The National Childcare Scheme opened for online applications on the 20th of November. Intensive preparations have been underway all year to ensure that the full legislative, administrative and IT infrastructure was in place, and that nationwide information and training was provided.
I am delighted that there has been a very high volume of applications since the Scheme opened for online applications. By 5th December, the National Childcare Scheme had received 404 income assessed applications and 205 universal applications from County Kildare – a total of 609 in all. To date, 137 service providers in County Kildare have signed up to participate in the National Childcare Scheme. This reflects the strong uptake of the scheme there has been all over the country.
The National Childcare Scheme is a landmark and highly innovative initiative. It is our future pathway to quality, accessible, affordable childcare in Ireland, and our platform to support long-term investment in universal and targeted supports. My Department will continue to profile the scheme's availability through a variety of channels and in collaboration with a number of external stakeholders.