National Childcare Scheme

What is the National Childcare Scheme?

The National Childcare Scheme is a pathway to truly accessible, affordable, quality childcare.  In October 2019 it  replaced 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. There are two types of subsidies available:

Universal Subsidies which are not means tested  and from January 2023  provide €1.40 per hour towards the cost of a registered childcare place for a maximum of 45 hours per week.

Income Assessed Subsidies This subsidy is means tested and will be calculated based on your individual circumstances. Your rate will vary depending on your level of family income, your child’s age and educational stage, and the number of children in your family.

*From 2 September 2024, the minimum rate for the National Childcare Scheme (NCS) subsidies will increase from €1.40 to €2.14*

Use the Subsidy Calculator as a tool to help you to estimate how much you may be eligible for before you apply. The estimate is based on the information you provide here.

For further information relating to the National Childcare Scheme please visit the National Childcare Scheme website.