Minister for Children and Family Affairs Katherine Zappone will bring her proposals for the new childcare announced in the Budget to Cabinet the week after next.

The scheme will begin in September 2017 and provides for a means-tested subsidy for registered childcare providers and also a universal payment.

The Department of Children and Youth Affairs has received an increase in calls since the measure was announced last Tuesday.

The department is currently in talks with Childminding Ireland to help more childminders register for the new targeted subvention scheme. 

Under the scheme, those providing childminding services must be registered with the Child and Family Agency, Tusla and at present 4,500 crèches and centres and around 125 childminders are registered.

The department is hoping that hundreds of childminders will register with Tusla in the next six months. Registered providers undergo a vetting process.

Under the scheme, a direct subvention is paid to providers in respect of children aged between six months and 15 years. It is means tested and targeted at families with a net joint income of €47,500 or less.

Families earning below a net income of €22,700 will be covered by a maximum childcare subvention of 40 hours a week. This means they will pay €0.30 an hour for childminding by registered providers.

It emerged that in cases where one parent is at home and the child is in a community crèche, they will be able to get 15 hours of subsidised childcare.

Separately a universal subsidy is to be paid to all families with children between six months and three years of age.

A maximum of €960 per month will be paid per child to a Tusla-registered childcare service. It is also capped at 40 hours per week.

Overall it is understood the Government would need to spend between €500m and €600m to bring Ireland in line with the OECD average spend on childcare.

It also emerged that the department will have an online registration system in place but not until at least the summer of next year.

The department is working to ensure the lessons of the SUSI computer system for student grants are not repeated.

Under the registration scheme, the PPS numbers of parents will be required, although the department is looking at alternative systems if this does not receive cross-party support.

The website will also provide information on the childcare facilities that are registered for the scheme.

The department will also monitor any increase in fees charged by providers and a review of the cost of childcare is committed to under the Programme for Government.

At present, service providers are inspected every three years but the department is looking to improve this.

There are currently 4,500 registered providers, with several hundred inspections carried out every year.