The Affordable Childcare Scheme: what it means for working mums and dads
Although it hasn't been implemented just yet, the Affordable Childcare Scheme has already taken shape and will be introduced shortly.
In essence, it's a new, national scheme of financial support for parents towards the cost of childcare.
Once it is introduced, it will provide both universal and targeted childcare subsides.
The Government says that the programme will:
- Improve access to quality childcare
- Assist families to return to work and training
- Improve outcomes for children
- Reduce child poverty
We shouldn't have to wait too long: the scheme is right now being finalised and Minister Katherine Zappone should announce a launch date shortly.
And the scheme will not replace the ECCE programme - that stays in place as is - but it will replace the likes of the €20 a week (€1,040 per annum) off Tulsa-registered childcare fees that parents have received since last year.
Here's who will be eligible:
- Families who have children aged between 6 months and 15 years and who attend a Tusla-registered childcare service
- In the case of children aged 3 and older, your net income needs to be less than €47,500
- For children aged less than 3 years, the scheme will also provide financial support for families with net incomes above €47,500 (ie a universal subsidy will be provided)
- To apply you also need to be the parent of the child, or be acting in loco parentis, and have care of the child for the period each week for which financial support is sought
- Residency requirements are applicable too: you'll have to be ordinarily and legally resident in the State
Remember, you can't apply yet - but HerFamily will keep you posted on advancements.
Otherwise, you can find out more here.