Your Money: The ABC guide to the childcare digouts

The new childcare subsidies could slash your childcare bill by over €10,000 a year, writes Louise McBride in the Irish Independent

Katherine Zappone’s new childcare plan was arguably the centrepiece of this month’s Budget. However the scheme, which offers childcare subsidies to help parents with the crippling cost of childcare, has attracted as much criticism as it has confusion. Stay-at-home parents, as well as those who rely on childminders, feel let down by the scheme. So too do the squeezed middle as many of these earn too much to really benefit from it.

Yet the scheme, known as the Affordable Childcare Scheme, could save you over €10,000 a year on childcare. So don’t make the mistake of assuming you’re not covered by it – when in fact you are. Here’s our nitty gritty guide to how the scheme works.

Why could the scheme save me money?

The Affordable Childcare Scheme offers two types of subsidies – a universal subsidy and a means-tested subsidy. Should you be eligible for the subsidies, they will bring down the cost of your childcare.

Who can get the universal subsidy and how much is it worth?

The universal subsidy is available to all parents who have children between the ages of six months and three years. It is worth up to €960 a year and is not means-tested. It pays a subsidy of 50c an hour for each hour of childcare used – up to a maximum of 40 hours a week. This 50c an hour is the minimum subsidy you can expect from the scheme if you have a child under three in childcare – regardless of your income. This is why it is called the universal subsidy. Should your income fall below certain limits, you will be eligible for a higher subsidy. This is where the means-tested subsidies come in……..

Read the full article on The Irish Independent Website