What is the CCS Programme?
The Community Childcare Subvention Programme (CCS) and Community Childcare Subvention Private Programme (CCSP as of 2016) is a support programme for Community and Private based childcare services to provide quality childcare at a reduced rate to parents. It enables community and private childcare services to reduce fees for parents in receipt of certain social welfare payments, Family Income Supplement, and holders of medical cards and GP visit cards. Participation in the CCS programme is for both community and private childcare services.
Am I eligible for the CCS programme?
If you are a parent in receipt of a social welfare payment, you may be eligible. See the table below for more details.
How do I know which childcare services are currently in the CCS Programme?
Can I use a Childminder instead?
Childminders cannot offer the CCS or the CCSP programme.
Band Table and Rates of Payment
The table below outlines the weekly subvention rates for parents considered to be ‘Band A’, ‘Band AJ’ or ‘Band B’ based on the type of service the child is availing of. The list of payments under Band A in the table is not exhaustive.
It is important to note that a Medical Card is required with band A and Band AJ payments.
A full list of conditions and frequently asked questions about the CCS programme is available on the Department of Children and Youth Affairs website www.dcya.gov.ie
TABLE: CCS Band Eligibility
Band A (with medical card)
Band AJ (with medical card)*
· One Parent Family Payment
· Widows/Widowers Pension
· Pre-retirement Allowance
· Farm Assist
· State Pension
· Blind Pension
· Guardian’s Payment
· Illness/Injury Benefit
· Disability Allowance
· Carer’s Benefit/Allowance
· Back to Work Enterprise/Education Allowance
· Community Employment/Rural Social Scheme
· Domiciliary Care Allowance ****
· Family Income Supplement (FIS) *****
· Secondary School Students
· Invalidity Pension
· Disablement Pension
· Job Seekers Benefit/Allowance
· Supplementary Welfare Allowance **
· Part-time Job Incentive Scheme
· Medical Card
· GP Visit Card (over 6 years + only) ***
· Parents who are in receipt of Social Welfare payments listed under Band A/AJ but have no medical card
· Parents who no longer qualify for Band A/AJ this year but who were verified as being on Band A/AJ at the end of the previous year
· Official Tusla Referrals (no medical card needed)
· HSE Public Health Nurse referrals (no medical card required)
*Parents who qualify for AJ (with medical card) e.g. a parent in receipt of Jobseekers Benefit/Allowance (JB/JA) and with a medical care qualify for subvented childcare to a maximum of €50 subvention for full day-care per week (Band AJ). This cap applies where a child attends from 3 full days to 5 days per week (Band AJ). This cap applies where a child attends from 3 full days to 5 full days per week (Note: where a child attends for 1 or 2 days only it will not be pro-rated). Parents in receipt of Jobseekers Benefit/Allowance (JB/JA) and do not have a medical card qualify for subvented childcare under Band B.
**This applies to Community Service ONLY
Situation: Parent receiving Basic Payments under the Supplementary Welfare Allowance Scheme, and awaiting a decision on a Jobseekers Benefit/Allowance claim – if the claim is successful attracts a full rate Band A eligibility, with a medical card (e.g. One Parent Family Payment) then the eligibility for that payment can be back dated to the September of that given academic year for which the basic payment applied. However, the successful claim, which must have been backdated to include the CCS snap-shot window, must be appealed as part of the CCS Appeals Process.
*** GP visit card is now universal for children 0-6 and therefore will now only apply to Band B subvention eligibility for 6 years+.
**** Domiciliary Care Allowance eligibility documents may be dated to within one year prior to the CCS eligibility window (or for CCSP, within one year prior to childcare start date)
***** Family Income Supplement (FIS) eligibility documentation will be accepted where the start date of the FIS payment is valid during the CCS eligibility window (for CCSP eligibility documentation will be accepted if FIS payment start date is valid within one month prior to the childcare start date).
