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Early Years Capital 2017

PobalLogoEarly Years Capital 2017
DCYA have released 3 instructional videos to assist you in completing your Early Years Capital Funding 2017 application.
Additional information has also been included under Strand 2 programme requirements,’ Meeting the Strand Priorities’ . Please review this additional information in the EYC 2017 Application Guidelines
To view these videos and any updates regarding the EYC please visit the announcements section on your PIP Portal.

School Age Childcare Capital Programme 2017 is now Open

PobalLogo€3m is being provided to increase the number of School Aged Childcare (SAC) places in 2017 and to contribute to improving the quality of existing school aged services

Funding is available under the following strands:
Strand A: Establishment of new SAC services
Strand B: Expansion of existing SAC services
Strand C: Improvement of existing SAC services

Applicants must complete an online application form through the PIP system using their DCYA reference number. Applicants who do not have a valid DCYA reference number, must contact their local County/City Childcare Committee (CCC) who will advise on the process for obtaining a valid DCYA reference number. CCC contact details can be found here.

For further information, please see the Application Guidelines and How to Guide on the PIP Portal. There is also a video with further information to assist you with the application process.

The School Aged Capital 2017 application process will open on Friday 7th April and will close at 3pm on Friday 5th May 2017.

Procurement for the provision of Services to Measure and Assess the Quality of Early Years Provision in Ireland

dcyalogoThe Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Katherine Zappone TD, announced that a request for tenders for the provision of services to measure and assess the quality of early years provision in Ireland will be issued later this evening.

An assessment of the quality of early years provision in an Irish context was first recommended in the 2013 'Right from the Start: The Report of the Expert Advisory Group on the Early Years Strategy'. By using internationally recognised assessment tools, the Expert Advisory Group noted this should 'inform implementation priorities for the Early Years Strategy and provide a baseline for subsequent assessment of the impact of quality raising measures adopted by the Strategy’.

In July 2015, the Report of the Inter-Departmental Group on Future Investment also included among its recommendations that such an assessment of quality be undertaken on a triennial basis 'to benchmark progress and to ensure that, over time, the impact of improved quality provision on outcomes for children can be assessed'.

Minister Zappone secured funding to conduct this assessment of quality in Budget 2016. The key objectives of the study are to:
• develop and pilot a measurement instrument(s) to assess the quality of early years provision in the Irish context;
• undertake a baseline assessment of quality in a representative sample of registered early years settings in Ireland and;
• provide a baseline for subsequent assessment of the impact of quality raising measures in the childcare sector.

Announcing the commencement of this renewed focus on measuring and assessing the quality of early years provision, Minister Zappone said “I am delighted to be able to announce this pioneering enterprise; I believe the ability to measure and assess the quality of early years provision in Ireland will prove a landmark step forward in the quality agenda as we strive to develop greater access to affordable, high quality childcare for parents.. This work will not only provide my Department with an evidence base that will inform future policy decisions; work which is fundamental in realising the best outcomes for children in early years; it will also assist in our journey to professionalise the invaluable work of the sector.”

The ‘Request for Tender for the provision of Services to Measure and Assess the Quality of Early Years Provision in Ireland’ can be located on The closing date for responses to the tender through is May 29th, 2017 at 5 p.m. It is anticipated that the Study, comprising instrument development and data analysis phases, will commence in September 2017, and take approximately two years.

Irish Independent: Shannon Airport becomes first European airport to have sensory room for people with autism.

How great to see an Irish airport leading the way by supporting families travelling with children that have autism. Shannon Airport is the first European airport to have a sensory room for people with autism. This will be a huge support for families flying with children that have sensory needs.

Shannon Airport becomes first European airport to have sensory room for people with autism.

Click on the link to read full article:  Irish Indepent: shannon-airport-becomes-first-european-airport-to-have-sensory-room-for-people-with-autismSensory room 2

Primary school shake-up to focus on ‘play-led’ learning

Article in the Irish Times:
Primary school shake-up to focus on ‘play-led’ learning, Children would not study traditional subjects until aged 10, under new proposals.

Minister for Education Richard Bruton has proposed reforms to primary schools which are based loosely on some of the features of top-performing education systems in countries such as Finland, as well as new research on how children learn.

To read the article in full please click on the link below.

Expansion of criteria for the Childcare Education and Training Support programme (CETS)

PobalLogoThe Department of Children and Youth Affairs has directed the expansion of criteria for the Childcare Education and Training Support programme (CETS) from the 27th of March 2017 to include parents attending secondary school.

This change means that parents attending secondary school are now entitled to receive childcare funding under the CETS programme.
Participants on the following education programmes are eligible to apply for CETS funding.
· CETS approved Education and Training Board (ETB) courses – (former FAS courses)
· CETS approved Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme (VTOS)
· CETS approved Youthreach
· Back to Education Initiative (BTEI)
· Secondary School Students completing their Junior and/or Leaving Certificate

What a parent needs to apply:
· Child’s PPSN
· Child’s D.O.B
· Parent’s PPSN
· Parent’s D.O.B
· Stamped or headed paper letter of eligibility from relevant course provider/secondary school as proof of eligibility to apply for the CETS Programme.

If you have any queries please contact your local CCC.

Minister Zappone announces 900 free places on the Leadership for Inclusion in the Early Years (LINC) Higher Education Programme

dcyalogoLINC Logo

Applications will open this week for the second intake onto the Leadership for Inclusion (LINC) higher education programme for early years practitioners which will commence this September. LINC, which was established in 2016 , is a Level 6 Special Purpose Award designed to support inclusion of children with a disability in free pre-school provided under the Government’s Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) Programme.

The LINC Programme is being delivered by a consortium, led by Mary Immaculate College, Limerick together with Froebel Department of Primary and Early Childhood Education, Maynooth University and Early Childhood Ireland.

Minister Zappone welcomed the announcement of the second intake onto the LINC Programme, noting that ‘the Programme is part of the Government’s commitment to the provision of high quality education and training to upskill the early years workforce. It is a key initiative undethe Access and Inclusion Model (AIM) designed to ensure that children with disabilities can access and participate in the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) Programme to the fullest extent possible’.

The LINC Programme contains online and classroom based sessions in order to ensure a flexible and quality learning experience, enabling early years’ practitioners in full-time employment to attend this important continuing professional development (CPD) programme. According to Mr Fintan Breen, LINC National Programme Coordinator ‘early years practitioners have engaged enthusiastically with this Programme and feedback suggests that LINC is having a positive and significant impact on practice within early years’ settings and on the inclusion of children with a disability’.

Last September, the first intake of 900 early years practitioners was funded by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs to undertake the LINC Programme. From September 2017, graduates from this first intake will perform a new leadership role of Inclusion Coordinator within their pre-school setting. This will attract an increase of €2 per child per week in the rate of ECCE capitation payable to that setting.

The application deadline for the LINC Programme is 27th April 2017 and further information on how to apply can be found on

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