Offaly County Childcare Committee -   057 9135878

Latest blog posts

Universal Design Guidelines for Early Learning and Care Settings

AIM LogoUniversal Design is the design and composition of an environment so that it can be accessed, understood and used to the greatest extent possible by all universal design guidelinespeople regardless of their age, size, ability or disability.

On 10th June 2019, the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr Katherine Zappone, launched the Universal Design Guidelines for Early Learning and Care Settings. These guidelines are an important step in making all Early Learning and Care services accessible to all children. This publication offers guidance on the refurbishment, renovation and building of centres for Early Learning and Care in Ireland.


Compliance visits over the summer months

The Pobal Compliance team will continue to conduct unannounced visits to services that are operational over the summer months as per the service calendars uploaded to PIP for the PobalLogo

2018/2019 programmes cycle.

For those services still operating, please ensure that all records relating to other programmes which may have ceased for the summer months (e.g. ECCE) are also available for review during such visits.

The Service Provider Compliance 2018/2019 checklist should assist in collating the relevant information that forms part of the compliance checks.

In addition, it is essential that all Roll books /Attendance records and fee records where applicable are accessible, as the information contained within will also form part of the compliance checks.

Minister Zappone launches Open Policy Debate on regulations and quality improvement frameworks for School Age Childcare

Minister Zappone launches Open Policy Debate on regulations and quality improvement frameworks for School Age Childcare 19875672 1337059526348124 484620879276509836 n

Thursday 20th June 2019

The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs this morning launched an Open Policy Debate on the future development of regulations and a quality improvement framework for School Age Childcare in Ireland.

The focus of today’s debate is on development of full regulations and inspection of school age services in the future and how this might look. The Department is undertaking an extensive consultation in line with its commitment in the Action Plan for School Age Childcare.

This is part of a range of measures to engage with stakeholders on this issue. As well as the Open Policy Debate, a public consultation survey and call for submissions are available online on the Department's website and open until 5th July. The Minister has called on all of those with an interest in School Age Childcare to participate in the online survey or to make a submission on the matter.

To open the discussion there are inputs from a number of speakers on the current and future regulatory context of School Age Childcare Services, draft standards for school age childcare, a children's consultation on afterschool care and a comparison with other jurisdictions. Participants include school age childcare providers, Tusla - the Child and Family Agency, the community and voluntary sector, representative groups including organisations representing, parents and children's rights.

The Minister said: “In setting regulations for School Age Childcare, children’s health, safety and wellbeing must come first. Regulation of School Age Childcare is also essential to allow providers to participate in the National Childcare Scheme. Although we have been discussing School Age Childcare for some time in Ireland, we are in the very early stages of actioning the necessary steps. It is vital that we gain the views of key stakeholders in order to find out what, will work best for children, families and for school age childcare providers.”

AIM Inclusive Play Information Guide

AIM Inclusive Play is the latest addition to the suite of supports provided under the Access and Inclusion Model (AIM). AIM Inclusive Play information guide

AIM Inclusive Play is a set of sensory and educational play resources to support inclusive practice within pre-school settings. This guide supports the appropriate and effective use of these resources.

AIM Inclusive Play Information Guide

Programme Support Payment Closing Date: 21st June

PSP - Closing date reminder PobalLogo
Reminder to all providers that the window for applying for Programme Support Payments closes next Friday 21 June 2019 at 3pm.
Providers are reminded that no late applications for PSP will be admitted past this date, under any circumstances.

CCSP and TEC Programme calls 2019/20 – Contracting Process

CCSP and TEC Programme calls 2019/20 – Contracting ProcessPobalLogo

Please be aware that the Grant Funding Agreements for CCSP and TEC are now available to activate on PIP for the 2019/20 programme year.

Note: These are roll-over Agreements from the 2018/19 programme year (as referred to in the CCSP Funding Agreement 2018/19, clause 1.10*). However, it is necessary for all services to activate these Grant Funding Agreements for the 2019/20 programme year.

New Services: New services wishing to participate in the CCSP and TEC programmes for the first time must first contact their local County Childcare Committee in order to commence the contracting process.

