Affordable Childcare Scheme – Update

Government announces plans for the delivery of more affordable childcare this September

In a statement issued today (12 April 2017) by the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr Katherine Zappone and the Minister for Social Protection, Leo Varadkar, it was confirmed that the information technology needed to access and administer the Affordable Childcare Scheme will not be in place by September 2017.

The Department of Children and Youth Affairs is working with a number of other Government Departments including the Department of Social Protection and Pobal to build a fully automated online system which is hoped to be available for parents to access childcare supports as soon as possible.

In the absence of the Affordable Childcare Scheme being available from September 2017, Minister Zappone announced an enhancement to the Community Childcare Subvention (CCS Scheme).

The Minister has explained this as follows: ‘A new universal childcare subsidy for children aged from 6 months up to 36 months old (or commencement of the free pre-school programme). This new universal childcare subsidy will benefit up to 33,000 children. For children in full-time, registered childcare, it will amount to €1,000 per annum.

(This means) significant increases of up to 50 per cent in childcare subvention rates provided under the Community Childcare Subvention Scheme for children aged from 6 months up to 15 years old’.

This targeted approach will mean the highest level of support will go to families with the lowest incomes and is designed to support parents wishing to return to work or education by assisting with childcare costs.

Also announced today is a communications campaign which will be individually targeted at both parents and providers, it is expected that this communication campaign will be run during May and June.

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