From 2 January, subsidies under the National Childcare Scheme increased to €1.40 per hour of childcare, per child. This is an increase of 90c on the previous rate and means that parents using full-time registered early learning and childcare services will benefit from an average 25% reduction in their childcare costs.
Since being appointed Minister for Children, I made clear my intention to make childcare more affordable for parents, and with this increase in the NCS subsidy, due to the additional €121m I secured in Budget 2023, I am delivering on that promise.
This week, I announced that more than 105,000 children, and their families, are benefitting from the National Childcare Scheme – an increase of 95% compared to this time last year. I’m delighted that the increased subsidies have led to a huge growth in demand for the NCS, meaning more parents than ever are getting more affordable childcare.
I’ve spoken to a number of parents across the constituency who have told me how beneficial these increased savings on childcare are for them and their family. Many parents who felt they had to choose between childcare and returning to work have said that they now feel that they can do both. I want to continue supporting families with children, and will be working within Government on how we can bring even further affordability for parents in future budgets.