The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr James Reilly, today announced the release of €16m extra funding from Budget 2016 so that the Community Childcare Subvention (CCS) scheme, which subsidises childcare for certain low income parents, will be made more accessible by being available through Private Childcare Service Providers. The extension to the scheme will apply from Monday 7th March 2016 and is expected to fund around 8,000 additional childcare places.
In July 2015, Minister Reilly published a report which found that many parents eligible for this subvention, which can amount to as much as €95 per week per child, could not access it. This was because, until now, the scheme could only be provided through Community Childcare / Not for Profit services, which did not serve every area of the country. The Report recommended that the CCS should be made available to private childcare providers as well as community / not for profit services to improve accessibility and options for parents and children.
The extra 8,000 places will be in addition to the funding that the Minister provided in late 2015 which enabled community services to increase their existing numbers of children under the CCS scheme.
The Minister said today “I am delighted to be able to extend the provision of CCS funding to private childcare providers, allowing many previously excluded, parents and children to access this funding. The extra resources will make a significant difference to eligible parents on low incomes.”
The Minister made this announcement after considering data which showed that parents eligible for the scheme could not always be catered for by existing community services. Those eligible were not necessarily clustered in particular areas but distributed right across the country, many in areas where no community service existed, or, in some cases where that service was full.
There are approximately 4,700 services delivering early childhood care and education services in Ireland. Up to now, only 1,000 of these were able to access the CCS scheme. It is expected that as many as 1,000 services may apply to be part of the scheme from March.
Minister Reilly added “The extension of CCS, firstly across the community sector and now to private childcare providers is another step in assisting families with the expense of childcare. It will also provide additional income for providers and assist them in providing high quality services.”
The Department of Children and Youth Affairs and Pobal have issued a call for Private Childcare Providers to submit expressions of interest to enter into contract to deliver CCS.
I want to apply! What do I do next?
- Name of your childcare service
- Existing DCYA Reference No. (e.g. 12DY00XX)
- Current postal address of your childcare service
- Proposed CCSP session types to be offered (full-time, part-time, etc.)
- The number of CCSP children you expect to be able to register If your service already has a contract with the DCYA to run the ECCE and/or TEC Programmes, an application form will be issues, along with a CCSP Contract for completion and signing.
Your completed application form and CCSP Contract will be processed upon their return to the DCYA. Contracts will only be countersigned on receipt of all required information.