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 participating Tusla registered community childcare service.

Under the Community Childcare Subvention Plus (CCSP) 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 participating Tusla registered private childcare service.

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.

Note

A new single National Childcare Scheme (NCS) has been developed to replace a number of childcare programmes including CCS and CCSP. The CCS and CCSP programmes will be closed to new applicants once the National Childcare Scheme opens in October 2019.

More information on the launch of the scheme is available on ncs.gov.ie. You can read more about the National Childcare Scheme in this information booklet for parents (pdf).

Rules

You may have qualified for assistance with your childcare costs for a child under 15 years of age on 1 September 2018, 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

The CCS and CCSP programme funds participating Tusla-registered services 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 for the 2019/2020 programme year 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.

The CCS and CCSP programmes will be closed to new applicants once the National Childcare Scheme opens in October 2019.

From October 2019, you can apply for support under the National Childcare Scheme. Applications should be made online at ncs.gov.ie. To apply online you will need:

  • a verified MyGovID account
  • Your children’s information such as date of birth and PPSN
  • Your employment and income related details
  • Your partner’s PPSN
  • Your partner’s employment and income related details

More information on getting and using a verified MyGovID is available on the MyGovID website.

A paper-based application will also be available. These applications will take longer to process and may affect the start date from which your subsidy can be paid.

You can read more in this information booklet for parents (pdf).

Where to apply

To find childcare providers operating the CCS and CCSP programmes in your area, you should contact your City or County Childcare Committee.

Visit www.ncs.gov.ie for more information on the National Childcare Scheme or contact the National Childcare Scheme Parent Support Centre. Call +353 1 906 8530 (9am - 5pm Monday to Friday) or email NCS@dcya.gov.ie.

Page edited: 24 July 2019