Minister O’Gorman announces record 150,000 children now availing of National Childcare Scheme subsidies

Record 150,000 children now availing of National Childcare Scheme subsidies

• Number of children benefitting from subsidies increases by 25% compared to 2023
• Highest ever number of providers offering National Childcare Scheme (NCS) to families
• Families invited to find out more about the NCS at Bord Bia Bloom 2024

31 May 2024

A record number of children – more than 150,000 – are now benefitting from the National Childcare
Scheme (NCS), with record numbers of providers now offer this Scheme to parents nationwide.

The figures are announced as parents and their children are invited to join the Department of
Children at the ‘Budding Bloomers’ section of Bord Bia Bloom. There, children will have the
opportunity to plant their own strawberries while parents may find out more about the supports
available to help reduce the cost of early learning and childcare. These supports include the
National Childcare Scheme (NCS) and the Early Childhood Care and Education programme.

Staff from the Department, the City/County Childcare Committees and Pobal will be there to speak
with parents who would like to find out more about these supports.

Currently, the minimum hourly subsidy is €1.40 meaning families using full time early learning and
childcare (45 hours a week) will receive a minimum of €3,200 a year off their bill per child.
Many families can receive an Income Assessed Award, which is based on household income, which can
be as high €10,000 per year off their bill for childcare.

Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Roderic O’Gorman said:

‘With the National Childcare Scheme more popular than ever, I’m keen that parents take
the opportunity to find out more about what supports are available to them. I’m thrilled to see
such a strong uptake since the increase in subsidies took effect as part of Budget 2023, and I hope
to see the number of families using the Scheme continue to increase.”

All families with children under 15 are encouraged to avail of the supports on offer
through the National Childcare Scheme by visiting, or by calling the Parent Support
Centre on 01 906 8530.

The NCS subsidy may be used with any participating childcare provider, including those childminders
who are registered with Tusla. Currently, only a few childminders are registered. However, work is
underway through the National Action Plan for Childminding, to extend regulation to all paid non-
relative childminders. This will open the NCS to a much wider cohort of childminders. Parents are
encouraged to talk to DCEDIY staff about the new childminding regulations and what it will mean for
their families at this weekend’s festival.

Note for editors:
National Childcare Scheme
• Since 2 January 2023, the minimum hourly subsidy for families using registered early
learning and childcare is €1.40 per child – offsetting up to €3,276 in annual out of pocket costs
for early learning and childcare per child. Depending on their reckonable income, families may also
avail of a higher rate by applying for an income assessed award.

Further information on the Scheme, including how to apply, may be found on

• The National Childcare Scheme is one of a number of schemes under Together for Better, the
funding model for early learning and childcare that also includes the Early Childhood Care and
Education (ECCE) programme, the Access and Inclusion Model (AIM) and the Core Funding Scheme.

The new funding model is being backed by record levels of State investment in early learning and


Issued by the Press and Communications Office at the Department of Children, Equality, Disability,
Integration and Youth.

Tel: 01 539 3801