• Minister Katherine Zappone formally appoints Pobal as Scheme Administrator for the new National Childcare Scheme (NCS).
  • Pobal will be responsible for the operational management and delivery of this national scheme.

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr. Katherine Zappone, officially appointed Pobal as scheme administrator for the new National Childcare Scheme (NCS), under section 3 of the Childcare Support Act 2018, on Monday, 8th April 2019. The National Childcare Scheme is a national scheme of financial support for parents towards the cost of quality childcare which will be launched in October 2019. It replaces the existing targeted childcare subsidisation schemes with a single, streamlined and more user-friendly scheme.

Pobal will oversee the management of NCS on behalf of the Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA) and will be responsible for providing a professional, cost-effective and efficient service which aligns with the Scheme’s policy objectives. In this context, Pobal will be responsible for managing a large scale contact centre, processing applications, making payments, maintaining and supporting the ICT system, as well as facilitating reviews and independent appeals.

In addition to providing assistance and support to parents, children and families, Pobal will also work directly with childcare services providers and the early learning and care, and school age childcare sector, through training and knowledge transfer processes.

Making the announcement Minister Zappone said:

“’I’m delighted to officially appoint Pobal as Scheme Administrator for the National Childcare Scheme.  The appointment builds on the excellent partnership between my Department and Pobal as we work to develop and launch this landmark new scheme.

The National Childcare Scheme is our pathway to quality, accessible, affordable childcare for families in Ireland.  I look forward to working with Pobal, and with all key stakeholders, to deliver this Scheme which provides a flexible, future focused and sustainable platform to invest in quality Early Learning and Care and School Age Childcare for current and future generations.”

Following the announcement, Denis Leamy, CEO of Pobal said:

“For many years, Pobal has worked in partnership with the Department of Children and Youth Affairs to successfully provide the administration of vital childcare schemes, to support the management of funding programmes and to produce and publish important research on the early years sector which has subsequently informed evidence based policy making.

We have a long history of working closely with childcare services and representatives from the sector in providing support and channelling resources for the delivery of quality improvement childcare programmes, benefiting children, families and communities throughout Ireland.

Today, is an important milestone for Pobal and we are honoured to be appointed by Minister Katherine Zappone as the Scheme Administrator for the Government of Ireland’s new landmark National Childcare Scheme. Pobal will undertake a number of key functions and activities regarding the administration of NCS, and with the support of targeted and innovative technology our priority in the coming months is to prepare for the successful roll-out of the scheme in October 2019.”

NCS is the first ever statutory entitlement to financial support for childcare.

Through this entitlement, the National Childcare Scheme aims to improve outcomes for children, support lifelong learning, reduce child poverty and tangibly reduce the cost of quality childcare for thousands of families across Ireland. Further information for parents and childcare service providers is available on the Scheme’s dedicated website: https://ncs.gov.ie/