From 2 September 2024, the minimum rate for the National Childcare Scheme (NCS) subsidies will increase from €1.40 to €2.14. The increase, which was introduced by Minister Roderic O’Gorman as part of Budget 2024 measures, means that if parents are in receipt of a subsidy which is less than the maximum, they will receive a higher subsidy towards their childcare fees.

There will be no change to the sponsor rate for children aged 0-52 weeks.

The remaining sponsor rates will have the max rate increased to €5.30 as demonstrated below.

Current Max Rate New Max Rate
1 to 2 years €5.00 €5.30
3+ years €4.54 €5.30
School Age €4.31 €5.30

Awards will be recalculated with this new rate and updated accordingly.

How will this affect awards and claims?

Universal Awards – these will be updated with the increased universal rate for the remainder of the award.

Income Assessed Awards – where the income was assessed within the income thresholds and an award was generated, these will be recalculated, and an increased rate may be applied for the remainder of the award.

Those at €26,000 and below are already on the highest levels of subsidy and therefore no further increase will apply to their subsidy.

Income Assessed Awards (Over Threshold) – where the income was assessed as over the €60,000threshold, an award with a universal rate would have been generated. These will be updated with the increased universal rate for the remainder of the award.

Sponsor Awards – awards for sponsor children aged 1 or over will have their award updated with an increased max rate for the remainder of the award. There is no change to sponsor awards for children under 1 year of age.

Claims will automatically be updated with the new rate for these applicants. There will be no need for parents to confirm these claims again, however if parents have not yet confirmed their claims, they will still be required to do so. Claims must be confirmed by the applicant before payments can flow to the provider.

Important: It should be noted that where rates change, the parents’ co-payment must be updated, and the parent informed.


All NCS child registration guidance available on the Early Years Hive in the Help & Support section will be updated in advance of this change.

We will provide a tool on the Hive highlighting the affected claims. More information on this tool will be made available closer to the time. Further communication reminding you of this change will also be issued closer to the date.


If you need further support, please raise a Service Request on the Hive using the following dropdown options:

  • Request program type: NCS
  • Request type: Registrations
  • Request type detail: Claim

Parents seeking support in this regard should be advised to contact the NCS Parent Support Centre on 01 906 8530, Monday to Friday 9am-5pm, or to visit

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