What the ECCE Government scheme offers
THE Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) scheme offers parents the chance to avail of free childcare:
- Children between the ages of three years and three months and four-and-a-half years can avail of a free year's childcare at facilities across the country.
- Under the scheme they are entitled to two hours and 15 minutes of a daily service free of charge.
- Providers are still accepting applications for this term.
- If your child is already in a creche, you can apply for the free sessions once the pre-school is taking part in the scheme.
The scheme operates as follows:
- Parents find out which of their local providers are participating in the scheme from their county childcare committee. These committees are up and running throughout the country to advise parents on childcare services in their areas.
- Parents need to contact a local provider and fill out a declaration form that is sent to the Department of Children and Youth Affairs.
- The provider is paid a capitation grant of €48.50 per child per week by the department for each child participating in the scheme.