What's in the new childcare measures for Budget 2017?

Two separate childcare schemes were announced

What's in the new childcare measures for Budget 2017?

File photo | Image: RollingNews.ie

Childcare was one of the big ticket items in the budget yesterday.

Means-tested childcare subsidies, based on income, will be available for children between six months and 15 years from September 2017.

This is in addition to universal weekly payments of up to €20 for all children from six months to three years - which will be set in line with the number of childcare hours taken up by parents.

Full grants will only be provided to those in childcare for 40 hours a week, and less hours will means less of a subsidy.

  • Two separate childcare schemes were announced

The first subsidy is paid out directly to a childcare facility or childminder registered with Tusla if your children are between six months and 3-years-old.

This is not paid if the childminder in question is unregistered (i.e. a parent, neighbour, etc).

The second subsidy is means tested and paid to parents whose children are between six months and 15 years old.

This will encompass children, for example, in after-school care.

It is also paid to the facility rather than the parent, and is meant for those on very low incomes.

"You'd want to be in receipt of the single family payment or job seekers' allowance, or the back to education allowance," consumer expert Sinead Ryan says.

Both aspects are being rolled out from September next year.

Minister for Children Katherine Zappone says parents of pre-school children could see a saving of up to €4,000 per child.