New childcare scheme to kick in from September
Parents with a combined income of less than €47,501 a year will be able to avail of a new scheme this autumn that will subsidise childcare fees.
The new Single Affordable Childcare Scheme was announced in Budget 2017 and is due to come on stream in September.
It replaces existing subsidy schemes for working parents - such as the After School Childcare Scheme.
It provides payments to families to help them with the financial burden of créche, nursery school and other child care arrangements.
Families with a combined income over the threshold, but under €55,100, can still quality for subsidies as long as they have more than one child under the age of 15, to a maximum of three children.
For the first time, so-called casual childminders - such as relatives - will receive the subsidy directly instead of it going to the parents.
The subsidies apply only to the care of children who are between the ages of six months and 15 years.
The new scheme will provide payments of up to €1,000 per year.