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Early Years Sector Profile Report 2017/2018

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr. Katherine Zappone T.D. Launches Early Years Sector Profile Report 2017/2018Early yeaars sector profile report 2018 2018

Minister Katherine Zappone has launched the Early Years Sector Profile Report 2017/2018, developed and published by Pobal for the Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA). The comprehensive findings are based on the largest ever survey of the early years sector, with responses from a total of 3,928 childcare services (88% of childcare facilities) providing significant insight into current childcare numbers, fees, staff qualifications and wages.

Overall, there are estimated to be 202,600 children attending early years services nationwide (an increase of 9%). While the total capacity within the sector has grown by approximately 6%, this has not kept pace with increased demand, with the total number of vacant childcare places reducing by 31%.

Nationally, the cost of a full-time childcare place has increased by just below €4 (to €177.92), compared to a €7 increase last year. Over the last 12 months, fee increases have been more prevalent in community based services and in those located in rural areas. Despite this increase, fees remain more expensive in affluent areas, in cities, and in private facilities.

Currently, the childcare sector employs over 29,500 staff, almost 26,000 of whom work with children. The average qualification level of childcare staff has increased, with 65% to Level 6 (up 2%). The 2017/2018 report also revealed 47% of all staff work part-time, 3% less than last year. On average, staff working with children earn €12.17 per hour; almost half of these are early year’s assistants, earning an average of €11.20 per hour. The staff turnover rate in the last 12 months was 24.7%, down slightly from 28% the previous year.

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr. Katherine Zappone T.D. formally launched the report and speaking at the event said:

“We are experiencing a period of transformative change in the Early Learning and Care sector in Ireland. Over 200,000 children attended an early learning and care setting last year; an experience that will impact these children positively as they make their way through life. More than 84,000 benefited from the enhanced measures introduced last year.

The new subsidies we introduced last year have stabilised the cost of childcare, which has only grown by 2% this year and the new Affordable Childcare Scheme will launch in late 2019. Investment in childcare has grown 117% over recent budgets and these figures show that this is working.

The number of staff working in the sector has grown by 8% to nearly 30,000 and we welcome the nearly 100 new services delivering our schemes this year; improving access to quality early learning across the country.”

Denis Leamy, Pobal CEO added:

“Once again, the Early Years Sector Profile Report, developed and published by Pobal has revealed important findings, analysis and key insights into the early years sector. The responses received from our colleagues in the early years sector, allow for the formulation of accurate and dependable analysis, highlighting existing opportunities and challenges. Pobal are proud to produce this important publication on an annual basis and we are mindful of the significance of the report and how key findings are used to inform and guide future developments and policy within the sector”.

The detailed report, presents an overview of the early years sector in Ireland for the programme year 2017/2018. Report analysis is based on survey responses received in late April and early May 2018 and supplemented with information available from the national childcare ICT system – ‘Programme Implementation Platform’ (PIP).

Responses also demonstrated that, nine in ten children who are currently attending early years services receive funding from one of the three DCYA funded programmes (ECCE, Community Childcare Subvention (CCS) / Training and Employment Childcare programmes (TEC)). During the programme year, over 185,500 children were supported by programmes, an increase of 24% on the previous year. The report also found, 7% of children attending early years services had additional needs.

 
The county level data included in the Early Years Sector Profile Report 2017/2018 is now available in the form of interactive dashboards.  The dashboards are presented on eight separate pages and can be accessed here.
 
Each page includes information that is linked, so for example, if you click on a county the graphs or text boxes in that page will reflect the numbers for the selected county. We have also included filters for facility type, urban/rural location and Deprivation Index on most pages to allow you to examine the data in more detail. If you have questions regarding the dashboards, please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">
 
 

Parents Notice – School Age Childcare

Childcare services for school-age children must now register with Tusla, the Child and Family Agency. School-age childcare services have not, to date, been subject to registration, sotusla logo strap centered this is a significant step forward in ensuring quality school-age childcare.

Services must register their service if their primary purpose is to care for children where their parents are unavailable.

Services that provide childcare for school-age children only must apply for registration by 18 May 2019 and are encouraged to start this process straightaway. School-age services that are already registered with Tusla as pre-school services must apply for registration by 18 August 2019. New services must apply for registration at least 3 months before opening.

School-Age Childcare services that are registered will also be eligible to apply to participate in the forthcoming National Childcare Scheme.

What is the National Childcare Scheme?National Childcare Scheme Logo
The National Childcare Scheme is a pathway to truly accessible, affordable, quality childcare. From October 2019 it will replace all previous targeted childcare programmes with a single, streamlined and user-friendly Scheme to help parents meet the cost of quality childcare.

