Offaly County Childcare Committee -   057 9135878

Latest blog posts

Compliance Announcement for 2017/2018

Unannounced compliance visits will commence in November 2017 and continue to the end of August 2018. Note: Services operating ECCE only sessions will not be visited outside of the ECCE programme cycle. 

As previously, the compliance process will involve a series of standardised on-site checks aimed at ensuring adherence with certain programme rules and contract conditions as set out by the Department of Children & Youth Affairs (DCYA).  To ensure compliance with each programmes requirements, services must familiarise themselves with the relevant programme Grant Agreement, Rules for DCYA Childcare Funding Programmes, PIP “How to” Guides, PIP Announcements available on the PIP Portal (and Pobal and DCYA websites).

Compliance visits will comprise checks on records held on site in respect of the following Early Years Programmes i.e.  

•       Free Pre-school Year in Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) Programme

•       Training and Employment Childcare (TEC) Programmes 

•       Community Childcare Subvention (CCS) Programme 

•       Community Childcare Subvention (Plus) including Universal (CCSP/U) Programme

•       Community Childcare Subvention Resettlement/ Transitional (CCSR (T)) Programmes

It is advised that services prepare for an unannounced compliance visit by collating relevant information for review e.g. in a Compliance Folder/File which can be made readily available to the Visit Officer on arrival. This will ensure minimum disruption and expedite the compliance visit. It is acknowledged that some services file their records in alternative ways which is acceptable, but it should be noted that records must be available to enable the Visit officer to complete the compliance visit in a reasonable timescale. In this regard we request that there is always a staff member on site with access to the Compliance Folder / records in the event of an unannounced visit.  

Please see the link to the 2017-2018 Compliance Service Provider File Checklist ,which is available on the PIP homepage and PIP portal, to assist services in collating the relevant information to meet compliance requirements.  Please note that this checklist contains a separate section for each of the Early Years programmes.

Independent Review of Costs of Providing Quality Childcare

dcyalogoParents, childcare providers and others with an interest in childcare are today being urged to submit evidence to inform the first stage of the Independent Review of Costs of Providing Quality Childcare

Statement by the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Dr Katherine Zappone TD

Parents, childcare providers and others with an interest in childcare are today being urged to submit evidence to inform the first stage of the Independent Review of Costs of Providing Quality Childcare.

This Independent Review - which was announced by Minister Zappone in September – is a Programme for Government commitment.

Crowe Horwath, who is undertaking this Review on behalf of the Department of Children and Youth Affairs, are seeking:

• Existing studies and research about the cost of childcare in Ireland;
• Evidence from childcare providers about the factors that make up the cost of providing childcare, and how much of the total cost they represent;
• Evidence on the additional cost of providing childcare of high quality;
• Evidence from other jurisdictions in respect of establishing, reviewing, or modelling the costs of childcare provision.

The results from this call for evidence will inform subsequent stages of the Independent Review, including a survey of childcare providers in early 2018 and the development of a cost model and cost calculator.

Speaking about the call for evidence and the Review itself, Minister Zappone urged parents, childcare providers and others to take part.

“The results of this Review will help us continue to build an accessible, affordable, quality childcare system which will last for generations.

It will also ensure fairness in the distribution of supports and help address the genuine concerns over pay and conditions in the sector”.

The call for evidence runs from 6 until 20 November.

Programme support payment announced for early years services who sign up to More Affordable Childcare measures from September 2017

dcyalogoAn extra €3.5m for Early Years services in the form of a Programme support payment (non-contact time payment) was announced in June 2017 by the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr. Katherine Zappone. This is in addition to €14.5 million in non–contact time payments Minister Zappone negotiated in Budget 2017 and which was paid to services delivering various Government childcare schemes from June 26th.
 
All Early Years services participating in the Community Childcare Subvention (CCS and CCSP) Training and Employment Childcare (TEC) programmes signed up to deliver these schemes from September are invited to apply.
 
Please note that the Programme support payment (non-contact time payment) December 2017 will be open for applications on Monday 6th November. This payment is available to all services who have signed up to deliver the More Affordable Childcare measures (Community Childcare Subvention (CCS and CCSP) Training and Employment Childcare (TEC) programmes for the 2017/18 programme year.
·         Applications can be made by completing the application form on the PIP portal
·         Applications submitted to Pobal by 11 am on Tuesdays should be in service bank accounts by the end of that week
·         Payments will be made weekly
·         The closing date for the submission of applications is COB  30th November
 
Please see detailed  Programme Support Payment Guidelines with instructions for completing application and further information.

Force Majeure Announcement:

dcyalogoAs per the DCYA announcements on Sunday and Monday, funding will not be affected for childcare services who did not open for Monday 16th October and Tuesday 17th October.

There is no requirement to amend service calendars for these two days.

For services whose premises have been damaged or are facing prolonged outages, due to the adverse weather, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone our client services team @ 015117222 and Pobal will guide you through the next steps

It is also recommended that you contact your local County Childcare Committee for supports

Early Years Capital 2017 - Financial returns

PobalLogoEarly Years Capital 2017

The Financial returns for Early Years Capital 2017 Strand 1, 2 & 3 and School Age Childcare 2017 Strand A, B & C, will be available for completion on the Portal from Friday the 20th of October 2017.

All returns should be completed and submitted by Thursday the 30th November 2017. If you have any queries please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Learner Fund Bursary Re-opened

dcyalogoThe Department of Children & Youth Affairs (DCYA) has re-opened the Learner Fund Bursary (announced early 2017) to Early Years practitioners who have completed a major award in Early Childhood Care and Education at Level 7, Level 8, or Level 9 qualification on the National Framework of Qualifications since the inception of the Learner Fund (2013).

This qualification must be on the DCYA Early Years Recognised Qualifications list.

The bursary amount will be €750. Applications opened on 16th October and will remain open until 7th November 2017 at 5pm. Offaly CCC has emailed applications to all services in the county on 17th of October (delay due to the storm).

Application forms and criteria for the bursary is available to download here

Survey to inform the Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures Mid-Term Review

dcyalogoThe Department of Children and Youth Affairs are asking members of the public to complete a survey which will inform the Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures Mid-Term Review. This survey seeks to review and analyse awareness and visibility, engagement, the implementation process and infrastructure, the strengths and weaknesses of the Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures Policy Framework and it will inform the course of action for phase 2 of implementation.

The survey will take approximately 10/15 minutes to complete.

The survey must be completed by 3rd November 2017.

Please follow the link below to complete the survey:

BOBF Survey

Your input and opinion would be greatly appreciated in completing this survey.