Childcare is to be provided in the homes of 5,000 healthcare workers from May 18th.
The bulk of the cost will be paid by the State, while families will be asked to pay €90 a week towards the care.
It has been recommended that childcare workers volunteering for the scheme be paid €15 an hour.
It will provide essential healthcare workers with 45 hours of childcare per week.
Existing registered childcare services are being invited to participate in the scheme from Thursday.
The Government has asked the Department of Children to oversee the provision of childcare in the homes of essential healthcare workers.
The outreach childcare model has also been supported by the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) as part of the first phase of easing COVID-19 restrictions.
Participation in the service will be voluntary for both service providers and for childcare professionals.
Minister Katherine Zappone and her department have acknowledged the number of dedicated childcare services and professionals that have expressed their interest in supporting such an initiative in recent weeks.
Minister Zappone said: "Over the past few weeks my department has been planning for this emergency childcare service.
"We have been listening to suggestions from the sector.
"Now, with this decision to introduce the service, we will engage more intensively to make final preparations."
The Department of Children is also finalising details with the Department of Health and the Health Service Executive (HSE).
Minister Zappone added: "I would like to sincerely thank the services and staff who are planning to volunteer for doing their part in this unprecedented time for our health service.
"I know that not every early education or childcare service or staff member will be in a position to volunteer, but for those who can, their service is greatly valued".
The trade union Fórsa has said it is seeking details of the proposed childcare arrangements.
The union said it had so far received no information about the proposed arrangements, despite "repeatedly seeking a solution to the issue of childcare provision for essential health staff since schools and crèches were closed on March 12th."
Fórsa, which represents over 30,000 health workers, said it had repeatedly asked the Government either to make direct childcare provision available to essential staff, or to meet the additional costs incurred by individuals who have been making their own childcare arrangements.
It also said it wanted to know what measures would be put in place if the scheme failed to deliver the necessary provision.