Written answers

Tuesday, 15 December 2020

Department of Children and Youth Affairs

National Childcare Scheme

Photo of Brendan GriffinBrendan Griffin (Kerry, Fine Gael)
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404. To ask the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs his views on a matter (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43322/20]

Roderic O'Gorman (Dublin West, Green Party)
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The National Childcare Scheme represents the first ever statutory entitlement to financial support for childcare costs in Ireland. It is a rolling programme, meaning that it is available all year-round and that parents can apply for the Scheme when most convenient for them.

As stated in the NCS Application Renewal Guide provided by the Deputy, parents are given six weeks’ notice to renew their NCS subsidy award. Parents receive an email directing them to the NCS Portal where they are informed of the approaching end date for their award and that they need to take action to renew their award. There is a six week window in which they can do this. Parents are also sent a second notification two weeks before their award is due to expire.

Parents who previously applied offline using a paper application form do have the option to renew online by logging into the NCS Portal, through the NCS website and MyGovID. This will result in a faster renewal process. Alternatively, they can complete their renewal offline, and should call the Parent Support Centre on 01 906 8530 to arrange this.

A parent who reapplies and selects to have their income assessed through the Fast Track route will have their assessment completed within 48 hours.

Where a parent does not take action within the six week renewal period to renew their award until the award expires, there may be gaps in the payment of their subsidy as a result, particularly if they apply for an income-assessed award or if further documentation is required as part of the assessment process. NCS subsidies can only be paid once a valid CHICK has been registered by a childcare provider and the parent has confirmed on the system that all details are correct.

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