My Department introduced the Programme Support Payment (PSP) in Summer 2017 to recognise the critical role that childcare providers play in the delivery of various early learning and care and school age childcare schemes, including the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) scheme. The PSP was created to recognise the work involved in the delivery of the schemes, beyond contact time with children. It is intended to assist with costs associated with administrative work, time spent registering children, recording attendance, assisting parents in understanding how they can most benefit from the DCYA-funded programmes and other non-contact activities.
In 2019, €19.4m was available for the Programme Support Payment across all schemes including ECCE. This equated, for example, to an annual payment of €90 per ECCE child. It is paid in addition to capitation or subsidies.
The Programme Support Payment is secured in the base budget for 2020 and consideration is currently being given as to how it will be calculated and administered for the 19/20 programme year in the context of the change from the old targeted schemes to the new National Childcare Scheme.