Offaly County Childcare Committee -   057 9135878

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Reminder- LINC Information Session

The LINC Information Session will take place on Wednesday 27th February at 7pm in the Offaly Centre for Independent Living for all those interested in finding out about the entryLINC Roadshow Facebook Post Image Offaly
requirements and other elements of relevace as well as how you can apply to get a place on the programme.  

To book a place please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Early Learning and Care and School Age Childcare Capital 2019 Application Announcement

gRANTS Early Learning and Care and School Age Childcare Capital 2019 Application Announcement
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Please note, an additional clarification has been added to the guidelines HERE. Please read this clarification carefully before making an application. Please contact Pobal online support on 01-5117222 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

National Síolta Aistear Initiative, Aistear & Play CPD (through Better Start National Early Years Quality Development)

The National Síolta Aistear Initiative is a collaboration between the Department of Children & Youth Affairs, the Department of Education and Skills, Better Start National Early Years Quality Development and the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment. The purpose of the initiative is to support the coordinated roll out of Síolta and Aistear, the national quality and curriculum frameworks.

Aistear & Play CPD has been developed by a working group with representation from the National Síolta Aistear Initiative, the Early Years Education Inspectorate, DES, NCCA & Better Start.
NSAI Aistear & Play comprises of 5 individual workshops (2 &1/2 hours each) and two onsite support visits from an Early Years Specialist to support application in practice. This CPD will be delivered by Better Start Quality Early Years Specialists. Please note attendance at all workshops and onsite visits is required to receive certification and CPD payment if eligible.
This CPD will be eligible for the DCYA CPD funding pilot subject to terms and conditions. The first round of CPD will begin in March 2019. Aistear and Play will be available to a limited number of settings in the following locations: Dublin City, Fingal, Dublin South, Dun Laoghaire Rathdown, Wicklow, Kildare, Waterford, Carlow/Kilkenny, Tipperary, Longford, Offaly/Laois, Meath/Westmeath, Galway, Mayo/Roscommon, Donegal, Sligo/Leitrim, Clare, Limerick, Kerry, Cork City, Cork County, Cavan, Monaghan & Louth.

We are now inviting early learning and care settings who wish to apply for a place on this programme to submit a completed expression of interest form which can be found along with more information at www. betterstart.ie. under the NSAI tab.

Registration of Stand-alone School Age Services

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Registration of Stand-alone School Age Services

  • Stand-alone school age services will be invited by Tusla to register their service from 18th February 2019.
  • Registration will start with a list of stand-alone school age services that have identified their commitment to be included on the Tusla School Age Services Register.
  • School age services wishing to be included on the registration list should in the first instance identify their service to be registered to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • The invitation to register email will direct school age child care providers wishing to register to a link to the school age registration portal.
  • An individual user password will then be issued to access the registration portal

Prepare to register your school age setting on line

Registration of School Age Settings is an online process. Payment to register is accepted using all major debit/credit cards. Please note this is the only accepted payment method, Tusla will not accept any other form of payment such as cheques, bank transfers etc.

Before you start the online registration process you will need to have the following documents saved on your computer and ready to upload.

  • Garda vetting/Police vetting for proposed registered provider, person in charge (if different), and, where the proposed registered provider is a corporate body, each director of the body
  • Garda vetting/Police vetting for the “second person”, where the person in charge operates the service single-handedly
  • Two references in respect of the proposed registered provider, and in respect of the person in charge if different
  • Evidence of registration from Companies Registration Office, where applicable
  • Proof of identity of the proposed registered provider (copy of passport or driving licence or Public Service Card are the only acceptable documents)
  • Copy of the Certificate of Insurance or written confirmation of insurance cover
  • Copy of Statement of Purpose and Function
  • Copy of Safety Statement (if applicable)
  • Copy of Child Safeguarding Statement

Policies

  • Copy of Policy on Managing Behaviour
  • Copy of Complaints Policy
  • Copy of Policy on Administration of Medication
  • Copy of Policy on Infection Control
  • Copy of Policy on Dropping Off and Collection of Children
  • Copy of Fire Safety Policy

The following Documents are available to support the registration process.

