Written answers

Thursday, 15 October 2020

Department of Children and Youth Affairs

Childcare Costs

Sorca Clarke (Longford-Westmeath, Sinn Fein)
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223. To ask the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the reason community employment scheme income is assessed as reckonable income when calculating childcare fees. [30642/20]

Roderic O'Gorman (Dublin West, Green Party)
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Under the National Childcare Scheme, a parent’s “reckonable” income is assessed to determine their level of subsidy. Reckonable income includes family income, including DEASP payments, after tax, PRSI, USC, and any allowable items under the Scheme have been deducted.

There are some exceptions to this where some Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection scheme payments are deductible from reckonable income. The Childcare Support Act 2018 sets out the criteria for a payment to be deductible. These criteria are as follows:

- A payment that facilitates the participation of a person in employment or self-employment and is intended to be of limited duration

- A payment that is intended to support the participation of a person in education or training

- A payment that is intended to enable a person to meet certain expenses that arise as a result of exceptional family or social circumstances of the person

The Community Employment scheme supports people who are long-term unemployed or otherwise disadvantaged to return to work, by offering part-time and temporary job placements. While the CE scheme is of limited duration, it constitutes employment, rather than being a support into employment. Therefore the CE scheme does not meet the criteria outlined above, and is assessed as reckonable income under the NCS.

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