Supports are available for families with children aged between 24 weeks and 15 years who are attending any participating Tusla registered childcare service, including any Tusla registered childminder.

For further information relating to the National Childcare Scheme please visit https://ncs.gov.ie/parent

Zappone: Poorest families will not lose out over new childcare support scheme

Single parents’ support group expresses scepticism over Minister’s promise image Zappone

The poorest families will not “lose out” as a raft of childcare supports are phased out later this year, Minister for Children Katherine Zappone has promised.

She was speaking following reports that some of the “poorest single parents” would lose up to €80 a week and could be forced to give up work as the new National Childcare Scheme (NCS) begins from October replacing a range of childcare support schemes.

Though the Department of Children says the new “streamlined” scheme will benefit more families including those on up to €90,000 a year, with means-tested financial supports to access private and community childcare facilities, many single parents on low incomes needing pre- and after-school care are set to lose out.

One single mother living in south Dublin, working in healthcare and taking home €26,000 per year, told The Irish Times the €145 a week she gets towards care for her eight-year-old son will be cut to €63.75 per week. This is because the Community Childcare Subvention programme she and her son are currently entitled to is being phased out. Under the new scheme she will be entitled only to 17 hours of after-school care per week, paid to the care facility at €3.75 per hour.

Protect
Ms Zappone said she had told officials to look at adjustments to the NCS that might be needed “to protect and benefit lower income parents”.

“I want to confirm that no one will lose out, especially those at the lower end of the income scale, as we transition to the new scheme,” she told the annual conference of Early Childhood Ireland, the representative body for childcare providers, at the weekend.

“By removing many of the restrictive eligibility requirements of the existing programmes, a far greater number of families will have the ability to apply for and receive targeted, income-related subsidies. Many families will, for the first time, be entitled to subsidies which reduce their childcare costs significantly.

“There may, however, be a small number of cases where a family who is currently receiving the maximum rate for full-time childcare under an existing programme may receive less under the National Childcare Scheme, particularly if their child is, in reality, receiving afterschool care rather than full-time childcare.”

She said families could choose to stay on their existing scheme for a year, until August 2020.

“I have also directed my officials to undertake research and analysis to examine any adjustments to the NCS which might be required to address unusual or anomalous cases, where this is the right thing to do to protect and benefit lower income parents.”

Louise Bayliss, co-founder of Spark (Single Parents Acting for the Rights of our Kids) however said she remained sceptical.

“I find it hard to believe she’s suddenly concerned. She has known about this since 2016 and only moves to do something about it now after it has been in the media. What is needed is a cap on what low-income households will have to pay for childcare, and that is very complex.”

National Childcare Scheme,Early Learning & Care Capital Funding Announcement

Minister announces capital funding for service providers who sign up to the National Childcare SchemeNational Childcare Scheme Logo
  • Funding will allow providers to purchase ICT support to assist in recording and reporting children’s attendance 
  • A ‘one stop shop’ template for maintaining attendance records will also be available to meet providers’ needs 
  • Initiative complements other National Childcare Scheme supports, including the Transition Support Payment, the national communications campaign and nationwide training programme for providers
Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr Katherine Zappone T.D., has today announced that capital funding will be available to service providers who sign up to the new National Childcare Scheme. The funding will allow service providers to purchase ICT support which will assist them in recording and reporting children’s attendance. Announcing the funding, Minister Zappone noted:   
 
“The National Childcare Scheme has been designed to be flexible and responsive, with families’ needs and the business requirements of our dedicated childcare service providers in mind. We know that family life happens, and the Scheme’s attendance rules recognise and respond to this. 
 
I also want to make it as easy and efficient as possible for providers to meet their obligations in relation to recording and reporting attendance. This ICT support grant, coupled with our new ‘one stop shop’ template, will do just that, ensuring streamlined administration and more time spent doing the work that really matters – providing quality Early Learning and Care and School Age Childcare to our nation’s children.”
 
A standard template for maintaining attendance records will also be made available to providers. This template will meet providers’ needs not just for the National Childcare Scheme but also the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) programme and Tulsa registrations. On the development of the template, Minister Zappone further commented:
 
“This is another important step in supporting providers to meet requirements which are necessary to ensure that public funds are used to support the maximum number of families possible. For the first time, there is a single, coherent document on which they can rely in terms of meeting their attendance recording obligations.” 
 
Applications for capital funding are set to open in June and detailed guidelines on the application process will be published on www.ncs.gov.ie in the coming days. 
 
Providers can purchase ICT support which meets the eligibility criteria and will be reimbursed for the amount spent up to the maximum amount allowable.  A full list of eligibility criteria will be laid out in the application guidelines. 
 
The maximum grants will vary depending on the size of the service availing of State supports, and will range from €500 to €2,000.