Explanatory Guide

https://www.tusla.ie/services/family-community-support/school-age-services/prepare-to-register-your-school-age-setting-on-line/

Minister Zappone Welcomes Commencement of School Age Childcare Regulations

Minister Zappone Welcomes Commencement of School Age Childcare RegulationsCommencement of School Age Childcare Regulations

Monday 18th February 2019

Regulations requiring the registration of school-age childcare services came into effect today, 18th February 2019.

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, so this is a significant step forward in ensuring quality school-age childcare.

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.

Once registered, school age childcare services will be able to participate in the forthcoming Affordable Childcare Scheme launching in late 2019. This means families availing of these services will be able to access the financial benefits provided by the scheme.

Minister Zappone stated: “Today is another milestone in the development of quality, accessible and affordable early learning and care and school-age childcare in Ireland. I am delighted that the new School Age Childcare Regulations have now commenced. The new Regulations, which require that all school-age childcare services be registered with Tusla, will help to ensure that children attend services that are suitable, of high quality, and safe.”

The Regulations that came into force today are preliminary regulations. Later this year the Department of Children and Youth Affairs will embark on a public consultation process on the development of comprehensive regulations and national quality standards for school-age childcare.

Both the Regulations and an Explanatory Guide are available on the Department’s website.

School-age childcare services can apply for registration online at www.tusla.ie

If a school-age childcare service wants any support regarding the registration process, they should contact their local city/county childcare committee www.myccc.ie

Minister Zappone announces the streamlining of existing targeted childcare schemes inpreparation for the transition to the new Affordable Childcare Scheme in October 2019.

The Community Childcare Subvention Scheme (CCS) will be merged with the Community Childcare Subvention Plus (CCSP) scheme once the current programme year comes to an end in August 2019.

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  • Funding for parents remains unaffected by move.
  • All of the other targeted childcare schemes will continue for the full 2019/20 programme year.
  • An extensive information campaign on the Affordable Childcare Scheme will rollout over the coming months.

Thursday 14 February 2019

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Dr Katherine Zappone has announced that the Community Childcare Subvention Scheme (CCS) will be merged with the Community Childcare Subvention Plus (CCSP) scheme once the current programme year comes to an end in August 2019. CCSP, which has been in place since 2016, has identical eligibility criteria, levels of service and band rates as CCS.

As a first step in transition to the new Affordable Childcare Scheme, from mid-August 2019 all Community Childcare Subvention (CCS) eligible children must be registered for the Community Childcare Subvention Plus (CCSP) scheme. As CCSP has identical eligibility criteria, levels of service and band rates to CCS, this will have no impact on the levels of funding to parents.

Community childcare providers will be able to register children on the CCSP scheme for the 19/20 programme year up until the roll out of ACS, which will be mid October 2019. Up until the launch all current targeted childcare schemes, with the exception of CCS, which is being merged with CCSP with no loss of support to families, will remain in place for parents, allowing time for families to move over to ACS in a supported manner. Parents whose children have been registered on all the targeted schemes prior to the launch of ACS, can choose to remain on the schemes for the remainder of the programme year or transfer to ACS.

The move is one of a range of preparations being made for the launch of the Affordable Childcare Scheme (ACS) in October 2019. Once fully launched, ACS will replace the government’s targeted childcare schemes with one single scheme to provide financial assistance towards the cost of early learning and care and school age childcare to families in Ireland.

All the current targeted schemes will cease for the 2020/21 programme year.

Speaking on the decision Minister Zappone noted:

“2019 will be a landmark year as we launch our radical new approach to making childcare more affordable for families in Ireland. The CCS Plus scheme launched a number of years ago offers greater flexibility for families and childcare providers than the CCS scheme upon which it is based. This is a necessary part of the transition to the ACS. The funding that has been traditionally available to children, families and providers remains, and in fact Budget 2019 increased my childcare budget by €89m.”

If any early learning and care, or school age childcare service has a question or concern regarding the above announcement, please contact your local Childcare Committee which will be happy to assist. You can find the contact details for your local CCC by visiting www.myccc.ie

Frequently Asked Questions

Has there been any change to the amount of financial support available to parents or providers?

