Offaly County Childcare Committee -   057 9135878

Latest blog posts

Minister O’Gorman launches National Quality Guidelines for School-Age Childcare Services

Minister O’Gorman launches National Quality Guidelines for School-Age Childcare ServicesNational Quality Guidelines for School Age Childcare Services

Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Roderic O’Gorman, T.D., has launched National Quality Guidelines for School-Age Childcare Services.

The National Quality Guidelines describe the features of good quality practice in childcare services for school-age children, including both after-school and holiday childcare services. The National Quality Guidelines will be an important resource for the diverse range of services that provide school-age childcare in Ireland today.

This publication is the output of a Working Group set up by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs in line with the first action identified in the Action Plan for School Age Childcare (2017). The Working Group brought together stakeholders and experts in school-age childcare, who worked intensively over an extended period to develop the Guidelines.

These National Quality Guidelines will assist, guide and inspire school-age childcare services to reach beyond the minimum standards set out in regulations. The Guidelines give central importance to children’s rights, child protection and welfare, equality and diversity, and environmentalism.

Speaking at today’s webinar launch, Minister O’Gorman said:

“I warmly welcome the publication of the National Quality Guidelines. These Guidelines will support school-age childcare providers and practitioners to give the best possible care for children.

“We all want to see childcare places that children will look forward to attending, and the guidelines published today will help achieve that. I would like to thank the Working Group for the effort and care they gave to produce this important resource.”

Consultation played a key part in the development of these guidelines. It included a consultation with children in 2016, a consultation with parents and providers in 2019, and a testing of the final draft Guidelines with a number of providers in 2020.

Minister O’Gorman also today published a report on the public consultation that took place to inform the development of comprehensive regulations and quality standards for school-age childcare. The process included an opportunity for public input into an earlier draft of the quality guidelines.

Minister O’Gorman added:

“The publication of the National Quality Guidelines recognises the importance of school-age childcare in the lives of children and families. The consultation process we carried out is part of our commitment to listen to those involved in school-age childcare and ensure that their voice informs new policy”.

The National Quality Guidelines for School Age Childcare Services are available here.

Plans for the roll-out, and training in the use, of the National Quality Guidelines will be announced over the coming months.

​ECCE Payments week ending 18 September 2020

​ECCE Payments week ending 18 September 2020Early Years Hive

Dear Service provider

Payments based on registrations submitted and approved on Early Years Hive (including Higher Capitation and Aim Level 1 applications), by COB Tuesday 15/09/20, were paid last week on 18/09/20. In addition, a Higher Capitation preliminary payment was made as per announcement of 15/09/2020.

Because this was the first time payments were made based on registrations on the new Early Years Hive platform, the payments were split into batches to enable necessary validation checks and as a result, there may be up to 3 payments indicated on the Hive for w/e 18/09/2020; this may have resulted in more than one payment in your bank account. However, the total received in your bank account will reflect what was due to your service up to 16/10/20. Future ECCE payments will revert to a single composite payment.

In addition, some service providers have been querying the amount they received - below is an explanation of how the payment was calculated:

· Payment amounts calculated based on registrations submitted and approved by COB Tuesday 15/09/20 for the period to 16/10/20, less any non-payable weeks;
· The amount calculated is then reduced by preliminary payments made - this may have resulted in some providers not receiving a payment this week

Thank you
Early Years Team

​Notice to Service Providers regarding ECCE Fees Lists checks by CCCs

​Notice to Service Providers regarding ECCE Fees Lists checks by CCCs

Dear Service Providers,DCYA main logo

Your local City and County Childcare Committee officials may be in touch with you shortly regarding the checking of your service’s ECCE Fees Lists. The Department of Children and Youth Affairs requests that you engage with them accordingly.

As you know, every year approximately 40% of Fees Lists submitted are checked for compliance against ECCE rules. The process this year is a little different and is as follows:

  • The selected Service Provider sends a screenshot copy of their Fees List to their local CCC official for checking.
  • The CCC official reviews the list and then liaises with the Service Provider to support and advise them if amendments are required.
  • The Service Provider amends their Fees List on the Hive and sends their local CCC official a screenshot of the amendments.

