I acknowledge that the Deputy has been engaging with me and I know I am to come back to him with further information. I will continue to do so.
Moving on to the wider point, a key objective of all the measures being put in place by my Department is in the context of the national childcare scheme. When it was introduced last year it was agreed to extend the community childcare subvention plus scheme for as long as users preferred to use it over the new national childcare scheme. By retaining it, we provided income security of eligibility for children as "savers" from the previous scheme.
The intention behind the "savers" provision was to ensure that no one would lose out in the transition to the national childcare scheme. When it was introduced, families could remain on their current entitlements until they were no longer eligible or until they no longer required childcare services.
Many families, however, will be better off on the national childcare scheme and have already changed over to it, or will change over as they learn more about the supports the national childcare scheme provides. It will have advantages for providers as well. Additionally, the national childcare scheme will give subsidies to families who have never received any sorts of subsidies before, and that is important to acknowledge.
This will increase the demand for services. It will help parents with the cost of existing childcare services. Obviously, these developments are good for sustainability everywhere, but also for the sustainability of providers in disadvantaged areas.
Just last week, I think, another measure was introduced or finally applied as regards the income of providers using the national childcare scheme, NCS. The maximum number of hours on the scheme has been increased from 40 to 45, and for children with a parent or guardian available at home, the hours have increased by a third from 15 to 20.
In the event that a service is experiencing sustainability issues, I am also putting in place a new sustainability fund to provide additional support. It will be available to for-profit and not-for-profit systems, and I have discussed that in some detail already with Deputy Funchion.