Do I qualify for the National Childcare Scheme?
Perhaps the most frequently asked question about the new National Childcare Scheme (NCS):
The good news is that universal subsidies will be available to all families with children under three-years-of-age OR families with children over three-years-of-age who have not yet qualified for the free preschool (ECCE) programme – regardless of income.
Universal subsidies for all
Universal subsidies will be available to all families with children under three-years-of-age OR families with children over three-years-of-age who have not yet qualified for the free preschool (ECCE) programme. The subsidy is not means-tested and provides up to €1,040 per year off of the cost of a Tusla registered childcare place, regardless of income.
Targeted & means tested subsidies
Targeted means tested subsidies will be available to families with children aged between six months and 15 years. These are means-tested and will be calculated based on a family’s individual circumstances. The subsidy available to you will depend on:
- Your child’s age and education stage
- Your income
- Whether or are in work/education
Once your application has been approved you will receive a unique code – this is called a CHICK code. You need to bring this code to your TUSLA registered childcare provider. This code will be used to unlock your childcare subsidy. Your childcare subsidy will be paid directly to the childcare provider who will subtract this from their published fee.
For more information an guides on the National Childcare Scheme visit https://ncs.gov.ie/home
The Scheme will open to online applications on November 20th 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.
Online applications for the National Childcare Scheme will open in November 2019, with the first subsidy payments flowing to providers from November 25th 2019. A paper based, postal application will be available from January 2020.