Minister O’Gorman Encourages Families to Access the National Childcare Scheme.

Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Roderic O’Gorman, has today urged parents to avail of supports available to them under the National Childcare Scheme, including new supports introduced in recent days.

Since 29 August, universal subsidies under the National Childcare Scheme has been extended to all children under 15 using registered childcare. Up to 40,000 are estimated to benefit by up to €1,170 per annum.

Commenting Minister O’ Gorman said:

“Many parents find it difficult to pay for childcare. Results from a recent survey show however that many parents are not yet claiming their entitlement under the National Childcare Scheme and that awareness of supports under the National Childcare Scheme is low. An awareness raising campaign, led by my Department, is now underway.

I would encourage parents to visit, call the Parent Support Centre on 01 906 8530 or talk to their childcare provider to make sure they are fully availing of the new and existing financial supports under the Scheme.”

Results from a nationally representative survey of more than 500 families, undertaken in July by Ipsos MRBI, found that:

  • Less than half (48%) of parents were aware of supports available under the National Childcare Scheme
  • 32% of parents using regulated early learning and care for children not yet in school reported they did not receive any State subsidy, despite many having an entitlement to support under the National Childcare Scheme.
  • 80% of parents using regulated school-age childcare reported they did not receive any State subsidy.

Since 29 August, all children under 15 in regulated school-age childcare are entitled to supports under the National Childcare Scheme.

Looking ahead to Budget 2023, Minister O’Gorman said:

“Significant investment is being made by my Department to support parents with the costs of early learning and childcare.

I recognise however that the burden on some families remains high and I am committed to securing further investment in the National Childcare Scheme in Budget 2023.

Together with the new €221m Core Funding Scheme, which requires early learning and childcare providers to freeze fees as well as to offer the National Childcare Scheme and the ECCE programme to all eligible children, I anticipate substantial reductions in out of pocket costs for early learning and childcare for parents going forward.”

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