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PIP Announcement - Extensive Portal Maintenance 23-25 April

Extensive Portal Maintenance 23-25 April

Dear Service Provider,

Early Years Hive

The Early Years Hive and the National Childcare Scheme website will be unavailable from 9am Friday, 23 April to Sunday, 25 April due to important scheduled maintenance.

The portals will be fully operational again as of 9am Monday, 26 April. You may need to refresh your web browser to access the portal again.


The PPSN Checker on PIP will be unavailable on Saturday, 24th April from 2pm - 4.30pm

During this time, the PPSN details of parents and children cannot be validated with the result that CCSP/U/RT registrations or AIM applications cannot be submitted through PIP.

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause and thank you for your cooperation.

Thank you,
Early Years Team

LINC Level 6 Special Purpose Award is now open for applications



The LINC Level 6 Special Purpose Award is now open for applications and will close on Friday May 14 at 4pm. Applications can only be completed using a desktop or laptop computer.
LINC will be hosting 4 live information sessions over the next 4 weeks see below for details.
22 April 2021 at 7pm
27 April 2021 at 7pm
4 May 2021 at 7pm
11 May 2021 at 7pm
To book a place go to

PIP Announcement - NCS Sponsors: Launch of Dedicated Phone Line/Email Address and Process Reminder

​NCS Sponsors: Launch of Dedicated Phone Line/Email Address and Process Reminder


Dear Service Provider,


We are pleased to announce that a new mailbox and phone line have been launched by the NCS Parent Support Centre to support with the NCS sponsor process. These are operated by the NCS Sponsors Team, who are specially trained on the Sponsor process for NCS. The NCS Sponsors Team can be contacted Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm by phone at 01 906 8535 or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Please note that the NCS Sponsors Team can only support on Sponsor-related queries. Services looking for operational support (e.g. attendance Returns for Sponsor CHICKs) should still raise a request through the Early Years Hive or contact EYPC.


Sponsor process


Below is a reminder of the Sponsor process, you can also find more information on the NCS FAQ on the Early Years Hive:

  1. Referrals are posted to NCS, P.O. Box 13105, South Side Delivery Office, Cork City, Co. Cork.
  2. We receive the referral and it is converted to a Sponsor Application on the system
  3. The CHICK notification is emailed to the Sponsor contact (Local Authority/Homeless Agency, HSE, Tusla) or to the parent (in the case of DJE and DES referrals)
  4. The Sponsor shares the CHICK with the parent
  5. The parent brings the CHICK to the Provider to set up the claim for the child
  6. The Provider registers the CHICK on the Early Years Hive (see below section on how to tell if a CHICK is a Sponsor CHICK)
  7. A subsidy is paid by DCEDIY to the Provider based on hours claimed (the claim does not need to be approved by the parent)
  8. Providers may not charge parents fees for Sponsor places

An urgent placement may sometimes be requested for a Sponsored child and in such cases, the Sponsor should be asked to have the referral in the post to Pobal within 2 days. This will help avoid any potential funding gaps where a Provider is waiting for a CHICK. We remind Providers that a Sponsor CHICK can only be claimed from the start date on the CHICK; Registrations can be set up for the current week, or for the previous week where the start date allows and the child was in attendance.


Sponsor subsidies and provider service fees


Sponsor Subsidies range from €4.31 - €5.87 per hour, these rates are higher than the mainstream NCS and are in place to cover the cost of childcare for Sponsor families. You should also be aware that parents cannot be charged fees where the child has a Sponsor CHICK, this is outlined in chapter 14 of the NCS Policy Guidelines and is a condition of your NCS Funding Agreement. Any Provider who charges fees to a parent for a Sponsor place would be in breach of their Funding Agreement.


To confirm whether a CHICK is a Sponsor CHICK, check the ‘Claim Source’ field on the Submit Claim page on HIVE. This is the page you’ll see after you have entered the CHICK and the child’s name and date of birth on the NCS Registrations page. The source will read ‘Sponsor’ if it is a Sponsor CHICK.


The hourly rates are the same across all Sponsor bodies and can be viewed below:


< 12 months​




​ECCE / ECCE-eligible / Early Start





CCC support


If you are having difficulties with accessing a referral assessment, please contact your local CCC.


Early Years Team