Offaly County Childcare Committee -   057 9135878    info@offalychildcare.com

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HSE webinar : COVID-19 Infection Control Guidance for Childcare Settings

HSE webinar : COVID-19 Infection Control Guidance for Childcare Settingshpsc HSE logo

The HSE / HPSC will provide a webinar for services in relation to the operation of ELC and SAC services during the pandemic next Wednesday, 27 January at 1pm. Some of you will have attended a similar webinar delivered by the HSE / HPSC last July which we hope was helpful.

Further details on the webinar are set out below, including details on how to register. As noted in the invite, if you would like to have a query or issue raised at the webinar, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by Monday, 25 January.

Date: Wednesday 27th January from 1-2pm

Presented by: Prof Martin Cormican, Clinical Lead Infection Prevention and Control
Dr Abigail Collins , Consultant in Public Health Medicine
Mary Mc Kenna, Infection Prevention and Control, Assistant Director of Nursing

To pre-register and attend copy the following link to your internet browser and follow the instructions

https://hse-webinar.webex.com/hse-webinar/onstage/g.php?MTID=e67a49a199e71b84e5124b68243918c06 

When you join the webinar you can view the slide set and material and listen to the webinar over the computer, sound quality may be better over the phone:

For telephone access use the following:
Irish dial in number: 01 5260058
Access code: 175 090 1491

FREE online, interactive workshops “Supporting Your Child’s Transition from Pre-school to Primary school”

FREE online, interactive workshops “Supporting Your Child’s Transition from Pre-school to PrimaryTransitions from pre school to primary 26 01 2021
school”

Is your child starting Primary school in September 2021?

The National Parents Council Primary are running FREE online, interactive workshops “Supporting Your Child’s Transition from Pre-school to Primary school”

They will be full of practical hints, tips and advice to support you to support your child’s transition to primary school.

Where: Online

When: Dates and times starting on 2nd February 2021 (visible when you click the link)

How: To register click on the link below and choose a date and time that suits.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/NPCEarlyYears2021

If you have any questions, please contact Clare Downey, NPC Early Years' Service Manager This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Version 3 of Provider FAQs on ELC/SAC operation from 11 to 31 January

Version 3 of Provider FAQs on ELC/SAC operation from 11 to 31 JanuaryPobalLogo

Dear Service Provider,

Please see  Version 3 of FAQs related to the current arrangements for provision of early learning and care and school age childcare from 11 to 31 January.

The updated information is highlighted in grey in the text to distinguish it from previous versions.

Further information and FAQs regarding 1 February onwards and will issue as soon as possible.

Early Years Team

Essential Maintenance on PIP and HIVE

Essential Maintenance
Early Years Hive

Dear Service Provider,PobalLogo

The Early Years Hive and the PIP Portal will be unavailable due to scheduled maintenance on Friday, 22 January at 4pm for a maximum of 4-5 hours. EYPC phone lines will also be unavailable during this time.

The NCS Parent Portal and the NCS Parent Support Centre will be unaffected.

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause and thank you for your cooperation.

Early Years Team

Covid-19 Update: Isolation Quick Guides for those aged 3months and older

Isolation Quick Guides 

The isolation quick guides for those aged greater than 3months upto 13 years and adults and children from their 13th birthday have been updated on the Health Protection Surveillence Centre website.

Click on the links below to view the quick guides

V5 isolation guide 3mths to 13 years Isolation guide adults and over 13 years
Click here:  Isolation quick guide for parents and guardians of childcare older than 3onths and up to 13 years of age

Click here:  Isolation quick guide for adults and childcare from their 13th birthday                                                                                        

For futher information click on the link below to view the HPSC website: 

https://www.hpsc.ie/a-z/respiratory/coronavirus/novelcoronavirus/guidance/childcareguidance/

Road Safety Authority (RSA) Check it Fits Service is now offering FREE virtual child car seat checks.

Since October 2013, the Check it Fits Service has provided free child car seat checks at our nationwide events. Following the introduction of public health measures inRSA checkitfits
March of last year we made the decision to suspend the service. Since then we have been working on ways to bring this vital service back in a way that is safe for both the public and our expert checkers.

