The National Childcare Scheme (NCS) provides financial support to help with your childcare costs. There are two types of childcare subsidy for children between 24 weeks and 15 years of age:-
• A universal subsidy which is not means tested.
• An income assessed subsidy which is means tested.
Your subsidy can be used outside of school or ECCE hours, for example:
• childcare used before preschool or school starts in the morning (e.g. breakfast club)
• after-school childcare
• childcare used outside of preschool or school term weeks
Early Childhood Care and Education Scheme (ECCE) provides early childhood care and education for children of pre-school age. From September 2016, children are eligible for the ECCE scheme if they are aged over 2 years and 8 months and not older than 5 years and 6 months by the end of the preschool year.
The State pays a capitation fee to participating Preschools and Early Years Education & Care services. In return, they provide a pre-school service free of charge to parents for all children within the qualifying age range for a set number of hours over a set period of weeks.