The National Childcare Scheme (NCS) is set to open in October 2019. It is a new, user-friendly scheme to help parents meet the cost of quality childcare. The development of the Scheme is a significant move forward in delivering quality, accessible, affordable childcare to families throughout Ireland.
Providers are currently being invited to sign a contract to participate in the National Childcare Scheme. To date, almost 2,300 providers have signed up for the Scheme, of which 168 are located in Cork County, and 49 are located in Cork City. A provider search function will be available as part of the Scheme’s online system.
To support providers, I have launched a National Childcare Scheme Capital Grant Initiative. This initiative offers a capital grant to participating service providers for the purchase of qualifying ICT hardware and software.
Applications are also open for a National Childcare Scheme Transitional Support Payment. This payment is available to providers who sign a contract for the National Childcare Scheme and is intended to support them in meeting the administrative requirements associated with transitioning to the new Scheme.
I will continue to work intensively to deliver this landmark scheme which will alter the landscape of childcare in Ireland, support families, provide a sustainable platform for investment and, crucially, allow us to continue to invest in giving our children the best start in life.