Regards,
Department of Children and Youth Affairs

Programme of consultation on a Workforce Development Plan and a new Funding Model for early learning and care and school-age childcare

Programme of consultation on a Workforce Development Plan and a new Funding Model for early learning and DCYA main logocare and school-age childcare

  • Open for submissions from 19 August 2020
  • Submissions closed 2 October 2020

On 19 August 2020 Minister for Children, Disability, Equality and Integration, Roderic O'Gorman TD, announced a new programme of consultation on the future early learning and care and school-age childcare workforce and a future funding model for the sector.

In line with commitments in the First 5 strategy and commitments set out in the Programme for Government, the process to develop a Workforce Development Plan and to develop a new Funding Model commenced in 2019. Both reform initiatives will be informed by this inclusive consultation and engagement process.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, original consultation plans, which included large county level or regional gatherings of providers, practitioners and parents were cancelled. However both the Funding Model Expert Group, and the Workforce Development Plan Steering Group and Stakeholder Group, remain committed to ensuring that their work is informed by the views of parents, providers, staff and other stakeholders within the sector. To this end, a new programme of consultation has been scheduled for the coming months.

Separate calls for submissions on the Workforce Development Plan and the new Funding Model are now open. All interested parties are invited to submit to each call using the links provided below. The closing date for submissions is 2 October 2020.

Call for Submissions:

Workforce Development Plan (English): Submit Here

Workforce Development Plan (Irish): Submit Here

Funding Model (English): Submit Here

Funding Model (Irish): Submit Here

 

Minister O’Gorman announces COVID-19 Supports for the Youth Sector

Minister O’Gorman announces COVID-19 Supports for the Youth SectorRoderic OGorman

From Department of Children and Youth Affairs

  • COVID-19 Small Grant Schemes for Youth Clubs and Services announced
  • Grants will support Youth Sector to continue face-to-face youth work and support for young people in the period ahead
  • Updated Guidance for Youth Work Organisations also published

Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Roderic O’Gorman TD, has approved a grant to youth clubs and services as a contribution towards some of the additional costs arising from COVID-19 restrictions. Over 1,500 funded clubs and organisations can avail of €100 capital grant for small works or once-off purchases, and €100 current grant for consumables such as masks, gloves or deep cleaning. The total fund available is some €338,000 nationally.

While youth funding has continued during the period of COVID-19 restrictions, it is recognised that the pressures on youth services and clubs remain. Some once-off purchases, installations and consumable costs related to the pandemic response will have been incurred and may not be eligible for support from other funding sources.

The scheme is available to a funded organisation receiving UBU/targeted youth funds, Youth Information Centres funded by the Department, or a youth club in receipt of grant under the 2020 Local Youth Club Grant Scheme. The funding will be made available to clubs and organisations through their local Education and Training Board.

Updated Guidance for Youth Work Organisations

The Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth has also today published updated Guidance for Youth Work Organisations. This guidance succeeds and replaces previous youth sector guidance and is prepared in the broader context of the Government’s Resilience & Recovery 2020-2021: Plan for Living with COVID-19.

The Department has again worked with a range of youth sector stakeholders to draw up this sector-specific guidance. The guidance is available here.

The Minister said:

“We know that young people have been hit hard by the Covid-19 restrictions, particularly in terms of mental health and wellbeing. We also know the important role that youth services are playing in responding to that.

“I am pleased therefore to issue new guidance for youth work organisations in light of the Government’s ‘Resilience and Recovery’ plan announced on Tuesday. I would like to recognise the support of our Youth Sector Oversight Group in helping us produce this guidance, and I hope that it provides clarity and assurance to organisations and projects delivering invaluable services to our young people.

He further added:

“I am also delighted to be able to make this contribution towards the costs being experienced by clubs and organisations funded by my Department. My Department has taken a pragmatic approach to funding and the sector has responded in positive and innovative ways. I am grateful to youth workers on the ground, club volunteers, youth officers, the ETBs and national youth organisations for keeping momentum going in these unique and challenging times.”

