Offaly County Childcare Committee -   057 9135878

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Early Years Provider Centre (EYPC) - Announcement

Dear Service Provider,PobalLogo

Our dedicated Early Years Provider Centre (EYPC) provides specialised supports to early learning and care service providers in the delivery of DCYA childcare funded programmes. The EYPC is a specific point of contact for service providers to direct queries regarding existing DCYA childcare funded programmes. Since the beginning national health emergency, our Early Years Provider Centre has dealt with over 13,000 queries on the emergency support measures introduced by DCYA, and the reopening of NCS and CCSP/TEC saver programmes. The vast majority of these were directed through e-mail and through service requests on the Hive as the most effective channels available. With early learning and care services operational again the Early Years Provider Centre has re-opened the in-bound telephone call channel since Monday 6th July.

We are conscious of the many asks on you as Service Providers at the moment and would ask you make use of the readily available guidance material which is available on the PIP Portal

NCS Registrations
The NCS FAQs for re opening has been updated with support on common registration queries.

For quick guides to registering children on the NCS see guidance below:

- If you are re registering a child who was in your service before the closure period click here
- If you are registering a new CHICK click here
- If you are registering non term hours click here

Re opening supports
Guidance for applying for the Covid 19 Capital grant and on the Re opening support payment are available on the PIP Portal.

TWSCS
We are currently verifying the information submitted on TWSCS with the information submitted to Revenue.
Any service provider who has passed the Revenue checks and does not have an TWSCS overpayment will receive a final payment this week.
Service providers whose information does not reconcile with information submitted to Revenue will be reviewed further and we will communicate with you in the coming weeks.

If you wish to contact the EYPC, you can do so by raising a Service Request on the Hive or by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by calling 01 5117222

Urgent need for services to complete a Summer Reopening Capacity Survey

Urgent need for services to complete a Summer Reopening Capacity SurveyDCYA main logo

Dear Provider,

As you will be aware, following the reopening of services on 29th of June, we have asked all providers to assist us with the ongoing monitoring of summer reopening by filling in a Summer Reopening Capacity Survey.
We would ask again that you take a few minutes at the end of each week to complete and return it.

We are very aware of the pressures you are under and would not be asking for this if this was not essential. The Survey we have developed is very short and is seeking only key information.
We are asking that you complete the survey as you reopen, weekly on Fridays for the duration of this summer period.

The Department need this to help us understand how your sector is being impacted by Covid. We need to know if you are open, how many children are in your service and how many places are vacant.
This will help us make decisions on how best to address the needs of early learning and childcare services and/or school aged childcare services.
It will also assist County Childcare Committees in supporting parents to access childcare.

You can find the survey here https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/GBGCJ67
This survey should take no longer than 10 minutes to complete.

We fully understand that this is an additional task for you during what is a very busy and difficult period. We are asking you for your cooperation in filling in the survey to provide us with the information we view as essential to enable us to support you and the parents you serve.

We look forward to building on the very constructive engagement we have had with the sector during this challenging time for our country and we would like take this opportunity to thank you again for the effort you have put in to get the sector reopened.

Regards,

Early Years Division,
DCYA.

Childminder Development Grant

Childminder Development Grant
PLEASE NOTE THE CHILDMINDER DEVELOPMENT GRANT APPLICATION FOR 2020 IS NOW OPEN

The purpose of the Childminders Development Grant is to offer an incentive, in the form of a small capital grant, to Childminders to enhance and support their awareness of quality.Poster for CMDG 2020

The Childminders Development Grant is designed to assist Childminders, already providing a childminding service in their own homes, to enhance safety/quality in the service through the purchase of small capital items, equipment, toys or minor adaptation costs. It may also give financial assistance to new or prospective Childminders with their initial set up costs.

All applicants must be committed to maintaining/improving the quality of their childminding service.

Funding will be made available to Meath CCC specifically for this purpose – CCI will be informed by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA) of the funding being made available to them annually for the operation of the CMDG.

Pobal will manage the contractual arrangements of funding to Meath CCC on behalf of the DCYA.

All applications to be submitted no later than the 14th August to :

Offaly County Childcare Committee
St. Joseph's Community Centre
Kilcormac
Birr
Co. Offaly

Childminding Development Grants Application form and Guidelines 2020

http://www.offalychildcare.com/index.php/childminders/development-grant

Updated FAQs v2 on the Reopening Funding Package for Childcare Services

Updated FAQs v2 on the Reopening Funding Package for Childcare ServicesFAQ reopeing grant update

Dear providers,

Please find attached version 2 of the FAQs on the Reopening Funding Package for Childcare Services. This is an update to the FAQs we circulated on 12 June. We have added additional clarifications in response to questions we have received from you and your representative organisations.

The attached FAQs are intended to provide clarity on how this funding package will work. These FAQs aim to be informative but may be added to and/or amended again as more information becomes available. The Department will also continue keeping track of any queries we receive and clarify any remaining areas of uncertainty in another update if necessary. Any future updates will also be circulated, with the changes that have been made highlighted.

As always, your local CCCs will be available to offer support. Please do not hesitate to contact them if you require assistance with interpreting or applying for any element of the new funding package.

Kind regards,

Early Years Division.
DCYA.

Universal Practice Advice to support ELC/SAC services re-open

Universal Practice Advice to support ELC/SAC services re-openBetter Start

Dear Service Provider,

Better Start Quality Development Early Years Specialists are available to provide email and phone support to providers on reopening. Information, advice and practice guidance will be provided for the following areas:

  • Supporting the transition back into Early Learning and Care
  • Supporting children’s social and emotional well-being through
  • Promoting learning and development through Play
  • Nurturing and Responsive Interactions
  • High Quality Supportive Environments
  • Partnership with parents – communication between home and ELC setting

Better Start Quality Development can be contacted at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by putting Better Start Quality in the email subject line along with your DCYA reference and service name.