The Road Safety Authority (RSA) Check it Fits Service is now offering FREE virtual child car seat checks. The new virtual service means that parents, guardians, grandparents, and childminders, can now have their child car seats checked by one of our expert checkers from the safety of their home. To avail of the new virtual service visitors can book an appointment at www.rsa.ie/checkitfits.

HOW DOES THE CHECK IT FITS VIRTUAL SERVICE WORK?

  • The Check it Fits service is quick, it’s easy, it’s free and aims to put parents and guardians' minds at ease that their child’s car seat is safely and securely fitted in the car.
  • We have a new online booking system where visitors can easily book an appointment with one of our expert child car seat checkers at a time that suits them.
  • Appointments take approximately 30 minutes and take place using the Microsoft Teams app which can be downloaded for free ahead of the appointment.
  • During the appointment, the checker looks at the child car seat in situ and as such it is important that visitors use a device is easily portable, such as a smart phone or tablet, that has a camera and internet access.
  • The checker will talk through the steps to check and adjust the child car seat(s), demonstrate aspects of the check on screen, and answer any questions during the appointment.
  • To book an appointment visit www.rsa.ie/checkitfits.

In Ireland as many as 4 out of 5 child car seats are incorrectly fitted which can lead to serious injury or even death in the event of a collision. While we continue to work towards bringing the Check it Fits Service back on the road, we are encouraging people not to wait to have their child car seat checked and book a virtual appointment with Check it Fits today.

 

​Force Majeure: Early Learning and Care and School-Age Childcare services over 11-31 January 2021

​Force Majeure: Early Learning and Care and School-Age Childcare services over 11-31 January PobalLogo
2021

Service Providers wishing to submit a force majeure application are asked to refer to questions 31 – 37 in the  FAQ document issued by DCEDIY.

DCEDIY has directed that in addition to normal Force Majeure eligibility, Force Majeure will only be approved on the following two grounds in relation to the closure period:

  1. Service Providers which are directed to close by public health, due to Covid-19 or other reasons. Evidence of formal instruction to close must be included with the application.
  2. Service Providers who cannot open because they have evidence that there is no demand for their service from essential workers and vulnerable children.

Please note the following:

  • Service Providers who are closing due to no demand for the service from essential workers and vulnerable children must:
    • Contact all registered parents in their service advising them that the service is available for vulnerable children or children of essential workers. The responses from parents should be kept on file at your service.
    • Contact your local CCC to inform them that you intend to close.
    • Where there is no demand, write to all parents in the service advising them that the service is closed as there is no demand for the service from eligible children. A sample letter is available here. This letter should be submitted to Pobal along with a completed Force majeure application form. Pobal cannot process requests for force majeure due to no demand unless a completed application form along with the letter issued to parents has been submitted.
    • Providers who have applied for Force Majeure before 14 January, i.e. in advance of the receipt of this guidance, do not have to re-submit their application, unless requested to do so by Pobal.
    • Force Majeure applications for lack of demand must be submitted on a weekly basis.
  • Service Providers who have more than one facility and propose closing one or more facilities, and moving the children in the closed facilities to their sister facilities:
    • Should only do so if it is convenient for parents
    • Should contact their CCC in the first instance and inform them if they intend to do so
    • Should not re register children in the new facilities. The old registrations can remain.
    • Must keep correct local attendance records for the open facility
    • Must submit a force majeure application for the closed services, ticking the ‘Covid closure – Full Service’ box on the application form and giving a brief explanation in the ‘additional information’ section.
  • Non-ECCE only services that close without an approved force majeure application will have their NCS, ECCE, CCSP and TEC funding withdrawn for the period 11 January to 31 January, including recoupment of any funding already made in advance.
  • Services are not required to submit a Force Majeure application form for the week commencing 4th January.


Please submit the Force Majeure application form to Pobal by attaching it to a Service Request on the Hive and entering ‘Force Majeure’ in the summary heading and selecting category ‘programme request’ from the drop down menu.

FAQs for Providers of Early Learning and Care and School Age Childcare Services (12 January)

FAQs for Providers of Early Learning and Care and School Age Childcare Services (12 January)FAQ v2 12 01 2021.pub

Please find attached updated FAQs for early learning and care and school-age childcare services over 11-31 January 2021.

