Tuesday, 20 October 2020

Questions (44)

Kathleen Funchion

Question:

44. Deputy Kathleen Funchion asked the Minister for Children, Disability, Equality and Integration the reason that, in order to qualify for the national childcare scheme, NCS, parents need to have a public services card, given that other Departments have done away with requiring the public services card to access their services, namely the passport service. [31308/20]

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Written answers (Question to Children)

The National Childcare Scheme has always been designed so that applications will be accepted both online and by post. A Public Services Card (PSC) and verified MyGovID account are required to apply online only.

The online system offers a user friendly application process for busy parents. It delivers greater efficiency in the administration of a major, national Government scheme. It gives parents the possibility of accessing subsidies via an online automated income assessment.

A secure identity verification system is required for any such IT system. The Public Services Card and MyGovID offers this security. It safeguards applicants' information and the administration of public funding. Our priority is to provide direct funding to hard-pressed parents and not into administration. An alternative or secondary online identity verification system would be unlikely to deliver the same level of security and would generate additional, unnecessary duplication and expense for the taxpayer.

Parents without a PSC can choose to apply to the NCS via the paper application route. Parents can contact the NCS Parent Support Centre and arrange for an application form to be sent out to them.