Tuesday, 30 June 2020

Questions (777)

Matt Carthy


777. Deputy Matt Carthy asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if parents that availed of subsidies under the national childcare scheme prior to Covid-19 closures will automatically qualify upon the reopening of childcare facilities; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13438/20]

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Written answers (Question to Children)

I am pleased to confirm that all DCYA-funded schemes, including both universal and targeted subsidies for parents, are available again to children attending Early Learning and Care (ELC) services from 29 June. This includes the National Childcare Scheme (NCS).

Therefore, ELC services that reopen from 29 June onwards will be able to facilitate the resumption of NCS subsidies for parents.

Families who already availed of NCS subsidies before the closure of services in March should contact their ELC service to make arrangements for a return to childcare. The provider can renew the registration once the level of service is agreed between the provider and the parent.

 Most NCS awards last for a year and can be re-used when parents move providers or just return after a break in service. As such there is no "re-qualification" for subsidies for this group. Some award are limited to six months. There will be a small number of parents with 6 month awards who will need to apply to renew their award.

Families in possession of an NCS award, but have not yet registered their award with an ELC service should contact their service of choice to make arrangements for registering their child for a place with that service. If a family has not yet chosen an ELC service, the childcare search facility on the NCS website will be helpful with this. This can be accessed at: https://ncs.gov.ie/en/childcare-search/  

Families who have not yet applied for the NCS or have an award that has expired will need to make an application to the NCS scheme administrator before they can register with their ELC provider. More information about this is available at: https://ncs.gov.ie/en/application-form-guide/