ECCE & Government Schemes
The Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) Scheme offers free care and education for pre-school aged children. It operates for 3 hours daily, 5 days a week, and covers 38 weeks each year from September to June. All children can access two full academic years within the ECCE scheme. To be eligible, your child must be at least 2 years and 8 months old by August 31st of the entry year. The core hours for ECCE Montessori are from 8:45 am to 11:45 am. Children enrolled in full-time/part-time childcare who are eligible for the ECCE pre-school year(s) will receive the ECCE grant for their enrolled days through a reduction in their monthly amount payable.
To reserve your child’s spot, a €100 deposit is required, which is refundable in September of the year your child begins the ECCE program.
The National Childcare Scheme (NCS)
The NCS offers financial assistance for childcare expenses.
Two types of childcare subsidies are available for children aged between 24 weeks and 15 years:
A universal subsidy which is not means tested.
An income-assessed subsidy which is means tested
Mini Trinity preschool, after-school, and crèche have partnered with the NCS scheme and have been officially registered with Tusla since opening in 2015.
The most convenient and quickest method to apply is online at https://ncs.gov.ie/en/.
Required information includes:
A verified MyGovID account*
Your children’s details, such as birthdate and PPSN
You/your partner’s employment and income information for income-assessed subsidy if the household net income is under €60,000. Alternatively, apply for the Universal subsidy.
Your partner’s PPSN, employment, and income details (if applicable)
Obtain a basic MyGovID account and a Public Service Card with a verified mobile phone number. For complete instructions, visit https://www.ncs.gov.ie/en/how-to-apply/.
For those without a Public Services Card, apply by post. Contact the Parent Support Centre at 01 906 8530, Monday to Friday, from 9 am to 5 pm. Postal applications take longer to process and may impact the start date of the subsidy payment.
Upon application approval, you’ll receive an NCS award for each child, which includes their unique CHICK key (Childcare Identifier Code Key) and information on the rate and number of eligible hours. Share this information with us to register your child on the NCS portal (HIVE) and input their attendance hours.
After obtaining your CHICK key, email it to firstname.lastname@example.org, along with your child’s name and birthdate.
Once Mini Trinity registers your child and their hours, you’ll receive a notification from the registration system requesting confirmation of the entered details. After confirming, the Department of Children and Youth Affairs will pay the subsidy to us on your behalf, which will then be deducted from your monthly fee. If you do not validate our registration on the HIVE Portal, we cannot apply the subsidy to your fees.