An extra €3m for technical support as well as new training has been announced by Minister Katherine Zappone to prepare services for the new National Childcare Scheme. Minister Zappone says providers in South and West Dublin should now be preparing for the scheme which will start later this year and will  transform childcare. The Minister was speaking at the annual conference of Early Childhood Ireland, which has its head office in Tallaght. Minister Zappone said: “Our local childcare providers are central to ensuring the switch over to the National Childcare Scheme is a success – not just for children now but for families for generations to come. I want to encourage services across South and West Dublin to look at their current systems and if they need further support for IT services to apply for an extra €3m in funding I am now making available. The funding will offer grants of between €500-€2000 depending on the numbers of children cared for. In addition I am pleased to announce that 500 places will be made available on a new e-Learning programme which will help train up those working in childcare to ensure their service is fully accessible to all.

We are continuing to put in place strong foundations to ensure that childcare in our communities will be transformed forever. Already investment is up 117% since 2015, over 80,000 children have extra financial supports, we must continue this work to ensure there is no going back. Parents and providers who need more information should check out www.ncs.gov.ie. The website of the new National Childcare Scheme has already had well over 50,000 hits.”