DCYA Press Release - National Childcare Scheme, Early Learning & Care Capital Funding Announcement 

Monday 15th April 2019


  • Minister announces capital funding for service providers who sign up to the National Childcare Scheme
  • Funding will allow providers to purchase ICT support to assist in recording and reporting children’s attendance 
  • A ‘one stop shop’ template for maintaining attendance records will also be available to meet providers’ needs 
  • Initiative complements other National Childcare Scheme supports, including the Transition Support Payment, the national communications campaign and nationwide training programme for providers


Click here to read full press release.





DCYA Press Release - Minister Zappone welcomes the report of the National Disability Authority with regard to overage exemptions for the ECCE free pre-school programme

Friday 29th March 2019

The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr Katherine Zappone and the Minister for Education and Skills, Mr Joe McHugh, today welcomed and published the report by the National Disability Authority (NDA) of the consultation process into overage exemptions for certain children in the Early Childhood Care and Education programme (ECCE). In welcoming the report, which was jointly commissioned by the Ministers for Children & Youth Affairs and Education & Skills and is being published today, Minister Zappone stated

‘The free pre-school programme is an important cornerstone of the Government’s commitment to high quality early learning and care. It is critical that all children are supported to participate fully in the programme. This report provides us with important evidence regarding the needs of children with disabilities which can now inform our future thinking in this important area.’

Click here to view the full NDA report.

An additional letter of advice from NDA can be found here.


Click here to read full press release.





DCYA Press Release - Zappone confirms Childcare Programme Support Payments worth over €19m

Thursday 21st March 2019

  • Application window 13th May – 21st June 2019
  • Payments to issue end June

The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr. Katherine Zappone T.D., today announced details of the forthcoming Programme Support Payment (PSP), due to be made available to all early learning and care providers this summer.

Over €19m will be made available to early learning and care services under the measure from June 2019.

The payment will be calculated as equal to 7 days’ (1.4 weeks’) registrations for ECCE at Standard Capitation, and 14 days’ (2.8 weeks’) registrations for CCS(P) and TEC.

The application window for PSP will open for six weeks from Monday 13 May to Friday 21 June 2019 and the application form can be accessed through the Programmes Implementation Platform (PIP). Payments will issue the following week.

The Programme Support Payment recognises the additional time required of providers of DCYA-funded early learning and care and school age childcare programmes, to complete the administrative work associated with the scheme. The payment also recognises the time required to perform activities outside of contact time with children, such as preparing materials for early learning and care sessions and assisting parents in understanding how they might benefit from the various childcare schemes supported by the State.

Click here to read full press release.



DCYA Press Release - Increase in Capital Grant Funding for Play and Recreation 2019

Tuesday 19th March 2019


The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Dr Katherine Zappone TD, today announced an increase in funding for children’s play and recreation facilities across Ireland. Every year funding is provided to Local Authorities to fund the development of playgrounds across the country. This year Local Authorities can apply for funding for projects under the Capital Grant Scheme for Play and Recreation for up to €30,000. 

The purpose of the Scheme is to support refurbishment of play and recreation amenities for children and young people. This includes the provision of new equipment, the development of natural play areas and the refurbishment of existing play facilities. One of the criteria under this scheme is that the playground must be accessible to all children.

 “My Department is delighted to announce an increase in funding for 2019 from €250,000 to €450,000 for the refurbishment of existing play facilities,"  said Minister Zappone. "My Department continues to work closely with the Local Authority Play and Recreation Network to agree priorities and criteria for funding allocations.” 

“In 2018, playgrounds across 26 counties were funded by my Department, enhancing and developing inclusive play facilities across the country. I look forward to seeing the results of this funding in the form of upgraded play facilities and play areas which will greatly enhance the lives of children.”

Further information on the fund can be obtained from the Local Authorities.  Successful applications will be supported with an additional 25% funding of the awarded amount from the Local Authority.


Click here to read press release.



DCYA Press Release - Minister Zappone Welcomes Positive Response to the National Childcare Scheme

Monday 11th March 2019


The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr Katherine Zappone, has today welcomed the news of the overwhelmingly positive response to the new National Childcare Scheme, the pathway to quality, affordable, accessible Early Learning and Care and School-Age Childcare.  

A huge year for childcare in Ireland, a nationwide Communications Campaign is now underway to raise awareness and help both parents and providers to prepare for the National Childcare Scheme’s opening in October. The Scheme's website, www.ncs.gov.ie  went live on Monday 11th of March, and with over 23,000 hits so far is already proving hugely popular. 

The website contains tailored information for families looking to access the Scheme and providers interested in participating, with dedicated parent and provider pages. Information leaflets, detailed booklets and a range of Frequently Asked Questions have been published and are available to download. More resources will be added in the coming weeks, including an Irish language version, instructional videos and how-to guides.   

Initial analytics indicate a relatively even split in gender engagement with the website, which currently stands at 46% female to 54% male, while the age demographic is 60% 18-34 year olds.

Nationwide training sessions on the National Childcare Scheme for service providers begin on the 25th of March, and places can be booked now via the website. There are currently 185 events listed by region with more being added regularly, and over 2000 bookings have already been made.


Click here to read press release.

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