National Childcare Scheme

The National Childcare Scheme (legally known as the Affordable Childcare Scheme) is a national scheme of financial support for parents towards the cost of their childcare. The Scheme includes two types of subsidies towards the cost of quality childcare:

  1. A universal subsidy is payable for children between the ages of 24 weeks and 36 months who are using childcare services with an approved childcare service provider. It is also payable for a child who is older than 36 months but does not yet qualify for the Early Childhood Care and Education programme. The universal subsidy is not means-tested and is available to all qualifying families of any income level.
  2. An income-related subsidy is payable for children from 24 weeks to 15 years of age who are using childcare services with an approved childcare service provider. The level of subsidy is determined by the family’s reckonable income. The income related subsidy is payable for qualifying families where the family’s annual reckonable income falls below a threshold set by NCS/ POBAL.
  • A person can apply for the subsidy online at Where they qualify, they will be provided with a unique code, called a CHICK (Childcare Identifier Code Key) which must be provided to the Manager.
  • Once the hours of childcare required have been agreed, we will register the code on the scheme’s online system in order to redeem the subsidy. The subsidy is paid directly to Fonthill Lodge Childcare on the parent’s behalf and the parents fees are reduced by the amount of the subsidy.
  • The subsidy amount is set by the scheme and we do not control the amount awarded. Deductions may need to be adjusted to reflect the subsidy amount paid.
  • In the event of any shortfall in payment of creche fees arising from a subsidy (in part or whole) not being paid to Fonthill Lodge Childcare, for whatever reason, the parents remain liable for payment of the balance of fees due to Fonthill Lodge Childcare.
  • Further details of the scheme can be found on website