Better Start AIM supports a range of diverse early years ECCE settings to assist them in enabling inclusive practice and the optimal participation of a child with disability in the ELC setting. During this re-opening period, Better Start AIM Early Years Specialists are available to provide advice and support to ELC/SAC settings to promote the inclusion of children with disabilities attending over the summer months.

This can include:

  • Supporting the transition back into Early Learning and Care
  • Partnership with parents – communication between home and ELC setting
  • Use of visuals to ‘signpost’ environments to ensure they are accessible
  • Creating a supportive sensory environment
  • Identifying children’s strengths, interests and abilities

Better Start Inclusion can be contacted at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by putting Better Start Inclusion in the email subject line, along with your DCYA reference and service name.

Early Years Team

Provider Capacity Survey

Provider Capacity SurveyDCYA main logo

Dear Provider,

Following the reopening of services on 29 June, DCYA are asking all providers to contribute to the ongoing monitoring of summer reopening, by letting the Department know how many children have returned and how many vacancies you have.

The Department, in conjunction with the CCCs, has developed a short survey on occupancy rates and vacancies to be completed by all services once they reopen. This survey is being administered by Pobal on behalf of the Department, and should take no longer than 10 minutes to complete.

Information gathered from the survey will be used to determine the national occupancy and vacancy rates. It will also be shared with the County Childcare Committees so they have up-to-date information on the availability of childcare places in their area. This will in turn enable them to support parents in accessing childcare.

Please complete: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/GBGCJ67  ideally on each Friday afternoon with your weekly occupancy and vacancy figures. The survey will run on a weekly basis until early September. We have provided definitions on Occupancy and Vacancy figures in the survey introduction.

The Department appreciates that this is an additional task for you during a very busy period, but it is essential that DCYA and the CCCs get this information, so thank you in advance for completing the survey.

Early Years Division, DCYA

Annual Early Years Service Profile 2019/20 – Deadline extended to 5pm Friday 10th July

Annual Early Years Service Profile 2019/20 – Deadline extended to 5pm Friday 10th JulyDeadlineXtend2016

A chara,

On behalf of Pobal and the DCYA, we would like to thank all those who have started or submitted a Service Profile in the past few weeks. We are aware that some of you have experienced technical issues with the survey this year and we sincerely apologise for the inconvenience caused. We understand this has been very frustrating for many of you during an already busy and challenging period for the sector. We want to reassure you that we are working very hard to resolve issues as they arise and alleviate the pressures on services in the process of reopening.

The Service Profile was hosted on a new survey platform this year to improve the data collection process and user experience. Regrettably, this was not as seamless as anticipated. The issue is under close review and we remain committed to developing an accessible and simplified survey for future years.

While we understand that many of you may not be in position to complete a Service Profile at this stage, we have extended the deadline by one week for anyone who would like to submit a survey.

The new deadline is 5pm Friday 10th July.

If you need advice on how to complete or you are continuing to experience technical issues with the survey, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. You can also consult the 2019/20 survey guidelines.

Where to access the survey

On PIP: Under My Services, click on View details for relevant DCYA Ref (if more than one service). Under Service Details, on right hand side of the page, click Service Profile Survey
On Hive: On the Early Years Portal homepage and click Service Profile Survey on the right side of the page.

Early Years Hive – potential delays with portal

Early Years Hive – potential delays with portal PobalLogo

Dear Service Provider,

We are currently experiencing a high volume of registrations on the Early Years Hive. As a result, you may experience some delays when using the portal.

We’re implementing some changes to the system which should improve the processing times. Please bear with us and thank you for your patience.

Early Years Tem

Annual Early Years Service Profile – technical issues resolved and survey back online

Dear provider,annual early years survey 2020

The technical issue with the Annual Early Years Service Profile has now been resolved and the survey can be accessed online through your PIP/Hive portal.
If you have any queries or experience any difficulties accessing the survey, please contact the Early Years Provider Centre at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

As mentioned last Friday, the deadline has been extended to 5pm Friday 3rd July.

Thank you for your patience and apologies again for any inconvenience caused.

Kind regards,
Monitoring, Analysis and Outcomes Unit

Plans for inspection process during the Covid-19 pandemic

ear Service Provider,DCYA main logo

The Department of Children and Youth Affairs is very conscious of the stress and additional burden the closure period and preparations for re-opening have put on you as providers but also on your staff and the parents and children who use your service. We have endeavoured throughout this period to assist you, initially in sustaining your service through the closure period and, more recently, in making preparations for reopening. You will already be familiar with the extensive guidance and support material available to you through the First 5 Website.

In acknowledgement of the current pressures, and the need to work within public health advice, both the Tusla Early Years Inspectorate and the Department of Education and Skills Inspectorate are providing an update on how they intend to work with services who are opening from June 29th onwards.

In line with the agreement to coordinate and streamline communications to the sector on inspection processes, announced by the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs in January, attached
here are communications from the two inspectorates, which have also been published today on the websites of the two bodies.

In addition to previous guidance issued (available on the DCYA and Tusla websites) and in order to assist providers, both Inspectorates have provided new documentation to explain their approach to inspections in the coming weeks and months. You will find that documentation attached here, including:Tulsa inspection update covid 19

If you have any specific queries on the content of the attached documents or the conduct of inspections, please make contact with the relevant inspectorate.

Pobal CAR/the Department of Children and Youth Affairs will provide an update to providers in the coming weeks on resumption of compliance visits.

Kind regards,
Early Years Division.
DCYA.

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