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Open Policy Debate on the National Early Years Strategy

dcyalogoThe Minister for Children and Youth Affairs hosted an Open Policy Debate on the National Early Years Strategy, at Iveagh House in Dublin on Wednesday 7th December. The event, which brought together more than 80 experts, practitioners and stakeholders, was a key step in the development of Ireland’s first ever national strategy for young children.

The event provided an opportunity to take stock of the ongoing work on the Strategy, and to invite reflection, comments and feedback from representatives of the wide range of sectors that are concerned with early years (0-6 years).

In preparing the Strategy, the Department of Children and Youth Affairs intends to take whole-of-Government approach. Today’s Open Policy Debate therefore brought together representatives from the fields of health, education, early childhood care and education, child protection, housing, community, social protection and social inclusion. Participants included parents’ organisations, statutory and non-statutory organisations and advocacy groups, trade union and business representatives, and Government departments.

The Strategy will take account of the report of the Expert Advisory Group on the Early Years Strategy, Right from the Start, as well as more recent policy developments and Programme for Government commitments. It will also be informed by a consultation which the Department of Children and Youth Affairs has undertaken with children aged 3-5, and by the Open Policy Debate.

Speaking at the Open Policy Debate, Dr Katherine Zappone, the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, said, “Early childhood is a time of life which matters deeply in its own right, but it is also a crucial phase of human development when the foundations for the future are laid. What happens in a person’s early years has lifelong effects on their health, wellbeing, social, educational and economic outlook.”

Minister Zappone continued, “In supporting early childhood, we have the potential to change the life chances of an individual for the better and, beyond that, to change all of society – to make it more inclusive, resilient, healthy and hopeful.”

The Open Policy Debate was also addressed by the Taoiseach, who affirmed that “Protecting and promoting the rights of our youngest citizens and providing high-quality and integrated services for children, young people and their parents is a responsibility that I take very seriously.” Reflecting on the theme of Ireland’s centenary year (‘remember, reflect and reimagine’), he also highlighted the opportunity presented by the Early Years Strategy to reimagine the future and work towards a society which supports current and future generations of young Irish citizens to blossom and flourish.

National Healthy Cities and Counties of Ireland Network

Offaly County Childcare Committee is delighted to be part of Offaly's involvement in the National Healthy Cities and Counties of Ireland Network.

On 29th November Minister for Health Promotion, Marcella Corcoran Kennedy, TD, launched the National Healthy Cities and Counties of Ireland Network and presented certificates of accreditation to the Network members.

HealthPromotion

Community Childcare Subvention (CCS) Programme

CCS 2016/2017 Band ApprovalPobalLogo

The CCS band appeals process will be open between Monday 5th December and Friday 20th January 2017. Please ensure you submit supporting documentation with your appeal.

Q: What if I already submitted supporting documentation with the registration?

Please check the registration on PIP:

- A comment in your registration stating ‘DSP documents have been submitted with this registration & will be reviewed shortly’ means that the documentation will be checked by Pobal staff over the coming weeks and you don’t have to do anything until contacted. i.e. you don’t have to submit an appeal. Please review your dashboard on the PIP portal for updates.
- If there is no comment then the band approved will apply, unless an appeal is submitted.

An appeals guideline is available at the following link to help you through the appeals process. To access this please click HERE .

CCS Payments:

Please be advised that the CCS payment to be made week ending the 9th December will be based on the approved* registrations following the publication of the CCS bands at the end of this week.

If you have any further queries please contact online support by telephone on 01 511 7222 or by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

ECCE registrations for January 2017

dcyalogoAs part of programme readiness for ECCE 2016/2017, adjustments to PIP were made to accommodate that entry into the ECCE programme will occur at three entry points; September 2016, January and April 2017.

As per the previous notification posted on 24th November ‘16 , new child registrations for January 2017 can be input 7 days prior to the child’s start date.

The earliest date therefore, a child can be registered for the January 2017 entry point happens to fall on 26th December. Acknowledging services will be closed for a period over the Christmas holidays, we wish to advise the facility to register from the earliest date possible will be available on PIP.

Below are a set of key dates to guide services during the January 2017 ECCE registration process:

  • Approved registrations on PIP by close of business on the 2nd January will be paid for in a catch up payment on the 6th January.
  • Approved registrations on PIP by close of business on the 9th January will be paid for in a catch up payment on the 13th January.
  • Approved registrations on PIP by close of business on the 16th January will be paid for in a catch up payment on the 20th January.

All services will receive a four weeks payment on Friday 20th January 2017 (excluding any non-payment weeks submitted).  The payment calendar will then resume as published with a payment of five weeks on 17th February 2017.

2015/2016 Registrations
Since September 2016 services have had to apply directly to Pobal to register or amend 2015/16 ECCE children on PIP.  As of 31 December 2016 this facility will be withdrawn and no further registrations or amendments to 2015/16 or previous ECCE contracts will be considered.

