It’s always good to be taking actions to improve your skills. However, like with so many other things, finding childcare can be a real difficulty if you’re taking part in a vocational training course. The Childcare Employment and Training Supports schemes (CETS for short) was set up to help people in training programmes find affordable childcare. CETS also offers a subsidy to keep prices down and can help you find full-time, part-time or after-school childcare places.
CETS is still active as of 2016, but the Government has plans to replace it with a new affordable childcare programme by some time in 2017.
How does CETS work?
CETS offers a limited number of places for parents that are given out on a first-come first-served basis. You will need to be unemployed and taking or looking to take part in a vocational training course. You’ll have to be the main carer of your child or children and need assistance with childcare so you can take up the course.
Under CETS, there are maximum weekly rates childcare providers can charge to parents who are part of the programme:
Type of Service
Maximum charge per week under CETS
- Full-time childcare €25
- Part time childcare €15
- Afterschool services €5
- Afterschool with pickup service €15
Am I eligible for CETS?
In order to access the CETS programme, you’ll need to be enrolled in an approved course from the Education and Training Board. People in the following courses can definitely apply:
- Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme (VTOS)
- Back to Education Initiative (BTEI)
- Further Education and Training (FET) courses
- The FIT Initiative
However, there are some courses you can be part of and not be eligible for CETS. Courses that do not qualify include the following:
- Job Initiative
- SOLAS apprenticeships
- Evening courses
- Supported Employment schemes
- Job Club
- The Work Placement Programme
How can I apply?
If you think you are eligible for CETS support, you should talk to the provider of your education or training course. Let them know you want to be considered for the programme. When you are accepted in your course, you will get a letter that includes a list of local childcare providers. Use your letter of acceptance to book a place for your child with one of these providers. You will also receive a second letter giving the start and end dates of your course after you’ve begun. Show this to your childcare provider once you receive it so they can confirm the length of time your child will need their service.
Need more information?
We are here to answer your questions and talk through your options. Our online chat service is for 16 to 25 year olds and is available Monday to Friday, 4pm to 8pm. Chat to us now about your situation.