The DCYA has developed and published an application process in relation to the granting of exemptions to the minimum enrolment requirements for individual ECCE providers. Please see the Information Doc and Application Form attached. This information is also available on the DCYA website. Please follow link and scroll down to 'Minimum ECCE Enrolment Exemptions':
Document Minimum Enrollment Exemptions DCYA Proceduers
As per the 2016/17 ECCE Funding Agreement, the following categories of exemptions may be considered:
“Participating service providers are expected to have a minimum enrolment of 8 children in their pre-school year. Subject to compliance with all other contractual requirements, exceptions will be considered in the case of:
a. Service providers who have an enrolment of at least 8 children but, for good reason, only 3 or more are in their pre-school year and the remainder will be eligible for a pre-school year in the following year
b. Smaller service providers which are considered appropriate settings for delivery of the pre-school year but, for good reason, have an enrolment of not fewer than 5 children in their pre-school year
c. A service that has an ECCE Room that is full but due to Budget 2016 extension of ECCE now has children eligible for ECCE in a room which has an enrolment of not fewer than 5 children in their pre-school year (i.e. between 2½ and 6 years) - assuming ECCE staff qualification criteria is met.”
For the 2016/17 Programme Call only, the following additional exemption will also be considered:
Under exceptional circumstances and for the 2016/17 Programme Call only, (such as in rural areas with no other ECCE provision available to parents), a minimum of 4 children in a childcare service, who are all age-eligible for the ECCE Programme, will be permitted as a temporary measure. These services will be expected to build up their numbers during the 2016/17 Programme Call to qualify under at least a, b or c above.
This additional exemption will be added to the DCYA Childcare Programmes Information and FAQs document as soon as possible.
Applications will be processed by the CCCs and DCYA according to the process outlined in the information document, and will include the following steps:
- ECCE provider informs their local City/County Childcare Committee (CCC) that they will need an exemption for the minimum number of ECCE children required.
- The service outlines reasons for needing this exemption.
•Service DCYA reference
•The reasons for the exemption
•The CCC recommendation
- The DCYA receives the application and approves/disapproves it based on an assessment of the following Criteria:
•There is a need in the area
• They are a child minder
•The routines and schedules are appropriate for ECCE child needs
•Developmentally appropriate materials and resources are available for ECCE children
•They have had prior approval for an exemption to the ECCE Min Enrolment criteria and are being provided with a new DCYA Reference Number, e.g. changing legal structure
(This list is not exhaustive and further information may influence the decision)
- DCYA informs the CCC that the application has been approved/rejected.
- Where the application has been approved, the CCC enter the following onto the PIP CRM for that service: 'Exemption to ECCE Minimum Enrolment Criteria Granted by DCYA'
- Pobal compliance team will check for minimum ECCE enrolment exemptions on PIP prior to issuing of non-compliance based on breach of minimum ECCE enrolment numbers.