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Childcare Services

Dáil Éireann Debate, Friday - 3 December 2021

Friday, 3 December 2021

Questions (36)

Ruairí Ó Murchú

Question:

36. Deputy Ruairí Ó Murchú asked the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth the expected timeframe for the publication of the report into the review of the national childcare scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [59478/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

The 12 month review of the National Childcare Scheme, as required under Section 26 of the Childcare Support Act 2018, commenced earlier this year. It is an independent assessment of the implementation and impacts of NCS during its first year of operation and will provide key data and information to support the future development of the NCS. 

The review has been completed. A Memorandum for Information for Government was submitted on 30 November 2021.  

The findings of the review were laid before the Houses of the Oireachtas on 1 December 2021 as required by the Act. The findings were also published on my Departments website on 1 December 2021.   

The review was undertaken to provide a basis for my Department to consider how effectively the NCS is operating and whether it delivered on its objectives within the first year.  

The review provided an opportunity for my Department and I to consider how the NCS meets its policy objectives; of improved children's outcomes, parental engagement in work or study and reduced child poverty, and support those most in need in the best evidence informed manner. 

A series of key actions have been identified on foot of this review, which will inform the further development of the Scheme. Most recently in Budget 2022 reforms to the NCS were introduced to extend the universal subsidy to children up to the age of 15 from September 2022; and to remove the practice of deducting hours spent in pre-school or school from the entitlement to NCS subsidised hours from Spring 2022.

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