DCCC work to sustain early childhood care and education services through the local implementation of childcare funding programmes in Co. Donegal, on behalf of the Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA). Childcare funding initiatives assist parents to access affordable quality early childhood care and education.
National Childcare Scheme (NCS)
From October 2019, NCS replaced all previous targeted childcare programmes with a single, streamlined and user-friendly scheme to help parents meet the cost of quality childcare.
Supports are available for families with children aged between 24 weeks and 15 years who are attending any participating Tusla registered childcare service, including any Tusla registered
National Childcare Scheme registrations by providers on the new Early Years Hive will have immediate effect insofar as a subsidy will be payable for that week (once the child is availing of the service). Subsidy payments will be paid one week in arrears, once a provider completes their return and is compliant with the pre-payment conditions of the NCS contract. There should be no delay with payment as the parent will have applied and been approved upfront for their subsidy.
Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) Scheme
The Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) scheme is a universal childcare programme providing children with their first formal experience of early learning. The scheme is delivered to children of pre-school age (2 years 8 months to 5 years 6 months) prior to commencing primary school.
From September 2018, all children within the relevant age bracket will be entitled to 76 weeks of the scheme (2 full academic years). The ECCE scheme provides for 3 hours per day, 5 days per week over 38 weeks per year. The scheme generally runs in line with the primary school year, which is September to June.