No. The rates of subvention for CCSP are identical to those in CCS. Therefore, no eligible child should be affected by this decision.

As a provider, do I have to sign up to CCSP?

Each childcare service decides which government subvention schemes it offers to parents of children in their care. CCS will no longer be available to offer from 17/08/2019, so services that are currently in contract for CCS and which wish to continue to offer these supports to families should instead contract to CCSP. The vast majority of CCS services are also contracted for CCSP.

When will ACS launch?

Minister Zappone has announced that ACS will open to applications in October 2019, with first payments commencing in November 2019. In advance of this, a nationwide series of information and training workshops will commence in April, with further training available in September. This will be complimented by online guides and resources to prepare services for the introduction of the new scheme. Additional Programme Support Payment funding will also be made available to assist providers with the transition. Further information is available at https://www.affordablechildcare.ie

What will happen in August/September 2019?

The current targeted schemes (CCSP, TEC (ASCC, CETS and CEC)) will all be available to parents with the exception of the CCS programme. Children registered on these schemes at that point in time can remain on them until the end of the 2019/20 programme year, or, transfer onto the new ACS from October if it is more advantageous for them (more information will follow in the coming months to assist parents and providers understand their entitlements and options.

Why is CCS closing?

The CCS programme is only available to Community Childcare Services whereas CCSP is available across all services (private and not for profit) and offers identical levels of supports. CCS registration operated on the basis of a snapshot period of 4 weeks. This typically started in late September / early October and ran through to late December/January once all necessary processing, appeals etc. were complete. Trying to administer this complex snapshot window process at the same time as opening ACS registration is unfeasible and risks confusion for providers, parents and administrators. By comparison, CCSP registrations can be processed on a much more flexible basis from programme opening as and when parents apply to a service.

I am a Community Childcare Service and I am worried about the potential effects of this announcement to my service, who can I talk to?

In the first instance we ask that you contact your local City/County Childcare Committee which will be happy to talk to you about what changes might arise for your service as a result of this announcement. You can find the contact details of your local CCC by visiting www.myccc.ie .

It is important to restate that funding for schemes remains unchanged, in fact, much of the €89 million in additional funding received in Budget 2019 for childcare is additional funding for CCS and CCSP.

Minister Zappone appoints six new members from the children and youth sector to the Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures National Advisory Council and the nomination of two vice chairs in the areas of early years and youth.

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The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr Katherine Zappone today announced the recent appointment of six new members to the Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures National Advisory Council and welcomed the appointment of two vice chairs to the Council in the area of early years and the youth sector. 
 
Ms Aideen Howard, The Ark, Ms Catherine Cosgrave, Immigrant Council of Ireland, Ms Catherine Maher (formerly Focus Ireland), Mr John Church, Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, Ms Suzanne Connolly, Barnardos and Ms Olivia McEvoy, Ernest and Young were recently appointed to the National Advisory Council as experts in their respective fields relating to children and young people. Additionally, two members of the Advisory Council, Ms Teresa Heeney, Early Childhood Ireland and Ms Mary Cunningham, National Youth Council of Ireland were appointed as Vice Chairs representing the early years and youth sectors. 
 
The National Advisory Council harnesses expertise and experience from the community and voluntary sector, from academia and from independent experts and individuals who have specific expertise in working with and for children and young people. The Advisory Council brings into one forum a diverse range of interests from sectorial stakeholders in the domains of children and young people’s policy and provision. These sectors connect with and mobilise communities, families and individuals, and as such are seen as essential groups in the implementation infrastructure seeking to ensure the achievement of the five national outcomes for children and young people.  
 
Minister Zappone stated:  “I very much welcome the appointments of Aideen Howard, Catherine Cosgrave, Catherine Maher, John Church, Suzanne Connolly and Olivia McEvoy to the National Advisory Council and I know that their enthusiasm and expert knowledge will lend a fresh perspective to the work of the Council going into phase two of the implementation of Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures. 
 
I am equally delighted to announce the nomination of Teresa Heeney and Mary Cunningham for undertaking the additional role of Vice Chairs representing the early years and youth sectors. 
 
