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Early Childhood Care and Education

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 14 July 2020

Tuesday, 14 July 2020

Questions (869)

Róisín Shortall


869. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if the case of a person (details supplied) will be reviewed.; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15323/20]

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Written answers (Question to Children)

The Early Childhood Care and Education Programme (ECCE) programme is a free universal two-year pre-school programme which is available to all children within the eligible age range.

The programme is available to all children who have turned 2 years and 8 months of age before September 1st of the year they will be starting ECCE.

With regard to the child referred to by the Deputy, he does not meet he age criteria for ECCE support in September 2020. However, his parents will be eligible for either a universal or an income assessed subsidy under the National Childcare Scheme (NCS).

Universal Subsidies are available to all families with children under 3 years old. They are also available to families with children over 3 years who have not yet qualified for the free preschool programme (ECCE). This subsidy is not means tested and provides 50c per hour towards the cost of a registered childcare place for a maximum of 40 hours per week.

Income Assessed Subsidies are available to families with children aged between 24 weeks and 15 years. This subsidy is means tested and will be calculated based on the parents' individual circumstances. The rate will vary depending on the level of family income, the child’s age and educational stage, and the number of children in the family.

More information on the scheme can be found on