Note for CCS:
No Band is automatically applied to those parents on Maternity Benefit, partaking in a Springboard course and/or a National Internship Programme (NIP/JobBridge), or in receipt of the ETB/SOLAS Training Allowance during the CCS Snap-shot window (19th September – 14th October 2016). The appropriate band will be decided on a case by case basis, based on the allowance received immediately prior to the course/programme/training/benefit.
Note for CCS Private:
No Band is automatically applied to those parents on Maternity Benefit, partaking in a Springboard course and/or a National Internship Programme (NIP/JobBridge), or in receipt of the ETB/SOLAS Training Allowance during the week the child is registered for the CCS Private Programme. The appropriate band will be decided on a case by case basis, based on the allowance received immediately prior to the course/programme/training/benefit.
Try out the CCS Band Calculator on the PIP Homepage at www.pobal.ie to get an idea of what Band might be approved. This is a guide for assistance only and does not guarantee the Band that will be approved.
For a DCYA Guide to the CCS/CCSP 2016 Programme which includes Frequently Asked Questions visit the Department of Children and Youth Affairs website www.dcya.gov.ie
Handy CCS/CCSP Documents:
Information on the administration of the CCS/CCSP Programme for early childhood services is available on: CLICK HERE
As of January 2017, CCS Resettlement and Relocation has now expanded to include measures to assist families experiencing homelessness alongside assisting refugee families. The objective of the programme, now called CCS Resettlement, Relocation and Transition, is to provide childcare services to refugee families and also families who are currently identified as homeless by Focus Ireland.
Resettlement and Relocation
As part of the current EU initiative on the resettlement of Refugees in Ireland, the need to provide childcare services to refugee families has been identified.
A flat rate of €95 per week, for part-time childcare over 4 days per week will be paid in relation to each child attending under CCS ‘Relocation/Resettlement’ (i.e. CCSR) once approved, for the eligible duration of their childcare place. This guide will provide step-by-step instructions to services in completing, submitting and amending registrations on PIP for the CCSR Programme.
‘Resettlement’ or ‘Relocation’? What’s the Difference?
Individuals who have entered Ireland as ‘Resettlement’ refugees, as verified by the Department of Justice and Equality will be eligible for up to a maximum of 60 weeks’ childcare under CCSR. This will include a number of weeks in childcare in proximity to a reception centre (approximately 8 weeks), and the remaining eligible weeks in a childcare service within the family’s resettled community.
Individuals who have entered Ireland as ‘Relocation’ refugees, as verified by the Department of Justice and Equality, will be eligible for up to a maximum of 8 weeks’ childcare under CCSR.
Please ensure that the correct Department of Justice and Equality - Eligibility Letter is provided for all CCSR children.
The letter will contain key information related to both the parent and the child. The letter will clearly state whether the child is eligible for CCSR under ‘Resettlement’ or ‘Relocation’.
Families identified as homeless by Focus (Ireland) with children aged 0-5 inclusive, will now be eligible for childcare under CCSR. Children will be eligible for 25 hours per week, which will include 15 hours of free pre-school (ECCE) where they are eligible for this, or school hours. This free childcare will be available for 33 weeks of the remainder of this academic year. Contracted childcare services will be provided with a flat rate of €110 per week, per child for these part-time children.
As part of this initiative parents will not be asked to pay any top–up or co-payment for these part-time hours and a daily meal must be provided for each child (which will be included in the subvention rate). All registrations must be supported by an approved Focus Ireland eligibility letter.
With effect from June 28th the following changes will occur to the CCSRT Programme
The two strands – Relocation and Resettlement - will be aligned to allow for the same entitlement i.e. 8 weeks within the reception centre to facilitate language and integration followed by a 52 week to facilitate integration within the wider community. A total allocation of 60 weeks for each strand. In effect, all eligible applicants for Relocation or Resettlement will be treated under the CCS Resettlement rules and rates.
The eligibility age group for the CCSR Transition will be expanded to include school-aged children (aged 6-12 inclusive) for primary school holiday periods only.
CCSR Transition will be expanded to include sessional services for a rate of €62.50 per week
Information on how to access the CCSRT is available on the Pobal website under “All Programme Information”.