C.A.P.A. & Inspection Process

Where non-compliances have been documented in your inspection report, you are required to complete a CAPA.  

This workshop will discuss the inspection process and support participants to complete a CAPA which highlights how you intend to address any non-compliances and prevent these non-compliances reoccuring in the futre.

The workshop will take in the Offaly Centre for Independent Living on the 1st May at 7.30pm, cost is €5 per person.  To book in click HERE

 

CAPA inspection process poster

 

 

 

 

 

 

Up coming Triple P Workshops

Below are details of Up-coming workshops with Triple P, please contact Triple P on (090) 64 47111

Click on the image to enlarge

Triple P Arpil June 2019

AIM application process for September 2019 pre-school year

AIM Level 7PobalLogo

For children who are currently receiving AIM supports and are eligible to avail of a 2nd year of the ECCE programme from September 2019

If the child is eligible and is returning to the same pre-school setting for a second year and circumstances have not changed, services in receipt of AIM Level 7 supports must submit a 2nd year extension request for all eligible children. This request can be submitted via the AIM tab on the PIP Portal from Wednesday 1st May.

If the child who is currently availing of AIM supports is moving to another pre-school in September 2019, a new AIM application has to be made by the new pre-school provider in conjunction with the parent(s).

New AIM applications:

For children eligible for the ECCE programme for the first time from September 2019 where AIM supports are required, the pre-school provider, in conjunction with the parent(s) should make an application for AIM by completing an Access and Inclusion Profile.

To apply for a child’s 1st year AIM Level 7 support a service request must be included in the submission of a Level 4: AIM Application. This application form can be accessed via the AIM tab on the PIP Portal and will be available from Wednesday 1st May.

Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you require any support in the submission of your application.

Apply early!

Applications should be made as early as possible to ensure that the relevant supports are in place when required.

Minister Zappone welcomes the report of the National Disability Authority with regard to overage exemptions for the ECCE free pre-school programme

Minister Zappone welcomes the report of the National Disability Authority with regard to overage exemptions for the ECCE free pre-school programme19875672 1337059526348124 484620879276509836 n

Friday 29th March 2019

The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr Katherine Zappone and the Minister for Education and Skills, Mr Joe McHugh, today welcomed and published the report by the National Disability Authority (NDA) of the consultation process into overage exemptions for certain children in the Early Childhood Care and Education programme (ECCE). In welcoming the report, which was jointly commissioned by the Ministers for Children & Youth Affairs and Education & Skills and is being published today, Minister Zappone stated

‘The free pre-school programme is an important cornerstone of the Government’s commitment to high quality early learning and care. It is critical that all children are supported to participate fully in the programme. This report provides us with important evidence regarding the needs of children with disabilities which can now inform our future thinking in this important area.’

In December 2017 Minister Zappone announced her decision to pause the proposed rule changes on overage exemptions to the pre-school programme to allow for a consultation process where all voices, including those of parents of children with disabilities, could be heard in relation to the proposed change.

Both Ministers have conveyed their thanks to the NDA for their hard work and commitment in producing the report and for the invaluable contributions by parents, advocacy groups and other stakeholders who engaged with the NDA to assist in the production of the report.

Addressing some of the issues raised in the report Minister Zappone said

‘Evidence shows us that for the overwhelming majority of children with additional needs it is in their best interest to progress through transitions in their early life with their peers. Positive and well planned transitions from pre-school to supportive primary school environments are key. Our future policy direction must be informed solely by a consideration of what is in the best interests of the children and families involved. We must ensure that whatever information, support and resources that are necessary are in place to enable this to occur.’

Minister McHugh agreed, acknowledging that:

“The NDA report highlights that for parents and children, the transition from pre-school into primary school can be an anxious time. There is a shared objective by professionals in both sectors to provide an inclusive environment and experience for all children. We now all need to work collaboratively across the early learning and care and the primary school sectors to ensure that parents and children are aware of the many supports available to them, so that children can fully participate in high quality learning experiences with their peers as they progress through their lives.”

To progress the issue, Minister Zappone has asked that a group of experts in early learning and care, education and health, together with a parent representative, be convened to agree the next practical steps in as short a timeframe as possible. The work of the group will focus on how to support parents in planning for their children’s needs; improving the process of transition for children with additional needs from early learning and care settings to primary school and to ensure that parents are assured that the school will address the children’s need. The group will also consider how best to meet the needs of children in very exceptional circumstances where additional flexibility in the two year ECCE programme may be required.

Minister Zappone stressed that the current procedure for dealing with overage exemptions will remain in place for the 2019/20 pre-school year pending the outcome of this work.

The full NDA report can be found HERE

Additional letter of advice from NDA can be found HERE

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