The following sequential steps must completed on PIP by all services in order to activate the Grant Funding Agreements.
1. Ensure that you have completed the Primary Authorised User (PAU)
2. Certify your organisation details
3. Certify your service details
4. Activate your Grant Funding Agreement

Further guidance on the Contracting process can be found in the How to Guidance section on the PIP Portal.

*CCSP Funding Agreement 2018/19 clause 1.10:
“Term” means a one year period from the date of commencement of the Community Childcare Subvention Plus Programme on 20/08/2018, pursuant to this Agreement or such further period as necessary pending the introduction of the Affordable Childcare Scheme (“ACS”), or such similarly worded scheme, to be introduced pursuant to legislation to be enacted in 2018 which will replace the CCS Programme.

Please note the Affordable Childcare Scheme referred to above relates to the National Childcare Scheme (NCS)

Fees Lists and Service Calendars

Fees lists and Service Calendars must be uploaded by Friday 16 August 2019
Please be aware that these dates differ to those outlined in clause 2.1 (e) of the 2018/19 CCSP Funding Agreement and 2.1(e) of the 2018/19 TEC Funding Agreement:
Guidance on how to upload Fees Lists and Service Calendars can be found in the How to Guidance section on the PIP Portal.

NCS Capital How to guide.

NCS Capital How to guide.National Childcare Scheme Logo

The NCS Capital applications are now open, for more information on how to make your application, and a step by step guide please follow this link:

If you have any further queries in relation to the NCS Capital grant please contact Pobal through This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 01-5117222.

National Childcare Scheme Transition Support Payment

NCS Transition Support Payment - Further Information ​National Childcare Scheme Logo

The Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA) has a budget of €2m for allocation as a Transition Support Payment to Early Learning and Care and School-Age Childcare Services who enter into a contract for the new National Childcare Scheme.

Further information on the application process can be found on the NCS website at this link

New Childcare Places to be created in €6.25m investment

Minister Zappone confirms 3,600 New Childcare Places to be created in €6.25m investment 19875672 1337059526348124 484620879276509836 n
Funding for fire safety improvements also awarded

Monday 10th June 2019

The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr. Katherine Zappone T.D., today announced a total of €6.25m in Capital funding to be awarded to providers of Early Learning and Care and School Age Childcare this summer.

The funding will contribute towards the creation of new places for 0-3 year olds, new school age childcare places, and essential fire safety improvements for community-owned services.

The approved Early Learning and School Age Capital funding for 2019 will be made available to childcare centres, crèches and other childcare facilities across three strands, as follows:

Strand A (Early Learning and Care): New places for 0-3 year olds

  • €3.7m total approved (€50k max. grant)
  • 87 applications approved for funding
  • 1,321 new 0-3 places to be created: 205 0-1 places, 1,116 1-3 places

Strand B (Early Learning and Care): Fire safety improvements (community only)

  • €0.3m total approved (€15k max. grant)
  • 33 applications approved for funding

Strand C (School Age): New places for school age children

  • €2.2m total approved (€20k max. grant)
  • 118 applications approved for funding
  • 2,308 new school age places to be created.

The capital funding has been awarded following the completion of a very competitive application and appraisal process.

Pobal have now begun the process of notifying all applicants of the outcomes of the Capital decisions. A list of these successful applications is included below.

Announcing this new funding, the Minister said:

“Quality accessible affordable childcare requires investment. The funding being announced today will translate into over 3,600 new and extra spaces for children up to the age of 15. It is another step as we seek to address the decades of under-investment and neglect by successive governments. Overall Government investment in early learning and care has jumped 117% since 2015.”

Early Years Capital 2019 - Strand A

Early Years Capital 2019 - Strand B

School Age Chilldcare Capital 2019 - Strand C



National Childcare Scheme Draft Regulations Published

National Childcare Scheme Draft Regulations PublishedDCYA new logo

The Childcare Support Act 2018 (Payment of Financial Support) Regulations, which have not yet been signed by the Minister, are referred to in the NCS contract and the Explanatory Guide. These regulations are now being published in DRAFT form, and can be accessed at this link, so that childcare providers can be fully informed of the terms and conditions of the new Scheme before signing up.

Cookies make it easier for us to provide you with our services. With the usage of our services you permit us to use cookies.
More information Ok