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NCS - Note from DCYA​

NCS - Note from DCYA​ DCYA new logo

In a few weeks’ time we will be launching the new National Childcare Scheme, sometimes referred to as the NCS. In March the Minister signalled a target timeframe of Oct 29th for the launch.

The IT system for the Scheme is built and is being piloted at the moment. It is the objective of any pilot to identify any potential snags and a minor snag has been identified. This means that the scheme will now open for applications in November. Payments to parents, as previously advised, will still flow from November.

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NCS - Note from DCYA​

NCS - Note from DCYA​ DCYA new logo

In a few weeks’ time we will be launching the new National Childcare Scheme, sometimes referred to as the NCS. In March the Minister signalled a target timeframe of Oct 29th for the launch.

The IT system for the Scheme is built and is being piloted at the moment. It is the objective of any pilot to identify any potential snags and a minor snag has been identified. This means that the scheme will now open for applications in November. Payments to parents, as previously advised, will still flow from November.

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Early Years Hive – Phased Launch

The rollout of the new Early Years Hive , which will host the National Childcare Scheme (NCS) , will commence today. This will be done on a phased county by county basis. All of the National Childcare Scheme LogoCounty Childcare Committees have been informed of this approach and may already have been in contact with you.

The objective of the recent training delivered by each CCC was to prepare Service Providers for the arrival of the Early Years Hive and to be ‘parent ready’. This will be achieved through the completion of readiness tasks and completion of a programme application. This means that once NCS is launched and parents have obtained their CHildcare Identifier Code Key (CHICK) , service providers will be ready to register children with their service.

Today we are starting with the counties Longford, Leitrim, Carlow, Kerry and Mayo. The PAU for each organisation will get an auto generated email from EYP inviting them to follow the link to get their organisation/facility set up on the Early Years Hive.

In this phase only Service Providers who have activated an NCS contract on PIP will be invited to start the readiness processes on the Early Years Hive.

It is important to note that a PAU of a multi facility organisation will be permitted to complete the readiness tasks and programme application for all the facilities under the parent organisation, including those facilities in other counties.

Service providers who do not receive an invite in this phase but who have activated an NCS contract will receive their invites after 25th October.

Once NCS is launched, any Service Providers wishing to update their organisation/facility details must do so on the Early Years Hive, for this reason a second phase roll out will occur in November, where all existing Service Providers, will beinvited to complete their readiness tasks on the Early Years Hive.

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Minister Zappone announces a €94 million budget package

Budget 2020 Press Conference - Department of Children and Youth Affairs 19875672 1337059526348124 484620879276509836 n

€54.5m for childcare ...

  • introduction of the new National Childcare Scheme which will see families who earn up to €100,000 per annum access childcare subsidies
  • introduction of additional hours of subsidised income-based childcare from September 2020
  • protection of lone parents to enhance the benefits of the National Childcare Scheme
  • supporting increased uptake of the universal under 3 subsidy and income-based subsidies to families
  • meet the continuing costs of providing two full years of ECCE
  • increased funding to support Children with additional needs to access Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) under the Access and Inclusion Model (AIM) and to ensure the full roll out of AIM over the 2 year ECCE programme
  • additional investment for early learning and care and school age childcare inspections (Early Years Inspectorate, Tusla)
  • meet additional costs associated with delivery of schemes, implementation of First 5, supporting good quality in the sector and improving sustainability of services
  • fund to support the introduction of a Sectoral Employment Order and sustainability of Childcare Providers

€31.2m for Tusla …

  • meet increasing demand for existing services and continue to improve overall service performance
  • continue the progress made to reduce the number of children awaiting the allocation of a social worker
  • address significant cost pressures being experienced in residential care

€2m for Youth and Participation Services, including a Special Fund for Youth Action on Climate Justice

€2.7m for reform of the Guardian ad litem service

€0.8m for the extension of the Bail Supervision Scheme

Katherine Zappone TD, Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, has announced extra funding of over €94m for Tusla, childcare and youth services, bringing the total investment by her department to €1.6 billion for 2020 from €1.1 billion in 2016.

The additional funding will be targeted at those on the lowest incomes, lone parents and children with additional needs.

The Minister said:

“I am very pleased that we have again delivered as promised on the commitment to continue investing in our children and young people. Today’s €94 million package, at a time of great uncertainty in relation to the impact of Brexit on the economy, represents another significant step in ensuring access to high quality, affordable childcare and ensuring that Tusla is in a position to continue on its programme of service reform and targeted development of key services.”

Childcare
Budget 2020 will see an additional €54.5 million invested into early learning and care and school age childcare programmes, increasing the annual spend to just over €628m per annum from €264 million in 2014. This represents an increase of 9.3% over the 2019 allocation. It is an increase of 138% since 2014.

National Childcare Scheme (NCS)
The additional €54.5m in 2020 will allow for thousands of families to benefit from the new National Childcare Scheme.

From November 2019 families who earn up to €100,000 gross income may benefit (case studies attached).

Families of an additional c. 7,000 children will either receive subsidies for the first time or receive increased subsidies.

Additional Subsidised Hours from September 2020
As well as the full year costs for 2020, extra funding has been secured that will be of particular benefit to lone parents and other working families. Certain families already had the option to stay on existing schemes until end August 2020. They will now be able to stay on those schemes for an additional year until August 2021 or switch to the National Childcare Scheme, depending on whichever will benefit them most.

From September 2020, the maximum hours for the new scheme will increase from 40 hours per week to 45 hours, particularly benefiting parents of school age children who need before school and after school childcare to include time for work and commuting.

Low income parents who are not working or studying will have their hours increased from 15 to 20 hours. This will support our objective of promoting employment and reducing poverty.

As part of this measure, parents who currently benefit from subsidies for 17 hours of School Age Childcare per week (children attending school who need childcare either before or after school) will be subsidised for up to 22 hours of school age childcare.

The Minister said:

“The introduction of the new National Childcare Scheme is a landmark moment for making high quality childcare more affordable and more accessible to families in Ireland. I am particularly pleased that from September 2020 we will be increasing the hours available to children living in disadvantage from 15 hours to 20 hours per week, ensuring that they have access to important early learning opportunities.”

Access and Inclusion Model - children who need additional pre-school supports
Another significant element of the increased early learning and care provision in Budget 2020 is additional funding for the Access and Inclusion Model (AIM). AIM enables children with disabilities to access and fully participate in the ECCE scheme (the two free pre-school years). The increased funding will enable an additional 1,000 children to access targeted pre-school supports, bringing the number of children availing of the scheme to approximately 6,600 children in 2019/20. This is a measure to support equality allowing children who need additional support to avail of early childhood care and education which is critical to optimise their early development.

Click here to view the press release in full 

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