Here's how you can avail of the new National Childcare Scheme 4 weeks ago

Here's how you can avail of the new National Childcare Scheme

Brought to you by the National Childcare Scheme

If you're a parent, especially to a baby or toddler, there's no doubt that autumn and the lead up to Christmas can really leave you feeling the pinch in your pocket.

That's why it's entirely worth understanding and availing of schemes available to help reduce the cost of childcare.

The landmark new National Childcare Scheme provides financial support for families to help assist in paying towards childcare. It aims to improve children's outcomes, support lifelong learning, make work pay, reduce child poverty and tangibly reduce the cost of quality childcare for thousands of families across Ireland. Plus, it's so simple to apply for it online (applications open on November 20, 2019).

Through the National Childcare Scheme, the government is committed to changing Ireland's childcare system from one of the most expensive in the world to one of the very best.

It means the number of families who can access financial support will rise and many families will, for the first time, be entitled to subsidies which reduce their childcare costs significantly.

Who is the scheme available to? 

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.

Income Assessed 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 rate will vary depending on the level of reckonable family income, a child's age and the educational stage. Reckonable family income is calculated by taking net family income (income after tax, PRSI and USC) and deducting any allowable items under the Scheme.

The subsidy can be used towards the cost of a Tusla registered childcare place for up to a maximum of 40 hours per week where parents are working, studying or training and a maximum of 15 hours per week where parents are not working, studying or training.

The threshold for applying for Income Assessed subsidies is €60,000 reckonable income per year.

The aim of the scheme is to assist in delivering the quality, accessible and affordable childcare that Ireland needs. It will provide a flexible, future-focused and sustainable platform to invest in quality Early Learning and Care and School Age Childcare. It is a big commitment to children and a huge investment in families.

Online applications open on November 20, 2019. To apply for the Scheme online, applicants will need to have a verified MyGovID.

For further information and a range of resources for families who wish to apply, find out more at www.ncs.gov.ie

Keep up to date with the latest on the National Childcare Scheme website and its Facebook page.

Brought to you by the National Childcare Scheme