I look forward to working closely with the National Advisory Council in 2019 on matters such as child poverty, prevention and early intervention, child homelessness, learning and development and children’s rights and equality.  The Council also has a very important role to play in supporting the implementation of the recently published ‘First Five:  Whole of Government Strategy for Babies, Young Children and their Families’ and I welcome the Council’s focus on this important piece of work. "
 
Tanya Ward, Chair of the National Advisory Council and CEO of the Children’s Right Alliance added: “The Minister has made a series of excellent new appointments that will build the experience and knowledge of the National Advisory Council as it moves into the second phase of its life and the implementation of Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures. 
 
I’m also delighted that the Minister has appointed, Mary Cunningham, CEO of National Youth Council of Ireland, and Teresa Heeney, CEO of Early Childhood Ireland, as Vice Chairs of the Council in recognition of the importance of youth and early years in the cross-government policy landscape.“

Guidelines issued for Early Learning and Care and School Age Capital funding

Guidelines issued for Early Learning and Care and School Age Capital funding19875672 1337059526348124 484620879276509836 n
Statement by Minister Katherine Zappone

Thursday 31st January 2019

Guidelines setting out the application process for over €6.1m in childcare capital grants have been published today (31st January 2019).

Announcing the publication, the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr. Katherine Zappone T.D. encouraged providers to study the document and prepare the groundwork for their applications.

The 2019 Early Learning and Care and School Age Capital programmes will open for applications from 25th February to 27th March 2019.

Decisions are expected to be delivered in June 2019.

The available strands of funding are as follows:

Strand A: Creation of new places for 0-3 year olds - €4.231m (max. €50,000 per grant).

Strand B: Fire Safety for community early years services – €0.875m, (max. €15,000 per grant).

Strand C: Creation of new school age places - €1m (max. €20,000 per grant).

Both early learning and care and school age childcare providers are invited to apply.

The Application Guidelines is a detailed document containing all the information prospective applicants need to prepare themselves for making an application under the programmes.

Any interested parties are encouraged to contact their local City/County Childcare Committee (CCC) with any further questions they may have, so that they can begin work and submit their applications as early as possible.

Minister Zappone added: “This is a significant year for childcare. It will see overall Government funding increase by 117% from 2015. This year I am delighted that we have been able to secure over €6.1m for capital work which can be carried out over the summer, with a further €3m to follow on the roll out of the Affordable Childcare Scheme in the later part of the year."

“Last year’s programmes saw the creation of 1,950 new early learning and care places and 807 new school age places, as well as funding 111 essential maintenance projects for community services. I anticipate that 2019’s programme will continue this good work."

“Publication of the guidelines in a timely manner will give providers more time to consider and prepare their applications so that children can enjoy the benefits at an early date.”

[Please note: Applicants are advised to pay special attention to the requirements regarding valid DCYA reference numbers included in the Application Guidelines. The closing date for applying for a new DCYA reference number for 2019 Capital is 13th March 2019]

Application Guidelines Early Learning and Care and School Age ChildCare Services Grants 2019.pdf

LINC Information Session in Offaly

In advance of the opening of applications for the LINC course this March, a tutor from the Leadership for INClusion in the Early Years programme will be hosting an information session inLINC Roadshow Facebook Post Image Offaly
association with Offaly County Childcare Committee. This information session will take place in the Offaly Centre for Independent Living on the 27th  of February  at 7.00pm. LINC is a free (fully funded) higher education blended-learning programme designed for early years teachers, to promote the inclusion of children with additional needs. After completing the programme, graduates will carry out the role of Inclusion Coordinator and will also meet the educational requirement for room leader status. Once a qualified graduate is working within an early years setting as the INclusion COordinator, the setting will be entitled to an extra capitation payment of €2 per ECCE-eligible child in a pre-school room, where the child is on an ECCE/CCS/TEC programme. Further information about the programme can be found by visiting the LINC programme website www.lincprogramme.ie.
 
The information session will cover topics such as; the programme overview & structure, eligibility, the online application process, using the online learning platform and feedback from previous participants. If you have any questions in relation to this year's programme, starting in September, please come along to this information session and a member of the LINC team will be happy to help. If you are going to attend please let us know by emailing aine@CCC with the subject line ‘LINC information session.’
 
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