As per the DCYA Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) funding programme rules, a service provider may charge a refundable booking deposit to hold an ECCE place for a child. The maximum deposit a provider may charge is equivalent to four weeks’ ECCE payment (€258). The totality of the ECCE deposit must be returned to the parent/guardian once the child’s registration is approved on the Programme Implantation Platform (PIP).
The ECCE programme rules stipulate that if a service is holding a legacy deposit that exceeds €258 for a child (the equivalent of four weeks ECCE subvention) that has been attending that service prior to their commencement on ECCE, then depending on the level of ECCE service, the service must return up to €258 of that deposit to the parent/guardian once the child’s ECCE registration has been approved on PIP, regardless of when that deposit was collected. The rationale for this deposit rule is based on the premise that the DCYA will fund a service provider for up to four weeks if a child leaves without notice. Without the ECCE deposit rule, a service provider could financially benefit from a four week payment from the DCYA despite the fact they already have a private deposit safeguard in place.
The only other deposit stipulation is that a service provider's deposit policy must be clearly outlined in their fees list. If a service has any queries surrounding their fees list they should contact their local City/County Childcare Committee.