Written answers

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Department of Children and Youth Affairs

Wage Subsidy Scheme

Photo of Denise MitchellDenise Mitchell (Dublin Bay North, Sinn Fein)
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1151. To ask the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs her plans to backdate supports to crèches that were delayed in submitting their application to the employers subsidy scheme. [6846/20]

Photo of Katherine ZapponeKatherine Zappone (Dublin South West, Independent)
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The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in an unprecedented situation that has required a series of emergency responses from the Government.

I am acutely aware of the particular impact the pandemic and the emergency measures have had on the Early Learning and Care (ELC) and School Age Childcare (SAC) providers. I am also very conscious of the importance of the ELC and SAC sector for children’s positive development and in terms of supporting the economy as we move beyond this crisis.

Recognising this, I launched the Temporary Wage Subsidy Childcare Scheme (TWSCS) on 15 April. This scheme is a very significant measure to support the sector. The aim of the TWSCS is threefold:

- to support the sustainability of the ELC and SAC sector so that it is in a position to reopen after COVID-19;

- to provide parents with a reassurance that if their ELC and SAC provider signs up to the scheme, they are not required to pay fees during this COVID-19 crisis, and they will maintain their ELC / SAC place when services resume and

- to give Early Learning and Care practitioners security and to retain these vital Educators in the sector.

The TWSCS is a supplement to the Revenue operated Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS), to enhance its provisions for the particular needs of the ELC and SAC sector. It is effective from 6 April 2020 for services who have signed up and completed the necessary application process.

The TWSCS provides participating service providers with a payment to be used towards ongoing overhead costs. This payment is backdated to 6 April 2020.

The TWSCS also provides payments to top-up wages of eligible ELC and SAC staff, supplementing the subsidy provided under the TWSS. In line with the Revenue guidance on their scheme, the TWSS cannot be applied retrospectively. An employer must not amend a payroll submission already reported to Revenue in order to qualify for the scheme. However, where ELC and SAC providers have provided top-ups to the maximum additional payment an employer can make to receive full wage subsidy under the Revenue scheme, and this is reflected on payrolls submitted to Revenue since 6 April 2020, my Department will reimburse the providers for these additional payments.

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