Community Childcare Subvention (CCS) Programme

Introduction

Under the Community Childcare Subvention (CCS) programme, disadvantaged parents and parents in training, education or low paid employment can avail of childcare at reduced rates. The subvention is available to children attending a childcare provider registered with Tusla. Both centre-based providers and child minders must be registered with Tusla.

The childcare service may offer the following:

  • Full day care places (more than 5 hours per day)
  • Part-time places (between 3 hours 31 minutes and 5 hours)
  • Sessional places (between 2 hours 16 minutes and 3 hours 30 minutes)
  • Half-session places (between 1 hour and 2 hours 15 minutes)

Parents cannot get the Early Childhood Care and Education Scheme and a CCS fee reduction at the same time. You can decide which scheme would be of greater benefit to you.

Free childcare for homeless children

Since January 2017, children aged 0-5 years whose parents are homeless (and those transitioning from homelessness to permanent accommodation) are being offered free childcare for 25 hours a week. This free childcare for homeless children includes 15 hours of free pre-school (ECCE) where children are eligible, or school hours. It also includes a daily meal. Parents should not be asked to pay any top–up or co-payment for these part-time hours.

Rules

You may get assistance with your childcare costs for a child under 15 years of age on 1 September 2017, if you are a parent or guardian and you:

  • Have a medical card or GP visit card
  • Have a low income
  • Are in school
  • Are in further education
  • Are job training
  • Are getting a social welfare payment.

There are 4 different Bands providing for different rates of subvention. You must be in Band A, Band AJ, Band B or Band D – see ‘Rates’ below

Rates

From September 2017, the CCS programme will fund Tusla-registered providers to provide reduced weekly fees to certain parents and guardians as follows:

Band A – You can get a weekly fee reduction of €145 for a full-time service, €80 for a part-time service, €45 for a sessional service and €22.50 for a shorter hours service.

This band applies to parents or guardians who have a medical card and are getting one of the following:

  • Most social welfare payments
  • Certain employment schemes

The child of a secondary school student with a medical card can qualify for a childcare place under Band A, whether or not the secondary school student (the parent) has a qualifying social welfare payment.

Band AJ – You can get a fee reduction of €80 for a full-time service, €80 for a part-time service, €45 for sessional service and €22.50 for a shorter hours service.

This band applies to parents or guardians who have a medical card and are getting one of the following:

  • Jobseeker’s Benefit or Jobseeker's Allowance
  • Supplementary Welfare Allowance

Band B – You get a fee reduction of €70 for a full-time service, €35 for a part-time service, €25 for a sessional service and €12.50 for a shorter hours service.

This band applies to parents or guardians in one of the following situations:

  • Have a medical card but don’t have a payment listed in Band A or AJ
  • Have a payment listed in Band A or AJ but don’t have a medical card

Band D - You get a fee reduction of €50 for a full-time service, €25 for a part-time service, €17 for a sessional service and €8.50 for a shorter hours service.

This band applies to parents or guardians in one of the following situations:

  • Have a GP visit card where a child is 6 years of age or older
  • No longer qualify for Band A or AJ this year, but who were verified as being on Band A or AJ at the end of the previous school year

You can find out more about the CCS subvention bands and rates.

How to apply

To apply for the CCS programme contact your childcare provider. Your childcare provider will fill in a CCS Child Registration Form for you. Your Personal Public Service (PPS) number and your child’s PPS number are needed for the form.

You will also need to provide a letter from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (DEASP) confirming you are getting an eligible payment or a statement from the automated facility on the DEASP website.

Where to apply

To find affordable childcare in your area and childcare providers operating the CCS programme, you should contact your City/County Childcare Committee.

Page edited: 20 November 2017