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Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for measure IE-2020-17/1007 – measures in Ireland

Temporary Wage Subsidy Childcare Scheme (TWSCS)

Country Ireland , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 21 April 2020 – 28 June 2020
Context COVID-19
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Employment protection and retention
– Income support for people in employment (e.g., short-time work)
Author Colman Higgins (IRN Publishing)
Measure added 17 July 2020 (updated 05 August 2020)

Background information

The scheme existed as a supplement to the economy-wide Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS), but only for the childcare sector.

This was instead of the normal State supports for the childcare sector, which had continued to be paid from when childcare providers closed on 13 March 2020 up to 20 April 2020.

The scheme ceased to operate from when childcare services were allowed to re-open from 29 June 2020.

Content of measure

The measure was aimed at providing extra support to the 4,600 childcare providers, to ensure that they were still available to provide services once the economy re-opened.

Childcare providers already in the TWSS could join the TWSCS and get funding from the Department of Children and Youth Affairs. The TWSCS scheme tops up the economy-wide TWSS to 100% of the childcare worker's pre-COVID-19 wage levels, up to a limit of €585 per week.

For the childcare provider, the scheme also paid 15% of payroll to cover ongoing overheads outside of pay or a minimum payment of €300 per week per childcare provider.

The scheme replaced all other state supports for the childcare sector, which are suspended for the duration of the scheme.

Use of measure

As of Wednesday, April 22, 3,533 childcare providers had signed up for the TWSCS, out of a total of about 4,600 providers nationally. It was also open to providers to sign up for the scheme after that date.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Particular professions
Sector specific set of companies
Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
National funds

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Consulted Consulted
Form Any other form of consultation, institutionalised (as stable working groups or committees) or informal Any other form of consultation, institutionalised (as stable working groups or committees) or informal

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • Social partners jointly
  • Main level of involvement: Sectoral or branch level


Unions and employer bodies were consulted by the central government Department of Children and Youth Affairs when devising the measure, but the decisions were made by the Department, which devised the contract that childcare providers had to sign up to, to receive funds under the scheme.

Views and reactions

Some employer bodies were critical of the scheme, arguing that while it covered wages, it did not provide enough funding for overheads during the period when childcare facilities were closed for public health reasons. However, the Department of Children and Youth Affairs, which provided the scheme, said wages were 70% of costs and that its provision for overheads was relatively higher for smaller providers.

The largest union in the sector, SIPTU, strongly welcomed the scheme, saying it would help childcare providers in retaining staff in the sector during the lockdown. But it had concerns over the financial difficulties faced by some providers who were entirely state-funded, even with the funds provided under the scheme.

Sectors and occupations

    • Economic area Sector (NACE level 2)
      P - Education P85 Education
    • Occupation (ISCO level 2)
      Teaching professionals



Eurofound (2020), Temporary Wage Subsidy Childcare Scheme (TWSCS), measure IE-2020-17/1007 (measures in Ireland), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,


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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.