Offaly County Childcare Committee -   057 9135878

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Offaly County Childcare Committee is located at St Joseph's Community Centre in Kilcormac, Co Offaly.

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Minister Zappone announces additional funding of €3.2 million for pre-school supports for children with a disability

Minister Zappone announces additional funding of €3.2 million for pre-school supports for children with a disabilityAIM Logo

Minister announces funding of €3.2 million for the latest addition to the suite of pre-school supports for children with a disability provided under the Access and Inclusion Model (AIM).

AIM Inclusive Play is a set of resources to support inclusive practice within pre-school settings. These resources, which include equipment, toys and materials, also support the development of coordination and audio, visual and tactile skills among all children, and in particular, children with a disability.

AIM Inclusive Play will include a dark den, therapy putty, sand timers and kinetic sand, among a range of other resources.

The contract to develop AIM Inclusive Play was awarded to Learning Space (Belfast) Limited in November last year following a competitive tendering process.

From February 2018, AIM Inclusive Play will be distributed to more than 6,000 pre-school rooms delivering the ECCE Programme across more than 4,000 pre-school settings nationally.

AIM Inclusive Play offers the potential to fully support the implementation of all Levels of AIM.

Many elements of Síolta and Aistear can also be supported by effective use of these Resources.

Welcoming the news, the Minister said:

“I am delighted to announce this important addition to the suite of pre-school supports for children with a disability.

AIM Inclusive Play reinforces an important message – that children’s play is a vital ingredient of childhood, essential for both growth and learning and an integral element of high quality pre-school provision.

This initiative is another important step in our efforts to create more inclusive pre-school settings where each child is welcomed and included on equal terms and can progress to his or her full potential”

Sign language and specialised training offered to childcare centres

Sign language and specialised training offered to childcare centres “We must make childcare accessible to all”

Statement by Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr Katherine ZapponeAIM Logo

Sign language, sensory integration and other specialised training are being offered free to childcare centres under a plan to make services accessible to all children, according to Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr Katherine Zappone.

More than 1,200 places are being made available to childcare professionals in courses on sign language, promoting language and social skills of children and specialised supports for children with complex needs.

The training is being delivered under the Government’s Access Inclusion Model (AIM) which was launched 18-months ago. Already an estimated 5,000 children have benefitted from targeted AIM supports. It is envisaged that the universal AIM supports have reached even greater numbers of children.

Announcing the new places Minister Zappone added:  “If we are to develop truly accessible affordable quality childcare then it must be open to every child.

Since the introduction of AIM we have made great strides to ensure children with disabilities can participate in free pre-school education alongside their friends. Now we are taking another important step.  We are offering free specialised training to the practitioners who deliver childcare in our communities. Over 1,200 places are being provided representing an investment of €500,000.  There will be training in Lámh - the manual sign system used by children and adults with intellectual disability and communication needs in Ireland.

In addition training is being provided on the internationally renowned Hanen Learning Language and Loving It Programme. This programme was designed to help all children in the classroom build language and social skills, no matter what their learning and communication styles are, including children with additional needs.

There will also be online training in sensory integration.  These courses together with further developments in the AIM programme which I will confirm shortly represent a significant investment in improving the quality and accessibility of childcare.

They will benefit children in every part of our country.

Our work to turn one of the most expensive childcare systems in the world into the best will continue in 2018.”

Programme Support Payment (PSP), December 2017

PobalLogoA PSP payment has been made this week to services delivering the More Affordable Childcare Measures (Community Childcare Subvention (CCS and CCSP), Training and Employment Childcare (TEC) programmes for the 2017/2018 programme year. Payments have been calculated as follows:

CCSP (including CCSU and CCSRT)
- The payment is based on the maximum approved registrations at any point from 21st Aug (when registrations commenced) to 30th November. No adjustment to the PSP calculation will be made as a result of any band changes or additional registrations after 30th November.
- Calculations are subject to session types i.e. full time/part time/ sessional and band profiles – A/AJ/B/D
- All payments equal the value of a full 7 days attendance.

