Childcare Schemes

Safer Children,
Stronger Families,
Healthier Communities

Subsidies 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 childminder.

For more information please visit:

How to apply

There are two types of subsidies under the National Childcare Scheme:

National Childcare Scheme (NCS)

Universal Subsidies:
Available to all families with children under three years old. They are also available to families with children over three years who have not yet qualified for the free preschool programme (ECCE). This subsidy is not means-tested and provides 50c per hour towards the cost of a registered childcare place for up to a maximum of 40 hours per week.

Income Assessed Subsidies:
Available to families with children aged between 24 weeks and 15 years. This subsidy is means tested and will be calculated based on your individual circumstances. Your rate will vary depending on your level of family income, your child’s age and educational stage, and the number of children in your family. The subsidy can be used towards the cost of a registered childcare place for up to a maximum of 40 hours if you are working, studying or training, or in circumstances where you are unavailable for childcare, and a maximum of 15 hours if you are not working, studying or training.



The Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) Scheme provides early childhood care and education for children of pre-school age. Children can participate in the ECCE scheme from 2 years 8 months of age and continue until they transfer to primary school (provided that they are not older than 5 years and 6 months at the end of the pre-school year). There will be only one entry point to the ECCE scheme – September. Children must be 2 years 8 months by September to start on the ECCE scheme. All children are entitled to 2 full academic years or 76 weeks.
Bessborough Crèche is a registered provider of the ECCE Preschool Years for children. Our ECCE rooms run from 9.00am to 12.00pm Monday to Friday – These hours are free of charge if your child qualifies. Full day care ECCE childcare is available at an additional cost.

If you would like to know more about how you might avail of a childcare place under any of these government schemes, please contact us and we will be happy to assist you.