The income thresholds for the Affordable Childcare Scheme will increase next year.
Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe said the base income threshold is being raised from €22,700 to €26,000.
The maximum income threshold will go from €47,500 to €60,000, and the multiple child deduction will increase from €3,800 to €4,300.
Delivering his speech for Budget 2019, Minister Donohoe said the scheme makes a real difference to the lives of thousands of families not only in terms of accessing childcare but also in terms of encouraging people back into the workplace.
Minister Donohoe also announced an additional €127 million for the Department of Children and Youth Affairs in 2019.
“This funding will facilitate our children and young people in reaching their full potential,” he said.
Funding for Tusla will increase by over €30 million to just over €786 million, while funding for early learning and childcare will increase by just under €90 million to €574 million.
The National Women’s Council of Ireland welcomed the increase in funding for the Affordable Childcare Scheme. “The lack of affordable, quality, accessible childcare and after school care is one of the biggest barriers to women’s employment and participation in public life,” the NCWI said in a statement.
“In particular, we welcome the increase in the lower threshold bands that will support lower income families, including lone parent families. It’s disappointing that there was no reference to the need to improve pay for childcare workers, the majority of whom are women,” it said.