Thu, 23 May 2019

DUBLIN, Ireland - Applications have opened in Ireland for a €19m fund to support early learning and care and school age childcare providers this summer.

The funding will be made available to services offering state supported childcare from June this year.

The Programme Support Payment recognises the additional time required of providers of Department of Children and Youth Affairs funded early learning and care and school age childcare programmes, to complete the administrative work associated with the scheme.

The payment also recognises the time required to perform activities outside of contact time with children, such as preparing materials for early learning and care sessions and assisting parents in understanding how they might benefit from the various schemes supported by the State.

"By working together parents, providers and the government are transforming Irish childcare forever. These payments represent a significant investment and recognition of the work carried out by services, often behind the scenes. Work which must not be taken for granted," the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr. Katherine Zappone said Friday.

"More than 175,000 children and their families benefit from our government-supported childcare through more than 4,200 local services. I am encouraging every provider delivering our childcare schemes to make their applications so that payments can be made as soon as possible. The payments will give services extra support as we also continue preparations for the roll out of the new National Childcare Scheme later this year."

The payment will be calculated as equal to 7 days’ (1.4 weeks’) registrations for ECCE at Standard Capitation, and 14 days’ (2.8 weeks’) registrations for CCS(P) and TEC.

The application window for PSP will open for six weeks from Monday, through to Friday 21 June 2019 and the application form can be accessed through the Programmes Implementation Platform (PIP).

Payments will begin to issue after the application window closes.

The Programme Support Payment recognises the additional time required of providers of DCYA-funded early learning and care and school age childcare programmes, to complete the administrative work associated with the scheme. The payment also recognises the time required to perform activities outside of contact time with children, such as preparing materials for early learning and care sessions and assisting parents in understanding how they might benefit from the various childcare schemes supported by the State.

The Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) programme is a universal two-year pre-school programme available to all children within the eligible age range. It provides children with their first formal experience of early learning prior to commencing primary school. The programme is provided for three hours per day, five days per week over 38 weeks per year and the programme year runs from September to June each year.

The Community Childcare Subvention (CCS) Programme is a childcare programme targeted to support parents on a low income to avail of reduced childcare costs at participating community childcare services. The Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA) pays for a portion of the childcare costs for eligible children, a payment described as a subvention payment, with the parent paying the remainder.

The Community Childcare Subvention Plus (CCS Plus) Programme, similar to normal CCS, provides support    for    parents/guardians on a low income to avail of reduced childcare costs at participating privately owned childcare services and at community not-for-profit childcare services.

The objective of the Training and Employment Childcare (TEC) Programmes is to support parents on eligible training courses and eligible categories of parents returning to work, by providing subsidised childcare places.

The National Childcare Scheme (NCS) will replace the existing targeted childcare programmes with a single, streamlined and more user-friendly scheme. The Scheme will open to applications in October 2019 and aims to:

- Improve outcomes for children

- Reduce poverty

- Facilitate labour market activation and

- Tangibly reduce the cost of childcare in Ireland for tens of thousands of families

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