TEC
- The payment is based on the maximum approved registrations at any point from 28th Aug (when registrations commenced) to 30th November.
- Calculations are subject to session types for full, part or sessional rates.
- All payments equal the value of a full 7 days attendance.
- Payments will be made per approval strand, i.e., if you avail of all four strands you should receive 4 different payments.

CCS
- The payment is based on the maximum approved registrations for the snapshot period (18th September – 13th October). After the band appeal window closes, Pobal will calculate any relevant adjustments to the PSP. Any additional PSP due to a successful band appeal will be dependent on the availability of funding in the 2018 budget.
- Calculations are subject to session types i.e. full time/part time/ sessional and band profiles – A/AJ/B/D
- All payments equal the value of a full 7 days attendance.

50/51 Payable weeks
Paragraph 3.2.11 v. of the Rules for DCYA Childcare Funding Programmes, states that “where a childcare provider provides 50 weeks of childcare provision under CCSP, the provider will receive payments for 52 weeks on the applicable CCSP registrations”. The “applicable” registrations are the children that have been registered in CCSP 2017 in your service for a total of 50 or 51 payable weeks. As a result such registrations can only be identified at the end of the year i.e. in August 2018. The additional weeks will be calculated and paid in August 2018

Childcare Support Bill published

Childcare Support Bill published
Bill will underpin the new Affordable Childcare Scheme

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Dr Katherine Zappone hails Childcare Support Billas “a cornerstone for our radical new approach to childcare”

dcyalogo

The Childcare Support Bill 2017 has been published and will proceed through the Houses of the Oireachtas in the coming weeks. The bill is an essential element in development of the Affordable Childcare Scheme, which will provide a new approach to supporting affordable access to quality childcare in Ireland.

Once launched, the Affordable Childcare Scheme will provide financial support to help reduce the cost of childcare for parents. Through this, it aims to improve access; assist families to return to work and training; reduce child poverty; and improve outcomes for children.

“The ambition of this project is huge in scale but is of vital importance to families throughout the country. The publication of the Childcare Support Bill represents a cornerstone for our radical new approach to childcare; changes that will not only benefit families now but also future generations” said Minister Zappone.

“The publication of the bill builds on a lot of initiatives already delivered this year as we strive, step by step, to transform one of the most expensive childcare systems in the world into the best. To date additional financial childcare supports have been delivered to the families of over 64,000 children, the innovative Access and Inclusion Model for children with disabilities is up and running and free pre-school education for all 3-year olds has been extended to two years from next September.”

In addition to the Childcare Support Bill, the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs also today published a Regulatory Impact Analysis of the Affordable Childcare Scheme.

Full details of the Childcare Support Bill, the Policy Paper and the Regulatory Impact Analysis on the Affordable Childcare Scheme can be found by visiting www.dcya.gov.ie or www.affordablechildcare.ie/nextsteps
The Childcare Support Bill will now proceed through the Houses of the Oireachtas over the coming months. At the same time, preparatory work is continuing apace on the other major elements of the scheme, such as the development of ICT and administrative systems.

Early Years and School Age Capital 2017 Returns

PobalLogoEarly Years and School Age Capital 2017 Returns

Please be advised, all outstanding EYC and SAC capital returns must be submitted to Pobal by the 30th of December 2017.

Any returns not submitted by that date WILL NOT receive the final 10% of the grant.

Services that do not submit returns will be subject to a funding de-commital and risk having to return the 90% of the grant that has already been paid.

Supporting Quality Childcare in Offaly

Offaly County Childcare Committee support the development of quality, affordable, inclusive, accessible childcare and family friendly services for all children in every part of the county.

Offaly County Childcare Committee has been meeting since May 2001 and is made up of representatives from the statutory sector, social partners, community groups, voluntary groups, the Community and Voluntary Forum, National Voluntary Children's Organisations, providers of childcare, and parents - all of whom have a vested interest in childcare provision in the county.

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