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ChildcareFunding for Centre based childcare providers

Funding for Centre based childcare providers

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ECCE Free pre-school year

The ECCE is a scheme designed to give children access to a free Pre-School Year of appropriate programme-based activities in the year before they start primary school. Participation in a pre-school programme provides children with their first formal experience of early learning, the starting-point of their educational and social development outside the home. Children who avail of pre-school are more likely to be ready for school and a formal learning and social environment.

For a list of services who are participating on the scheme please follow this link: List of ECCE participating services 2011.

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The Community Childcare Subvention (CCS) Scheme

The aim of the Scheme is to enable community-based not-for-profit childcare services to provide quality childcare services at reduced rates to parents eligible under the Scheme. Subventions are available in respect of parents who are in receipt of social welfare payments where an underlying entitlement to a social welfare payment is established. For further Information on subvention bands see the following document: MCCC Community Childcare Subvention-Parents breakdowns of bands.

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Childcare Education and Training Support (CETS) Scheme

The Office of the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs has introduced a new childcare support scheme, the Childcare Education and Training Support (CETS) scheme, from September 2010. The CETS scheme will support the childcare needs of participants in training and educational courses operated by FAS and Vocational Education Committees (VECs).The scheme is open to applications from full time, part time and school aged childcare facilities.

Services will be paid a capitation fee for each childcare place it is contracted for with this Office. Contracted childcare places must be made available for free to FAS and VEC trainees who are eligible for free childcare support under the scheme. Local FAS and VEC officers will then advise qualifying trainees of the location of free childcare places.

The capitation fee will be payable, in advance, at a weekly rate (Monday to Friday), of €170 in the case of a full-day place ( which must be at least 10 hours per day to include 8am- 6pm), 95 in the case of a half-time place ( which must be at least 5 _ hours per day to include 8am-1.30pm), and 50 in the case of an afterschool place (which must be at least 3 hours per day to include 2pm-5pm).

General Terms and Conditions for the scheme are available at

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The National Childcare Investment Programme (NCIP) 2006-2010

The National Childcare Investment Programme (NCIP) 2006-2010 came into effect on 1 January 2006 and succeeded the existing Equal Opportunities Childcare Programme (EOCP) 2000-2006.

From 1 January 2006, both the Childcare Programme 2006-2010 and the EOCP will be managed by the Office of the Minister for Children. Pobal (formerly known as ADM Ltd) will continue to implement the day-to-day operation of the EOCP as well as taking on this role under the NCIP 2006-2010.

The NCIP 2006-2010 will build on the existing EOCP Programme and will incorporate a number of key objectives. These are to:

  • Increase the supply and improve the quality of early childhood care and education services, part-time and full day care, school age childcare and childminding,
  • Support families to break the cycle of poverty and disadvantage,
  • Support a co-ordinated approach to the delivery of childcare, which is centred, on the needs of the child.

New Programme Priorities:

The NCIP 2006-2010 aims to provide a proactive response to the development of quality childcare supports and services, which are grounded in an understanding of local needs. The County and City Childcare Committees will play a key role in the implementation of the New Programme to enable greater flexibility and responsiveness to local needs.

The following services will be eligible for support - those providing care for babies, full day care, part time places, pre-school places, school age childcare including "wrap around" childcare places and childminding. Special consideration will be given to support services, which provide a range of the above.

It is a requirement for all providers who are seeking capital grants under the National Childcare Investment Programme 2006-2010 (NCIP) to operate for at least 46 weeks of the year and five days a week and sessional services must be 3 hours in duration. Reduced levels of funding are available for providers who do not meet these criteria. Contact the support and development team of MCCC for further information.

National Childcare Investment Programme funding

Private Sector Capital Funding Community/Not-for-Profit Sector Capital Funding
  • Applicants may apply for grant assistance of up to €100,000, towards the capital cost of developing a childcare service facility in a catchment area where there is a demonstrated childcare need.
  • Applications for more than one grant under this scheme may be considered, provided the subsequent childcare facilities are in different catchment areas areas and subject to an overall ceiling of €500,000 per applicant.
  • In each case, an applicant must provide at least 25% of the total funding required for the project.
  • An expanded capital grant scheme for community/not-for-profit sector childcare providers will come into operation on 1 January, 2006.
  • Groups may apply for grant assistance based on a demonstrated childcare need in the area.
  • The level of funding granted will be determined by the number of places which the group proposes to provide.
  • A general limit of €1,200,000 on the maximum grant payable per project will apply.
  • Capital grant applications from community/not-for-profit groups will take account of the sustainability of a project.

Other Capital

Arrangements are being made for the introduction of an improved capital grant scheme to assist Childminding services and a new capital grant scheme to assist Parent and Toddler Groups which is available from the Katherine Howard Foundation. See our links page

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Funding for Community based sector to develop sustainable quality childcare.

Applicants may apply for grant assistance towards the staffing costs of their community based childcare service, where the project demonstrates a need for support for either:
  • Funding in the initial start up / support phase for community not for profit services with a demonstrated level of disadvantage
  • Services whose client base represents a cross section of society will be expected to become sustainable over the short to medium term.
  • Funding to support families and communities to break the cycle of poverty/disadvantage.
  • Level of poverty/disadvantage will be determined by reference to geographic location (e.g. RAPID and CLAR areas) as well as taking account of factors specific to the service

All services will be required to operate a tiered system of charges, based on parental ability to pay.

For more information on the National Childcare Investment Programme please download the following information:

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