Just three weeks after applications to the National Childcare Scheme opened online, a total of 106 awards have been issued to families in Carlow, Fine Gael TD, Pat Deering, has said.
Deputy Deering encouraged all parents in Carlow to apply directly for subsidies to meet the cost of quality early learning and care and school age childcare at www.ncs.gov.ie
The scheme, under the guidance of Children’s Minister Katherine Zappone, means financial supports can be used with any participating, Tusla registered, early learning and care and school age childcare service, including Tusla registered childminders.
The scheme’s innovative, purpose-built IT system aims to process a universal application in a matter of minutes, and an income assessed application in a matter of days.
As of December 10, a total of 169 applications have been received in Carlow from parents, with 106 awards issued. More than 8,000 awards have been issued nationwide in three weeks with applications processing smoothly and quickly.
"Under the National Childcare Scheme, families will be supported to meet the cost of quality early learning and care and school age childcare through a system of universal and income-related subsides.
"Using a verified MyGovID account, I encourage families to apply directly for subsidies at www.ncs.gov.ie.
"Additional funding provided under Budget 2019 ensures that an estimated 7,500 additional children will benefit from the scheme, with over 40,000 other children, already eligible, seeing increases to their subsidies.
"Income based subsidies are available to families with reckonable household incomes of up to €60,000 which can translate into as much as over €90,000 gross for families in certain specific circumstances," Deputy Deering said.
The National Childcare Scheme is paving the way for Ireland’s childcare system to transform from one of the most expensive in the world into one of the best.
Minister Zappone said: "This is a landmark moment for children and families in Ireland. Through the National Childcare Scheme, families have the first ever statutory entitlement to financial support towards the cost of childcare.
"The scheme is our pathway to quality, accessible, affordable early learning and care and school age childcare.
"This is a highly innovative and ambitious scheme and I am delighted that the initial volume of applications has been high."
"As of December 10, nearly 12,000 applications, relating to over 17,000 children, had already been successfully submitted, and over 8,000 awards had been made to parents.
"There are a range of helpful resources for families on the NCS website, and we have extended the opening hours of the National Childcare Scheme Parent Support Centre from 8pm to 6pm Monday to Saturday," Minister Zappone added.
An Taoiseach and Fine Gael leader Leo Varadkar said: "The new National Childcare Scheme is about giving our children the best start in life.
"It’s an investment in making life easier for families, better outcomes for children, and helping to make Ireland one of the best countries in which to grow up and raise a family.
Deputy Deering added: "Families in Carlow with young children have a lot of pressures – and among these is access to quality childcare that is affordable.
"The National Childcare Scheme increases the number of Carlow families who can access financial assistance. Many families will, for the first time, be entitled to subsidies. Many others will see increases in their subsidies."