The Childcare Education and Training Support (CETS) programme, which is one of a number of childcare support programmes implemented by my Department, was introduced to provide funding to support childcare costs for parents participating in Solas and the Education Training Board's training and education courses. Eligibility for this support is determined by the Department of Education and Skills.
The registration cycle for the CETS programme runs from 31 August to 1 September in the following year with 2,500 full time equivalent places being the maximum number of places provided for each year. In the year ending 1 September 2013, a year in which figures are readily accessible, 2,533 eligible parents, availing of specified training and education courses, were supported under the programme with childcare services provided to approximately 3,800 children. These figures are representative of the yearly uptake of the programme since its introduction in September 2010 including the current school year.
Further Training and Employment Childcare programmes have been introduced to support parents returning to the workforce. The After-School Child Care (ASCC) programme was introduced in October 2013 and provides after-school care for certain categories of working parents. There are currently 74 parents being supported under the after-school programme. The Community Employment Childcare (CEC) programme was introduced in January 2014 with 383 parents currently receiving childcare support. Eligibility for these programmes is determined by the Department of Social Protection.