National Childcare Scheme

The National Childcare Scheme (NCS) was launched in November 2019 to provide financial support for parents towards the cost of their childcare.

The NCS includes two types of financial subsidies towards the cost of quality childcare;

  • A universal subsidy payable for children aged between 24 weeks and 36 months. This subsidy is not means-tested and is available to all qualifying families at any income level.
  • An income-related subsidy payable for children aged from 24 weeks to 15 years. This subsidy is means tested and the level of subsidy paid for the child is determined by the family’s reckonable income, which must be below €60,000.

The NCS is a pathway to quality, accessible, affordable childcare. Parents can apply online at Alternatively, parents can apply by post. Applicants can contact the Parent Support Centre on 01 906 8530 for a postal application.

For a lone parent family with an income circa €35,000 with a 2 year old, the subsidy rate available for a 2 year old child is €3.33 per hour. The family could qualify for enhanced hours, which is a maximum of 45 hours to claim per week. This equates to a maximum subsidy of €649.35 a month towards their childcare.

For more information;

  • Go to;
  • Contact the Parent Centre on 01 906 8530 open 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday,;
  • Or, contact your local County/City Childcare Committee (CCC).