The Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth operate several childcare programmes that provide free or reduced childcare fees to parents.

The National Childcare Scheme

The National Childcare Scheme (NCS) is a landmark new scheme for Ireland.  It established an equitable and progressive system of universal and income assessed subsidies for children aged between 24 weeks and 15 years who are attending any participating Tusla registered childcare service, including any Tusla registered childminder.

It provides a user-friendly online application process for parents/guardians to access these subsidies.

There is a NCS Parent Call Centre. Parents can call 01 906 8530 for information or any queries they have on the National Childcare Scheme. Open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.

To access NCS please log onto


The Early Childhood Care and Education Programme (ECCE) programme is a universal two-year pre-school programme available to all children within the eligible age range.

The programme is provided for three hours per day, five days per week over 38 weeks per year and the programme year runs from September to June each year.

The programme will be available to all children who have turned 2 years and 8 months of age before September 1st as long as they won’t turn 5 years and 6 months of age on or before June 30th of the programme year. To check the eligibility of your child please see the ECCE eligibility calculator on our homepage.

CCSP Saver

The CCSP Saver Programme provides support for eligible parent/guardians on a low income to avail of reduced childcare costs at participating childcare services during the 2020/2021 programme year. The children who were registered for CCSP in the 2019/20 programme year and retain registrations under CCSP Saver Programme are referred to as ‘Savers’. No new registrations can be made under the CCSP Saver Programme for children who have not been previously registered on CCSP 2019/20.

For the 2020/2021 programme year i.e. 17th August 2020 to 21st August 2021, parents of eligible children who were registered on CCS Resettlement and CCSU prior to the 15th November 2019 will, for the most part, continue to receive their subsidies subject to certain terms and conditions.

The approved childcare funding is paid directly to the Service Provider and must be deducted directly from the service’s fee for the service provision.

For more information, please click here or call us on 053 9237516.

TEC saver

NCS replaces the previous targeted childcare programmes and so the TEC programme closed to new registrations on February 14th 2020. The children whose parents were registered on TEC up to that date, and opted to retain their registration under TEC, are referred to as ‘TEC Savers’ and the programme is now known as the TEC Saver Programme. The TEC Saver Programme will continue for an interim period or until the parent is no longer eligible. No new registrations for new children can be made under the TEC Saver programme. The TEC Saver Programme will cease operating once all participants registered before February 14th 2020 have completed their allotted time on their TEC scheme.

The TEC Programme is specifically designed to support parents/guardians on eligible Education and Training Board training courses, as well as certain categories of parents/guardians returning to work, by providing subsidised childcare places. The TEC Programme provides childcare support for:

  • parents/guardians on certain education and training courses (CETS),
  • parents/guardians working on Community Employment programmes (CEC), and
  • for families on Family Income Support (ASCC)

For more information, please click here or call us on 053 9237516.

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