The Minister for Children has said she is open to making retrospective payments to 9,000 families who will miss out on a €12-a-week childcare subsidy from September until an indeterminate time next year.

A spokesperson for Katherine Zappone told RTÉ News that no final decision will be made until the Single Affordable Childcare Scheme is up and running.

Earlier the Government announced the universal childcare subsidy for children under the age of three, which will be payable from September.

Ms Zappone said the measure will benefit up to 33,000 children, giving families of those in full-time, registered childcare an annual boost of €1,000.

The measure applies to children aged from six months to 36 months, or when they begin the free pre-school programme.

It is one of a number of measures which will be paid for by the additional €19m in funding agreed for the area in last October's Budget.

However Ms Zappone has since revealed that the SCAS scheme will not be in place when the subsidy is introduced.

Government sources have explained that legislation is required to allow Ms Zappone's Department of Children and Youth Affairs and the Revenue Commissioners to exchange information on the incomes of applicant families.

The Minister's spokesperson said that although the legislation is on the Government's priority list, data protection and information technology issues will remain to be resolved after the new law's enactment.

He said this would mean that the 9,000 families would not qualify for payments until sometime next year.

The spokesperson added that Ms Zappone would make no final decision on retrospective payments to families who miss out on their subsidy until SACS is up and running.

Meanwhile, Leo Varadkar, who announced the broad childcare initiative with Ms Zappone, said his Department of Social Protection is already well positioned to share data with the Department of Children and Youth Affairs when Ms Zappone finalises the scheme, passes the requisite legislation and builds the appropriate systems to administer it.

Mr Varadkar's spokesperson emphasised that SACS is a Dept of Children scheme.

Launching the scheme, Ms Zappone said children aged from six months through to 15 years will benefit with the highest levels of supports aimed at families with the lowest incomes.

She also announced what she called "significant increases of up to 50% in childcare subvention rates provided under the Community Childcare Subvention Scheme (CCSS) for children aged from 6 months up to 15 years old".

A public information campaign on the package is to be launched next month.

The scheme, which Mr Varadkar called "a major step forward", will target more than 3,000 childcare providers throughout the country.

The national organisation representing childcare providers has warned that the Government's initiative to make their services more affordable is likely to increase the industry's recruitment and financial crises.

Early Childcare Ireland (ECI) also says it is disappointing that 9,000 families will miss out on a €12-a-week subsidy in the short term because of issues related to law reform and information technology.

In a statement welcoming the broader initiative, ECI warns that delivering more affordable childcare from this September may put providers under even greater pressure at a time when many are struggling to survive.