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Childcare during vocational training


If you have applied for a vocational training course, you may need childcare. Under the Childcare Employment and Training Support (CETS) scheme, you may qualify for a subsidised childcare place for your child. CETS can provide full-time, part-time or after-school childcare places. The CETS scheme is managed by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA) via the City and County Childcare Committees.

Budget 2016

It was announced in Budget 2016, that a new single affordable childcare programme will be developed to replace a number of childcare programmes including CETS. The target date for the new programme is 2017.

Courses that qualify for CETS

Not all Education and Training Board courses qualify for CETS. The courses that qualify for CETS include Youthreach, Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme (VTOS), the Back to Education Initiative (BTEI), Further Education and Training (FET) courses (i.e. specific skills training and traineeships), the FIT Initiative and Momentum.

Courses that do not qualify for CETS

You will not qualify for CETS if you are on one of the following: Job Initiative, SOLAS apprenticeship, an evening course, supported employment, Job Club or the Work Placement programme.


FÁS was dissolved and some of its functions were transferred to SOLAS. SOLAS the new further education and training authority was set-up on 26 October 2013.

On 1 January 2014, the FÁS training division began its transfer to the 16 Education and Training Boards (ETBs) which replaced VECs. All training courses will have transferred on 1 July 2014. If you are currently on a training course, you will not be affected by these changes.


The number of places available under CETS is limited. Places are allocated on a first-come first-served basis.

You may qualify for a childcare place while on a vocational training course if:

  • You are currently unemployed and wish to undertake an ETB vocational training course or participate in Momentum or Community Employment. Not all ETB courses qualify for CETS.
  • You are the main carer of a child or children
  • You need assistance with child care in order to take up a training opportunity

If you cannot find a place for your child you should contact your local City or County Childcare Committee and let them know the area in which you need a childcare place. They will ask the DCYA, who will try to provide additional childcare places in your area.


The maximum amount per child that childcare providers may charge to parents per week is:

  • Full-time: €25 per week
  • Part time: €15 per week
  • Afterschool: €5 per week
  • Afterschool with pickup service: €15

Services may not charge for weeks where the service is not open.

How to apply

You should let the course provider know that you have child care needs and want to be considered for CETS.

When you get your letter offering you a place on a course, you will also be given a list of local childcare providers. You should use this letter to book a place for your child or children with a childcare provider.

When your training starts you will get a letter confirming that you have started the course and giving the start and finish dates. You should show this letter to the childcare provider to confirm the duration of your childcare place.

Page edited: 14 October 2015



Contact Us

If you have a question relating to this topic you can contact the Citizens Information Phone Service on 0761 07 4000 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm) or you can visit your local Citizens Information Centre.