If you have any new registrations or amendments to make for an existing registered child on the 2015/16 ECCE contracts you have until Friday 16/12/2016 to submit an application to Pobal through This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. explaining the circumstances. Please don’t include any specific details in terms of the childs names/PPSN. Pobal will contact you asap in relation to your application.

ECCE Payments - Christmas Period

PobalLogoECCE Payments - Christmas Period

On the 9th December 2016 groups will be paid a max of 6 weeks up to 20/01/2017, this payment will be based on registrations and higher capitation approved on PIP by COB Monday 5th December 2016.

The last weekly catch up payment to the 20/01/2017 will be made on Friday 16th December, registrations will have to be input by COB 12th December 2016 to be paid before Christmas

There will be no weekly catch up payments on Friday 23rd December or Friday 30th December, weekly catch up payments will resume on Friday 6th January 2017.

The next major payment will then be Friday 20/01/2017 which will be for 4 weeks and the payment calendar will then resume as published with the major payment of 5 weeks on 17/02/2017.

Note - Registrations

New child registrations for January 2017 can be input 7 days prior to the child’s start date, the earliest a child can be registered for this period is 26th December and the first payment will be on the 6th January for the period up to the 20th January 2017.

Please note services will not be paid in respect of entered non-payment weeks between 12/12/2016 - 20/01/2017

Offaly Mental Health TALK Week 5th – 12th November 2016

OMHEventsOffaly Mental Health TALK Week (OMHTW) is now in its sixth year and will take place from Saturday 5th – 12th November. It is developed and delivered in collaboration with many community, voluntary, statutory and non-statutory agencies, all working together to promote positive mental health in Offaly. This year, we have another packed brochure of events which promote and encourage positive mental health, recovery after mental ill health and which support communities and individuals to become more suicide aware. 

A new venture in 2016 is the OMHTW Pop up Wellbeing Hub in the Bridge Centre, Tullamore. There will be a programme of activities based in the Pop up Wellbeing Hub from Tuesday 8th – Friday 11th November and will include information, talks and workshops on the services providing supports to the people of Offaly. 

The OMHTW working group encourage you, the people of Offaly, to attend the events that are happening around the county during OMHTW. We all experience everyday challenges that may cause us stress at times and in turn our mental health may be affected. We play a central role in supporting ourselves. To support ourselves we need to know what works for us and what we find useful. OMHTW is a great opportunity for us to expand our knowledge and gain insight to the services and supports that are available to us. The OMHTW Working Group is made up of many local supports and services in Offaly who pool their resources together to bring you a varied and interesting week of events.

Click here to find out more about the Pop Up Wellbeing Hub  Events Hub Poster

Click here to find full details on the events happening during the week  OMHTW Brochure

Consultation on new Affordable Childcare Scheme

dcyalogo

 The following statement has been released by the Department of Children & Youth Affairs regarding a public consultation in relation to the new Affordable Childcare Scheme. 

"Minister Zappone today (28th October 2016) published a policy paper on the new Affordable Childcare Scheme for Ireland and launched an online consultation process on the scheme.

The scheme, which was announced as part of Budget 2017, aims to make childcare more affordable and accessible for families, by providing universal subsidies for all children under 3 and targeted subsidies, based on net parental income, for children up to 15 years. The policy paper published today provides detail on the scheme and can be accessed here.

The Minister is launching a consultation on the detail of the new scheme. She invites everyone- parents, other family members, childcare providers, childminders, advocacy groups and anyone interested in the issues- to share their views. This feedback will then be used to refine specific design features of the new scheme to be introduced in September 2017, as well as informing future policy development. The online consultation can be accessed here or you can contact the Department of Children and Youth Affairs if you would like a paper copy posted out to you.

The consultation builds on a previous consultation held in April/ May 2015 on priorities for Government investment in childcare. This earlier consultation informed the 2015 Report of the Inter-Departmental Working Group: Future Investment in Childcare in Ireland and also the Policy Paper on the Affordable Childcare Scheme being published today."

Please click HERE for further details 

CCS registrations deadline - Extended

The CCS registeradeadline extendedtions for community based services has been extended to Tuesday 25th October. 

 Registerations must be submitted no later than 9pm on the 25th.  Service providers are asked to ensure all the relevant documentation is attached when making the registeration. 

 

Reminder: Fees Lists & Service Calendars

There has been a change to the Fees List & Service Calendar deadline.PobalLogo

The original deadline to submit the Fees Lists & Service Calendars was Friday, 7th October. Now, any services that have submitted Fees Lists & Service Calendars, but have not completed the process, will have until Friday, 4th November to complete it.

Fees List and Service Calendars that are in a ‘queried’ status must also be completed by the 4th November.

A Fees List and Service Calendar must be submitted for each DCYA Childcare Programme for which you are contracted, (ECCE, CCS/CCSP & TEC). Please contact your CCC for further support on completing your Fees List & Service Calendars.

Please log onto PIP to access the How to Guide for each programme.