Little Scholars can accommodate children of preschool age only.  This page has information about the full National Childcare Scheme (NCS) for your convenience.  
  • In our service you can apply for the NCS should you wish to avail of the the extended hours in our service.  3 free ECCE hours will be provided, for those eligible, any additional hours will be private paid and discounted through the NCS if granted.
  • Children of preschool age that are just outside the ECCE eligibility can avail of a private paid place if they meet the admission criteria.  Any session chosen can be discounted through the NCS if granted. 
Childrens Charter

What is the National Childcare Scheme?

The National Childcare Scheme (NCS) helps Parents/Guardians to meet childcare costs.

The scheme provides 2 types of childcare subsidy for children aged over 6 months (24 weels) and up to 15 (children aged 15 do not qualify):

  • universal subsidy which is not means tested. The universal subsidy was extended to children aged up to 15 on 29 August 2022.
  • An income-assessed subsidy which is means tested.

You cannot get the Universal Subsidy and an income-assessed subsidy at the same time. However, you can choose which subsidy is of greatest benefit to you.

You must apply for a subsidy, but it is paid directly to your childcare provider. Your provider then will subtract your subsidy from your childcare bill.You must give your provider your CHICK number, generated via your online NCS application, for your fees to be discounted accordingly.

You can apply online at or call the National Childcare Scheme Parent Support Centre. Call (01) 906 8530 (9am – 5pm Monday to Friday).

Which subsidy can I apply for?

You can apply for the subsidy that is best for your family situation.

Key points about the universal subsidy 

  • It is available to parents of any income level and it is not means tested
  • Your child must be aged between 6 months (24 weeks) and 15 years (children aged 15 do not qualify)
  • The subsidy rates are based on the number of hours your child is attending childcare. See this webpage, from citizens advice, on the universal childcare subsidy for subsidy rates.
  • Children must be attending a childcare provider who is registered with Tusla

Key points about the income-assessed subsidy 

  • It is for children aged between 6 months (24 weeks) and 15 years
  • It is means tested and available to families with an annual reckonable income of up to €60,000. See ‘Rules’ below.
  • Your hourly subsidy rates are based on your individual circumstances (depending on your reckonable family income and the age and educational stage of your child). 
  • During school terms, you can use your subsidised hours for before-school and after-school childcare costs, if applicable.
  • Children must be attending a childcare provider who is registered with Tusla
  • You do not have to be employed but the number of subsidised childcare hours available will depend on the hours you and your partner work, study or train. See ‘Rules’ below.
About Little Scholars Montessori


You must meet certain conditions to be eligible for the NCS:

  • Relationship to the child: You or your current partner must be a parent of the child or acting in loco parentis (this means acting as a parent to the child).
  • Residency status: You must be ordinarily resident in Ireland and have a legal right to live here (that is, you are either a national of an EU/EEA member state or Switzerland, UK citizen, or have immigration status (this includes the EU Temporary Protection Directive) or leave to remain).
  • PPS numbers: You must provide your own PPS number and the PPS number of the child or children you are applying for.
  • Age of the child: To qualify for the subsidies your child must be over 6 months and under 15 years of age.

For more detailed information on the scheme please visit citizens advice here


Source for all information on this page is the Citizens Advice Website


The ECCE Scheme allows for two years of FREE pre-school, it was announced by the government in April 2009 and was introduced in January 2010. Parents are able to avail of this ECCE scheme for eligible children on a 38 week per year basis.

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Free Preschool Places


If you have received the notification from us that we have a place available for your child and would like to now register please do so here.