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What is the Wage Subsidy Childcare Scheme?
The Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA) has established the COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Childcare Scheme (WSCS).
The WSCS provides additional financial supports to the Early Learning and Care and School Age Childcare sectors.
The allocation of the WSCS to staff in these sectors aims to ensure childcare employees can see out the crisis and that childcare facilities can quickly reopen when the restrictions ease.
How will the Wage Subsidy Childcare Scheme help childcare employers?
The WSCS is linked to the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme which is available to all employers who have suffered a downturn in trade due to the crisis. The WSCS will allow childcare employers to retain staff on payrolls and it also provides a payment in respect of operating costs to employers whose businesses are affected.
How will the Wage Subsidy Childcare Scheme help employees?
The DCYA will top up the wage subsidy provided by Revenue under the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme to a limit of €585 per week. It is hoped this can ensure that as many staff as possible receive the vast bulk of their salary for the duration of the crisis.
How do childcare employers avail of the Wage Subsidy Childcare Scheme?
Childcare providers must first register with Revenue for the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme.
Once the WSCS is operational, childcare providers will be able to sign a new agreement and receive their top up payments from the DCYA along with the overhead contribution which will be backdated to the date the childcare provider signed the agreement.
What happens to payments for ECCE, NCS, CCSP, TEC?
Payments made under various schemes like the Early Childhood Care and Education and the National Childcare Scheme, Community Childcare Subvention Scheme and Training and Employment Childcare programmes are linked to the provision of a service to parents. As there is no service being provided to parents while the COVID-19 restrictions remain in place, these payments will cease and employers are encouraged to avail of the wage subsidy supports that are available.
If I’m self-employed, can I apply for WSCS?
If you are self-employed and pay yourself a salary through the business’ payroll system, you are likely to be an eligible employee and can avail of the subsidy schemes operated by the Revenue and the DCYA.
If you do not pay yourself through the business’ payroll, you will need to use the government’s alternative income support, the Pandemic Unemployment Payment of €350 per week paid by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection.
Self-employed childcare providers with no employees can also avail of the DCYA overhead payment (i.e. 15% of staff wages with a minimum payment of €300 per week).