The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr Katherine Zappone, has announced new, emergency measures to support essential health workers who are having difficulty meeting their childcare needs. This forms part of Phase 1 of the Government’s Roadmap for Reopening Society and Business.

The press release associated with the emergency measures can be read here.

Existing, registered childcare services have been asked to consider signing up for the service and opening as an outreach hub. Service Providers are asked to support essential healthcare workers by offering childcare in the family homes of essential health workers.

Pobal, will assist DCYA with the administration of the new initiative and we are now inviting interested service providers to submit applications to participate in the Temporary Childcare Scheme for Essential Health Workers. Firstly, we ask that you read the below and attached information to gain a full understanding of the details associated with the Scheme.


  • All existing registered childcare services are invited to participate in the provision of childcare in the homes of essential healthcare workers from Monday, 18th May 2020.
  • The volunteer application form is available on PIP. Once completed all applications must be submitted by email to Pobal.
  • Information will be made available in the coming days for parents who may be eligible for this temporary scheme.  Parents will register through a separately managed process.
  • 30 City and County Childcare Committees around the country will assist Pobal and the Department of Children and Youth Affairs in administering the service. Where possible, this process will match local service providers with essential health workers and the subsequent provision of services will commence.
  • All services that participate in this initiative will be supported to follow HSE guidance related to COVID-19. Information packs containing essential information and supports are available here.

Key Criteria

  • Initially, Pobal will engage with larger full-day services, but all services are asked to consider volunteering and to prepare to activate if requested.
  • Please liaise with your staff as soon as possible and assess their availability to provide direct childcare support to children of an essential health worker in the family’s home.
  • Only services currently registered with Tusla will be allowed participate.
  • All staff taking part are required to be re-vetted for the outreach service. Please see the guidance documents for more information on this.

Please read the supporting information and resources attached with this notice in detail. This information should guide providers through the subsequent stages of the process.

If you and your staff are available to assist, please submit the Temporary Childcare Scheme for Essential Health Workers Volunteer Application Form available as soon as possible. Please see the Volunteer Application How-to Guide for assistance on completing and returning the application form.

Pobal and local CCC’s will engage with services individually once applications are received and processed.

Further information can be found in the FAQs here and queries can be redirected to

Early Years Team

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