The National Childcare Scheme is a pathway to truly accessible, affordable, quality childcare. From October 2019 it will replace all previous targeted childcare programmes with a single, streamlined and user-friendly Scheme to help parents meet the cost of quality childcare.
Supports are available for families with children aged between 24 weeks and 15 years who are attending any participating Tusla registered childcare service, including any Tusla registered childminder.
NCS Returns Webinar Recording Registration Link: https://register.gotowebinar.com/recording/7746682143809964552
NCS Funding Webinar Recording Registration Link: https://register.gotowebinar.com/recording/4913976252310689025
The NCS Training Team have developed a series of video resources for parents/applicants and these may be of help for the application process and can also be viewed on the National Childcare Scheme’s YouTube channel Here
For further information relating to the National Childcare Scheme please visit the National Childcare Scheme
ECCE Information for Providers 2020
The Free Pre-school Year in the Early Childhood Care & Education Programme (ECCE) is a universal childcare programme designed to give children access to up to 2 years free preschool education before they start primary school.
For eligibility information please see Eligibility for ECCE
For further details see Department of Children & Youth Affairs
CCSP Information for Providers 2020
The Community Childcare Subvention Plus Programme Saver (CCSP) is a support programme for Community and Private based childcare services to provide quality childcare at a reduced rate to parents. It enables community and private childcare services to reduce fees for parents in receipt of certain social welfare payments, Family Income Supplement and holders of medical cards and GP visit cards. Participation in the CCSP programme is for both community and private childcare services.
There is also a universal subsidy available to parents for children aged from 6 – 36 months enrolled in a Tusla registered service.
Please Note that CCSP Saver is no longer open to new applicants. All new applications will be processed under the National Childcare Scheme (NCS).
TEC information for Providers 2020
The Training and Employment Childcare (TEC) Programme is administered by the Department of Children & Youth Affairs. The objective of the Programme is to support parents on eligible training courses and eligible categories of parents returning to work, by providing subsidised childcare places. The allocation of childcare places under the Programme is managed by the Department, via the City and County Childcare Committees (CCCs) and local childcare service providers. Payments in respect of TEC places are made to services by Pobal, based on information supplied by the Department.
The Programme consists of three distinct strands:
Strand 1 (CETS)
This strand formerly catered for FAS and VEC training course participants. Following the establishment of the Local Education and Training Boards, Strand 1 is now administered on behalf of the Department of Education, who have sole responsibility for deciding who is eligible to avail of this strand of the Programme.
Places can be full-time, part-time, afterschool only or afterschool with pick up places.
Strand 2 (ASCC)
The ASCC is administered on behalf of the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (DEASP) and provides afterschool care for primary school children for certain categories of working parents and parents on DEASP employment programmes (not including Community Employment).
Strand 3 (CEC)
The CEC is administered on behalf of Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (DEASP) and provides childcare for children of parents who are participating on Community Employment schemes.
Please note that TEC Saver is no longer open to new applicants. All new applications will be processed under the National Childcare Scheme (NCS).
Fire and Planning Requirements for Early Years Services
In August Tusla issued Guidance on Fire & Planning Requirements for Early Years Services Re-Registration and Change of Circumstances Process. For further information see Fire_and_Planning_Requirements_for_Early_Years_Services_Re_Registration
Early Years is an overarching term that includes Preschool Services. Tusla, Child and Family Agency is responsible for inspecting preschools, play groups, day nursery, crèches, day-care, childminders and similar services which cater for children aged 0-6 years.
The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, published the Child Care Regulations (The Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016 on the 4th May 2016. These Regulations are effective on a phased basis from 30th June 2016. The 2016 Regulations provide for pre-school services, that is, those services catering for children under the age of 6 who are not attending primary school.
Part 12 of The Child and Family Agency Act amends the Child Care Act 1991(as inserted by section 92 of The Child and Family Agency Act) known as Part VIIA sets out the Supervision of Early Years Services.
For further information in relation to the childcare regulations see Tusla Child & Family Agency
Focused Inspection Tool
The Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016 require that all early years services in Ireland are required to strive for full compliance across all early years regulations, however it is accepted that at present there are areas that require greater focus and attention. Resulting from this, the Child and Family Agency introduced a revised model of Preschool Inspection. Currently the primary scope of early years inspection will be the areas identified as requiring improvement; Governance, Welfare and Safety. Below is a link to the Tusla website where providers can access the inspection tool to make themselves familiar with what the inspectorate are looking at when performing an inspection.
Early Years Education Focused Inspection
Early-Years Education-focused Inspections (EYEI) are carried out in early-years services participating in the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) Programme – a programme which provides a period of free early childhood care and education for children before they start school.
During these inspections, the quality of the nature, range and appropriateness of the early educational experiences for children participating in the ECCE Programme is evaluated. The main activity of an EYEI inspection is the observation, by the inspector, of the processes and practices relating to children’s learning in one or more learning rooms or areas in the early-years setting.
At the end of each inspection the early-years practitioners and the owners/managers (where available) are given feedback on the quality of educational provision in the setting. Subsequently a written report is sent to the pre-school inspected outlining the inspection findings and providing advice as to how educational provision in the setting can be further developed or improved. The inspection report is published on the Department of Education and Skills website.
For further details see Department of Children & Youth Affairs