I am urging all early learning and care providers to apply for funding under the Programme Support Payment that is being made available from June by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs.
More than €19 million will be made available for providers of early learning and care services under the measure.
The Programme Support Payment is made in respect of the additional time required of providers of Department of Children and Youth Affairs-funded early learning and care programmes, to complete registrations, paperwork and administrative work and to perform activities outside of contact time with children, such as preparing materials for early learning and care sessions and assisting parents in understanding how they might benefit from the various childcare schemes supported by the State.
The application window for PSP will open for six weeks from Monday 13 May to Friday 21 June 2019 and the application form can be accessed through the Programmes Implementation Platform (PIP).
Payments will issue the following week.
In October, we will be launching the National Childcare Scheme and it is important that providers are supported to ensure that the biggest change ever undertaken in early learning and childcare becomes a reality.
This investment, which is part of a 117% jump in Government funding for childcare since 2015, will help us build a scheme which will serve families in Ireland for generations to come.
Our current early learning and care programmes are as follows:
The Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) programme is a universal two-year pre-school programme available to all children within the eligible age range.
It provides children with their first formal experience of early learning prior to commencing primary school.
The programme is provided for three hours per day, five days per week over 38 weeks per year and the programme year runs from September to June.
The Community Childcare Subvention (CCS) Programme is a childcare programme targeted to support parents on a low income to avail of reduced childcare costs at participating community childcare services. The Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA) pays for a portion of the childcare costs for eligible children, a payment described as a subvention payment, with the parent paying the remainder.
The Community Childcare Subvention Plus (CCS Plus) Programme is similar to the normal CCS. It provides support for parents/guardians on a low income to avail of reduced childcare costs at participating privately-owned childcare services and at community not-for-profit childcare services.
The objective of the Training and Employment Childcare (TEC) Programmes is to support parents on eligible training courses and eligible categories of parents returning to work, by providing subsidised childcare places.
The National Childcare Scheme (NCS) will replace the existing targeted childcare programmes with a single, streamlined and more user-friendly scheme. The Scheme will open to applications in October 2019.
The NCS aims to improve outcomes for children, reduce poverty, facilitate labour market activation and reduce the cost of childcare in Ireland for tens of thousands of families.
More details can be found on the website of the Department of Children and Youth Affairs.