireland’s childcare system to transform from one of the most expensive in the world into one of the best.

Further information and resources for parents are available at www.ncs.gov.ie. The National Childcare Scheme - Parent Support Centre is open Monday to Saturday from 8am to 6pm and can be contacted at 01 906 8530.

ENDS

Notes to the Editor:

Please see below for sample case studies highlighting what subsidies families may receive under the NCS.

Family A

John and Mary have 2 children, Bobby (2) and Sam (8).

John is currently studying for a QQI accredited diploma and receives a Back to Education Payment from DEASP. Mary works part-time and receives Child Benefit for both children. Their combined net income is €28,960. As they have 2 children, they receive a Multiple Child Discount of €4,300. Their reckonable income is assessed at €24,660.

They receive a 12 month subsidy award for each child. Bobby is awarded €4.35 per hour for 40 hours per week. Sam is awarded €3.75 per hour for 17 hours per week during term time and 40 hours per week during non-term time.

During term time, their total weekly subsidy is €219. During non-term time their total weekly subsidy is €324.

Under the NCS, John and Mary can avail of up to €13,068 for the year.

Family B

Nancy has 3 children, Amy (1), Noel (5), and Alex (12).

Nancy works full-time and receives Child Benefit for all three children. Her net income from employment and Child Benefit amounts to €35,400. As she has 3 children, Nancy receives a Multiple Child Discount of €8,600. Her reckonable income is assessed at €26,800.

Nancy receives a 12 month subsidy award for each child. Bailey is awarded €4.99 per hour for 40 hours per week. Noel and Alex are awarded €3.66 per hour each. Noel has 17 hours to use during term time and Alex has 10. Both have 40 hours for non-term time.

Nancy’s total weekly subsidy during term time is €305.74. During non-term time her total weekly subsidy is €492.40.

Under the NCS, Nancy can avail of up to €18,885.04 for the year.

Family C

Sergei and Natalya have one child, Luka (2).

They both work full-time, and Natalya receives Child Benefit. They have a combined net income of €42,000, so their reckonable income is assessed at €42,000.

They receive a 12 month subsidy award of €2.54 per hour for 40 hours per week for Luka. Their total weekly subsidy €101.60.

Under the NCS, Sergei and Natalya can avail of up to €5,283.20 for the year.

Family D

PJ has 4 children, Jack (13) Casey (11) and 2 year old twins, Sara and Ben.

PJ works full-time and receives Child Benefit for all 4 children. PJ’s net income from his employment and Child Benefit amounts to €49,000. He also receives a Multiple Child Discount of €8,600, so his reckonable income is assessed at €40,400.

PJ receives a 12 month subsidy award for each child. Jack and Casey are each awarded €2.16 per hour for 10 hours per week during term time, and 40 hours per week for non-term time. Sara and Ben are each awarded €2.72 per hour for 40 hours per week.

PJ’s total weekly subsidy during term-time is €265.12. During non-term time, his total weekly subsidy is €390.40.

Under the NCS, PJ can avail of up to €15,985.12 for the year.

Further information on subsidy rates and eligibility is available at www.ncs.gov.ie. Scenarios use information based on sample family data. Yearly totals are based on a 52 week year and may vary depending on service calendars or closures.