Thursday, 5 December 2019

Ceisteanna (353)

Fergus O'Dowd

Ceist:

353. Deputy Fergus O'Dowd asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the number of children that have benefited from the ECCE scheme since its inception; the number of children that have benefited from two years of ECCE; the number of children that have benefited from the universal subsidy scheme since its inception; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [51066/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Children)

Approximately 740,000 children have benefited from the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) programme since its launch in January 2010. The following table shows the number of children who were registered on the ECCE scheme for each programme year.

ECCE programme year:

Child Registrations:

2009/10

52,573

2010/11

63,855

2011/12

65,837

2012/13

67,736

2013/14

69,410

2014/15

66,762

2015/16

74,126

2016/17

120,846

2017/18

118,902

2018/19

108,208

2019/20 (to date)

103,966

The number of children registered on the ECCE scheme has increased since 2016, when the ECCE scheme was extended into a second year. The total number of children who have benefited from ECCE support is less than the sum of the ECCE registrations for the period, as, from 2016, most children will have attended for two programme years.

The number of children who have benefited from two years of ECCE to date is 161, 371.

With regard to the universal childcare support, the Community Childcare Subvention Universal (CCSU) scheme was launched in September 2017. 63,765 children have benefited from this scheme to date. The following table shows the number of children who have been registered on the CCSU programme for each programme year.

CCSU programme year:

Child Registrations:

2017/18

39,356

2018/19

33,806

2019/20

24,453

The National Childcare Scheme (NCS) opened on the 20th November, and provides both universal and targeted support for childcare.

There has been a very high volume of applications since the Scheme opened for online applications. Over 10,400 applications, relating to over 14,800 children, have already been successfully submitted and over 5,600 awards have already been made to parents. I am delighted with the volume of applications so far, and I would ask parents to bear with us should we experience any technical issues or slight delays in these initial days.