Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Business & Appointments - - FRONT PAGE -

The More Af­ford­able Child­care scheme of­fers two types of sub­si­dies — uni­ver­sal and means-tested. The uni­ver­sal sub­sidy has been avail­able since the start of this month. How­ever, the roll­out of the means-tested sub­sidy has been post­poned — due to a de­lay with the de­vel­op­ment of an IT sys­tem on which par­ents are ex­pected to be able to ap­ply for the means-tested sub­sidy on­line.

Zap­pone has in­di­cated that it will be next year be­fore this sub­sidy will be avail­able. In the mean­time, there has been an in­crease in the means-tested child­care sub­si­dies al­ready avail­able to fam­i­lies on low in­comes, or who are train­ing or re­turn­ing to work. These higher means-tested sub­si­dies fall un­der the Com­mu­nity Child­care Sub­ven­tion (CCS), Com­mu­nity Child­care Sub­ven­tion Pri­vate (CCSP), and the Train­ing and Em­ploy­ment Child­care (TEC) schemes.

There are about 9,000 fam­i­lies which would qual­ify for the More Af­ford­able Child­care scheme’s means-tested sub­si­dies if they were in place — but whose in­come means they don’t cur­rently qual­ify for sub­si­dies un­der the CCS, CCSP or TEC schemes. These par­ents won’t be able to get a sub­sidy — apart from the uni­ver­sal one — un­til the new means-tested sub­si­dies are rolled out.

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