As part of Budget 2017 – a new Single Affordable ChildCare Scheme was announced to help families with payments for creche and nursery fees and other types of childcare such as after school care.
The new scheme was due to start in September 2017 – but the full rollout has been delayed a few times .. it is now expected to be ready by October 2019.
In November 2018 the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr Katherine Zappone, announced that the new Affordable Childcare Scheme will open for applications in mid-October 2019, with payments flowing from November 2019.
It is proposed that applicants will be able to apply for the childcare subsidy online. Where they qualify, they will be provided with a unique code which they can then take to any registered childcare provider participating in the Scheme. Once the
parent and the provider have agreed the hours of childcare required, the provider will register the code on the Scheme’s online system in order to redeem the subsidy.
After the launch date, (October 2019) people will be able to choose to move over to the new Scheme or to remain on their old scheme for the remainder of the programme year. The idea of this is to provide certainty for current scheme beneficiaries, offer ample time to apply for the new scheme and ensure that no family is worse off during the transition period. Once the Affordable Childcare Scheme is in place in October 2019, registrations under the existing schemes will cease.
There were some financial changes (increases) to childcare subsidies in September 2017 . See – Details of the temporary Changes to childcare subsidies from September 2017
Eventually – under the Single Affordable Childcare Scheme – every child between the ages of 6 months and 36 months in Tusla-registered childcare services will be eligible for some level of childcare support.
This scheme will replace the existing subsidy schemes – including the Community Childcare Subvention Programme(CCS / CCSP ) and the Childcare Education and Training Support Programme (TEC).
Calculation Details for Single Affordable Childcare Scheme (Planned for Oct 2019)
The new Means-tested childcare subsidies, will be based on net parental income, and will be available for children between 6 months and 15 years. Any family with a combined net parental income of less than €60,000 a year will qualify for some help.
For those above the net income threshold of €60,000, but with a child under 3 in regulated childcare, the scheme will still provide the universal payment of up to €1,040 per year
Families with higher income may also qualify if they have more than 1 child under 15. There is an example given of a family with net annual income of €60,000, with three children ..
- aged 2 years (40 hours childcare per week)
- and 5 years (17 hours out-of-school care per week)
- and 7 (17 hours out-of-school care per week).
This family would qualify for €92 a week childcare subsidy. (€4784 a year)
The maximum subsidy will be payable to all those with net incomes below €2600 per annum. (Net Income of €500 per week).
Payments will be made directly to childcare providers , not parents
The calculation of the childcare subsidy is based on the net income of the household, the number of children and the ages of the children.
As family income rises above €26,600 – the subsidy will decrease. A family with one child under 15 and net annual income over €60,000 a year will not qualify for the means tested subsidy.
Some Examples of How the Single Affordable Childcare Subsidy Scheme Will Work
a) Lone parent, with net annual income of €26,000 , with one child aged
2 years and in need of 40 hours of childcare per week. Will get €175 per week subsidy .
b). Family with net annual income of €30,000 , with two children aged 1 and 2.5 years and in need of 25 hours of childcare per week . Will get €220 per week subsidy .
c) Family with net annual income of €35,000 , with two children aged 1 and 2.5 years and
in need of 25 hours of childcare per week . Will get €192 per week subsidy
d) Family with net annual income of €47,500 , with two children aged 2 years (40 hours childcare per week) and 5 years (17 hours out-of-school care per week). Will get €128 per week subsidy
e) Family with net annual income of €53,000 , with two children aged 2 years (40 hours childcare per week) and 5 years (17 hours out -of – school care per week) (Making 10% pension contribution) . Will get €93 per week subsidy.
f) Family with net annual income of €60,000 , with three children aged 2 years (40 hours childcare per week) and 5 years (17 hours out -of-school care per week) and 7 (17 hours out
-of-school careper week). (Making 10% pension contribution). Will get €92 a week subsidy.
A Universal Child Care payment will apply to childcare fees for children aged between 6 months and three years old. The proposed maximum rate for this is €900 a year for full time childcare. (Based on €0.50 an hour , 40 hours a week , 45 weeks of the year)
All families will be able to get a this minimum of 50c per hour towards childcare for the above age groups – regardless of income.
See – Details of the temporary Changes to childcare subsidies from September 2017