The Community Childcare Subvention (CCS) programme provides funding to community child care not-for-profit services to enable them to charge reduced child care rates to parents in receipt of social welfare payments or on low to middle incomes. Community child care services qualify for grant aid on the basis of the level of service they provide and the profile of the parents benefiting from their service.
For the purpose of the CCS programme, eligibility is determined by reference to a range of means-tested allowances and payments including receipt of a social welfare payment, Family Income Supplement (FIS) and qualification for a medical or GP visit card. Eligibility for a GP visit card is based on net income and takes account of outgoings such as rent and mortgage repayments and other expenses including child care costs and travelling expenses. As a result, low and middle income working parents may qualify for support. Parents who qualify for the top rate of subvention under the programme receive a subsidy of €95 per week towards full-day child care costs.
Approximately 19,000 families availed of subvention under the CCS programme in the September 2011-August 2012 period. The total number of children availing of the service in this period was approximately 26,300 and the cost of providing this service was some €58 million.
Approximately 19,500 families are availing of the CCS programme in the current school year at an estimated cost of €50 million. It is expected that in the region of 26,000 children will again benefit but these figures can only be finalised when an appeals process, provided for under the programme, is completed.