Checklist: childcare

If you are a parent or guardian of a young child and you have childcare needs you can use the lists and links below to check out the main services and entitlements for someone in your situation.

Some of the headings in the left hand column of each section link to general documents on the subject, and those in the right hand column link to details of specific payments or services.

You can find more information in the Pre-school education and childcare section of this website.

Choosing the right type of childcare for your situation:

Your childcare options

Regulation of pre-schools

Help with childcare costs:

For all children of a certain age

Early Childhood Care and Education Scheme

Supports parents with the cost of childcare

National Childcare Scheme

Pre-school educational supports:

Early Start Programme for children in disadvantaged areas.

Visiting teacher service for hearing and visually impaired pre-school children.

Policy on early childhood education.

Health care:

Children’s health

Immunisation for children and young people

Health services for pre-school children

Child health services

Child abuse

Caring for a child with a disability

Help with medical costs

Medical Card

GP Visit Card

Long-Term Illness Scheme

Drugs Payment Scheme

Income supports:


Family Income Supplement

Child Benefit

Parenting alone


Carer’s Allowance, Carer’s Benefit, Domiciliary Care Allowance and the Carer's Support Grant are available to the parent’s or guardian’s of children with disabilities that require a greater level of care than another child of the same age.

Sources of information:

City and County Childcare Committees

Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth

Ombudsman for Children

Page edited: 13 January 2022