DCYA notice on Parental Declarations

DCYA notice on Parental DeclarationsDCYA new logo

Dear Service Provider

For the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Children and Youth Affairs will accept confirmation of the acceptance of the ECCE, NCS, TEC Savers and CCSP Savers ‘Parental Declarations’ by the relevant parent either by email or by hard copy. This is the written agreement between the parent and the Service Provider.

Parents should be given the option of physically signing the agreement or agreeing to it by email. Parents who wish to avail of the email option should:

· be advised that in regard to data protection, the email is a less secure option as you have to share personal data with them over the internet via the email.
· be asked to reconfirm the appropriate email address to use,

The Service Provider should ensure that the correct Parental Declaration issues via the appropriate email address to the appropriate family. Providers are reminded that they agree to only process Shared Personal Data for the implementation of the relevant DCYA childcare programme.

Parents opting for the email option should be asked to respond to your Parental Declaration email and it should be clear from the email chain that the parents agree to what is set out in their Parental Declaration document. Please see below for instruction on how to email the Parental Declaration.

ECCE – You will have the option to print a Parental Declaration form for each ECCE registration on the Early Years Hive. At this point, choose to save the file on your desktop. This can then be emailed to the parent.

NCS – there is no automated parental agreement available for NCS. Please see this guide on how to create such an agreement. Once you have your template, you can email it to the parent. Please note that a signed copy of the Parental Agreement is required by legislation for NCS.

TEC Savers and CCSP Saver - You will have the option to print a Parental Declaration form for each TEC Saver and CCSP Saver registration on the PIP Portal. At this point, choose to save the file on your desktop. This can then be emailed to the parent.

Thank you,
Early Years Team

AIM Level 1 – Inclusion Co-ordinator (LINC) Application Process Open for ‘New Graduates’

AIM Level 1 – Inclusion Co-ordinator (LINC) Application Process Open for ‘New Graduates’AIM Logo

Dear Service Provider

The application process for the increased ECCE capitation, funded by DCYA, in recognition of the leadership and mentoring role that will be delivered by the Inclusion Co-ordinator, during the 2020/2021 pre-school year is now open to new graduates.

To apply, a service provider must be or employ a graduate from the Leadership for Inclusion (LINC) in Early Years Programme who has agreed to take on the role and responsibilities of an Inclusion Co-ordinator in their pre-school setting. Applicant guidelines can be found here. Please ensure you attach all pages of the signed Inclusion Co-ordinator Declaration with your application.

Applications must be submitted electronically via the Early Years Hive system. Prior to applying for AIM Level 1, service providers must ensure that they have completed their ECCE programme readiness process.

Any application received by 31st October 2020 will be provided the additional capitation to the beginning of the programme year. Applicants are encouraged to apply early as any applications received after this date will not be backdated.

If you require any additional information, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Thank you
Early Years Team

Higher Capitation Information Update

Higher Capitation Information UpdateEarly Years Hive

Dear Service Provider,
 
The DCYA and Pobal have agreed the following measures to support providers whose applications for Higher Capitation in Programme Year 2020/2021 have not yet been approved:
 
Higher Capitation Preliminary Payments
Preliminary Payments to ELC Providers IN RECEIPT of Higher Capitation in 2019/2020
 
A second preliminary payment will be made on 18th September to providers who have applied and have not yet been approved for Higher Capitation and who were in receipt of the first preliminary payment.  The second preliminary payment will be for a four-week period that will take providers to 16/10/2020.
Any ELC Provider in receipt of Higher Capitation in 2019/2020 but who has not yet applied for 2020/21 and who received first preliminary payment will retain this until 16/10/2020.  
 
All ELC Providers are encouraged to apply for HC as soon as possible.
 
A list of common queries is available here for your review.  For any Higher Capitation application queries please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  
 
Qualifications
Proof of qualification eligibility must be submitted for each relevant staff member present in a Higher Capitation session. Prior to submitting an application, a service provider should ensure that staff members’ qualifications are eligible, by verifying these on DCYA Early Years Recognised Qualifications’ list.
 
If the qualification is not included on this list, the staff member should contact DCYA via email address This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to apply for qualification recognition.
 