Download here: FAQ Providers V2 - 12 Jan 2021

Please note that new information and clarifications are highlighted in grey.Further resources and guidance during COVID-19 is available on the First5 website at https://first5.gov.ie/guidance

https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/367e6-faqs-for-providers-of-early-learning-and-care-and-school-age-childcare-services-12-january/

IMPORTANT: CHANGES TO ALL DCEDIY FUNDED PROGRAMMES DUE TO COVID 19 RESTRICTIONS UNTIL 1 FEBRUARY 2021

IMPORTANT: CHANGES TO ALL DCEDIY FUNDED PROGRAMMES DUE TO COVID 19 RESTRICTIONS PobalLogo
UNTIL 1 FEBRUARY 2021

The information below details the changes under Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth Funded Childcare Programmes following the announcement by Minister O’Gorman, as of Wednesday, 6 January 2021 in regards to further Level 5 restrictions and the Provider FAQ issued by the DCEDIY today. Early Learning and Care providers are advised to read the below information carefully to understand the implications for their individual service.

Sessional services offering ECCE only

· ECCE only services to close fully – payments will continue until Friday, 29 January 2021.

· ECCE calendar – no adjustment required.

‘ECCE only services’ include services which provide ECCE with no more than 30 minutes of additional of childcare paid for by parents.

Full or part-time services offering ECCE/NCS/AIM/Legacy (CCSP/TEC) Programmes

Services that remain open for essential workers and vulnerable children – current levels of funding will continue until 29 January 2021.

NCS

· Weekly attendance returns to be submitted as normal based on child attendance. In cases where a child cannot attend (due to current restrictions), weekly attendance records should be based on the week ending Sunday, 20 December 2020.

· Children in attendance should be recorded accordingly on the weekly attendance return on the Hive.

· Non-term weeks/hours (children receiving NCS and ECCE/school going children) can be used, where eligible, for children of essential workers and vulnerable children. For further information on adding non-term hours please see Adding Non Term Hours Quick Guide .

· Please continue to maintain correct child attendance records for your service in line with Tusla Regulations and compliance.

· Note changes cannot be made to NCS calendars retrospectively.

· Any amendments to calendars will affect your budget.

Legacy (CCSP/TEC)

· Services that are closed or close over the coming weeks and do not have an approved Force Majeure application must adjust their calendar to reflect the closed period.

· Any amendments to calendars will affect your budget.

· The Saver Management Window will remain open for any changes to existing registrations.

· Please continue to maintain correct child attendance records for your service in line with Tusla Regulations and compliance.

ECCE (full or part-time services)

· In the case where a full or part-time service remains closed, no adjustments are required to be made to the ECCE calendar and Pobal will make the budget adjustment.

· Please continue to maintain correct child attendance records for your service in line with Tusla Regulations and compliance.

AIM

· AIM Level 7 - 5% of the approved contract value will be paid on 8 January 2021 representing payment up to 29 January 2021.

· The AIM Level 7 application process will remain open. Applications which are currently in progress or new applications will continue to be appraised; however, application outcomes cannot be finalized until the ECCE programme has recommenced.

Force Majeure

Any service wishing to close must have an approved Force Majeure application form. Please submit this to Pobal by attaching it to a Service Request on Hive and entering ‘Force Majeure’ in the summary heading and selecting category ‘programme request’ from the drop down menu.

· Only services that have received formal instruction to close and have an approved Force Majeure application in place can remain closed for the period of the Force Majeure.

· Non-ECCE only services remaining closed without an approved Force Majeure application must amend their calendars to reflect the closed period, changes are only required from 11 January 2021. Any changes to calendars will affect your budgets.

· In instances where Pobal are made aware of services that have remained closed without approved Force Majeure application, contracts will be placed on hold until calendars are amended to reflect the closed period.

We understand that this is a hugely challenging time for all Early Learning and Care services. Providers can continue to contact the Early Years Provider Centre for queries relating to programme funding. However, we ask that you contact your CCC in the first instance regarding COVID-19 and service closures.

Many thanks

Early Years​

FAQs for Providers of Early Learning and Care and School Age Childcare Services (08 January)

FAQs for Providers of Early Learning and Care and School Age ChildcareDCEDIY logo
Services (08 January)

 

The Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth have this evening published the FAQs for Providers of Early Learning and Care and School Age Childcare Service.

Click on the link here to access the documnet:   FAQs for Providers of Early Learning and Care and School Age Childcare Services (08 January)

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