National Childcare Funding Programmes

Free Preschool Year (ECCE)

The Free Preschool Year in Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) is a programme administered by the Childcare Directorate of the Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA) with the support of the local City & County Childcare Committee (CCC). ECCE is a universal programme, meaning that it is available to all children in the State in the qualifying age range.

There were changes made to this funding programme in Budget 2016 for further details please refer to the Department of Children & Youth Affairs website. To view the latest update click on the link: DCYA ECCE - Free pre-school year


Community Childcare Subvention (CCS )

The CCS Programme supports disadvantaged parents and provides support for parents in low paid employment and training or education by enabling qualifying parents to avail of reduced childcare costs at participating community childcare services. 

Budget 2016 – CCS Expansion

Under Budget 2016, Dr. James Reilly, Minister for Children and Youth Affairs has announced a major package of strategic investment in affordable, quality and accessible childcare.  Part of this package involves expansion of the CCS Programme, to be rolled out in the coming months.  This expansion will be rolled out in phases:

Phase 1:  Lifting the FTE Caps within existing CCS services (with effect from October 2015)

Phase 2:  Expansion of the CCS Programme to Community/Not-for-Profit childcare providers (with effect from November 2015)

Phase 3:  Expansion of the CCS Programme to a targeted number of private childcare providers (with effect from early 2016)

How much does the DCYA pay for CCS-funded children?

Information on the CCS Programme including Band types and weekly payments may be found on the DCYA Website: DCYA Community Childcare Subvention Programme  or DCYA Frequently Asked Programme Questions 

What are the CCS eligibility criteria for parents/children?

Details of CCS eligibility criteria may be found on the DCYA Website ( or DCYA Frequently Asked Programme Questions 

How will I register children for the CCS Programme?

Once a CCS Contract has been countersigned with the DCYA, the DCYA will make the CCS Contract active on the PIP System, which will allow CCS registration forms to be completed.  The ‘CCS How to Guide for Service Providers’ (available from the PIP Homepage) Pobal Programmes Implementation Platform (PIP) Page offers detailed instructions on how to register CCS children on the PIP system.



Training and Employment Childcare (TEC) Programmes

The objective of the TEC Programmes is to support parents on eligible training courses and eligible categories of parents returning to work, by providing subsidised childcare places.

The Training and Employment Childcare Programmes (TEC) are administered by the Department of Children & Youth Affairs (DCYA) on behalf of the Education & Training Boards (ETB)/Solas and the Department of Social Protection (DSP).

TEC comprises 3 Strands, as follows:

  • Childcare Education and Training Support Programme (CETS)

The Childcare Education and Training Support Programme (CETS) provides childcare for children of eligible parents taking part in ETB/Solas (formerly VEC/Fás) training courses.

  • After School Childcare Programme (ASCC)

The After School Childcare Programme provides afterschool care for primary school children for eligible working parents and parents on DSP employment programmes (not incl. Community Employment) – parents are informed by their Local Intreo Centre or Social Welfare Office that they are eligible for ASCC places.

  • Community Employment Childcare Programme (CEC)

The Community Employment Childcare Programme (CEC) provides childcare for children of eligible parents taking part in Community Employment schemes.

The allocation of places under the programme is managed by the DCYA, via the City and County Childcare Committees (CCCs). The information is then passed on to Pobal, who make the payments to providers on the Department’s instructions. 

Pobal also conducts on-site visits and checks of service providers participating in TEC Programmes to ensure that providers meet the terms and conditions of TEC as set out by the DCYA.

For more detailed information on the TEC programmes please visit the PIP Homepage.

If you have any queries in relation to a parent/child’s eligibility for TEC, please contact Leitrim CCC Office.


 Programme Implementation Platform  (PIP)

The Programmes Implementation Platform is an online administration system for the national DCYA Childcare Funding Programmes listed below: 

  • Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE)
  • Training and Education Childcare (TEC)
  • Community Childcare Subvention (CCS)
  •  Early Years Capital (EYC)

All childcare service providers that wish to avail of DCYA childcare funding programmes are required to register children and the organisations details via PIP see link to PIP Portal Page for further information.



Early Years Capital Programme 2016

The Early Years Capital 2016 Programme is now open for online applications via PIP. Please log onto the PIP Portal to access the online application form and navigate to the Programmes Tab to complete the application form.  Please refer to the Early Years Capital Guidance Document 

The deadline for submitting completed applications is Wednesday 6th April 2016 at 12 midday.