Please see DCYA website https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/297c05-early-years-recognised-qualifications/?referrer=/cat/en/childcare/2210.htm/ for the application form and the documentation required by DCYA.
 
Please be advised that statements of results attached as qualification proof for staff members of Higher Capitation sessions, are only accepted when:
·         QQI Level 5 and 6 qualifications are provided.
 
·         The award is clearly confirmed
 
·         Final results are confirmed (not provisional). If the statement of results is not clear on whether the award has been successfully completed, then further   information should be requested to confirm (i.e. an official letter from the course provider).  If an applicant is unable to confirm, they will have to apply for qualifications recognition.  
 
Kind regards,
Early Years Team

​Changes to HSE Covid-19 Assessment Testing and Management Pathway Documents

​Changes to HSE Covid-19 Assessment Testing and Management Pathway Documentshpsc HSE logo

Dear Service Provider,

Please note that we have been advised by the HSE of some changes to their assessment testing and management pathway documents.

The changes are:

  • The self-isolation period for cases of COVID-19 has now changed from 14 days to a minimum of 10 days, the last 5 of which should be free of fever
  • Nasal swabs are now listed as an acceptable specimen type for use when testing children
  • For the households of all patients (adults and children) with symptoms who are being tested for COVID-19, the whole household must restrict movements until the results of the test are know
  • For those aged over 13 years who have some respiratory tract infection symptoms but who but do not fit the criteria for testing for COVID-19, patients are now advised to stay at home and self-isolate for a minimum of 48 hours from the resolution of symptoms. (This is a reduction from the 14 days in the previous version)
  • If a child with COVID-19 cannot be isolated at home and there is an ongoing exposure risk, household contacts should restrict movements for 17 days from the onset of symptoms in the case (or date of test if the confirmed case was asymptomatic).

The updated pathways are attached, and are also available on the HPSC website at www.hpsc.ie/a-z/respiratory/coronavirus/novelcoronavirus/algorithms/.
Guidance for the Early Learning and Care (ELC) and School Age Childcare (SAC) sector will be amended, as required, to reflect the changes outlined above.

Please also be aware that the Department continues to engage with the HSE and the Department of Education and Skills to ensure that the approaches to management of Covid-19 in the Early Learning and Care (ELC) and School Age Childcare (SAC) sector are aligned to that of the schools. There is currently no automatic rapid testing in place for either sector. Local public health departments will decide on a case by case basis how testing should be conducted.

Kind regards

Early Years Division.
DCYA.

Learner Fund Bursary 2020 for Childminders

The Department of Children & Youth Affairs (DCYA) will open the Learner Fund Bursary for Childminders who are registered with Tusla and hold a Level 5 or Level 6Poster Learner Fund Childminder Bursary 2020
award on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ). The local City/County Childcare Committees (CCCs) will process and appraise the Learner Fund Childminder Bursary applications.

1. A DCYA reference number is required. If the applicant does not have a DCYA reference number, they will need to on-board through the Hive system (https://earlyyearshive.ncs.gov.ie/). This process may take time so applicants are advised to complete as soon as possible.
2. The qualification for which the bursary is paid must be on the DCYA Early Years Recognised Qualifications list.
3. The award must be placed at level 5 or Level 6 on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ) and achieved in the academic years 2014 to 2020 inclusive.
4. The bursary amount will be €750.
5. The qualification must be a full, major award; the bursary will not be paid in respect of partially completed awards.
6. The qualification for which the bursary is paid must be that which qualifies the person to work in the early learning and care sector.
7. Applicants may only apply once and cannot be granted the Learner Fund for a second time if they have already received it before. This includes applicants that may have received a Learner Fund grant in another round of Learner Fund in previous years where the applicant may have previously worked in a centre-based setting.
8. The applicant cannot have received any public funding in support of their completing the award relating to this application.
9. Applicants must be currently registered with Tusla.
10. Late or incomplete applications; will not be accepted.
11. Decision of the CCC is final and cannot be appealed.

Click on the link below to download the application form:

Application form for Learner Fund Bursary for Childminders

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