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The Early Years Service Profile 2017/2018 is now LIVE on the PIP portal

What is the Early Years Service Profile?

The Early Years Service Profile is an annual survey completed by early years service providers. The survey is developed by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs and Pobal in consultation with key stakeholders and it is the primary source of data on the Irish early years sector.

The data provided by all respondents is critical to understanding and mapping trends in the sector and is used by Government to inform future policy and planning at both local and national levels.

Services are asked to complete the service profile for each facility (i.e. one for each DCYA Reference).

What data is collected through the Early Years Service Profile?

A wide range of data is collected in the service profile. This data is categorised under four main headings
· Service Details and Provision
· Capacity and Attendance
· Child Protection
· Staffing (numbers, qualification, level of turnover, etc.)

Who will have access to this data?

Data will be made available to:
Government Departments (e.g. Department of Education and Skills Early Years Inspectorate)
Organisations conducting research and analysis on behalf of Government Departments
Statutory agencies (e.g. Tusla Early Years Inspectorate)
Better Start Early Years Specialist Service
City/County Childcare Committees

Data on capacity and attendance may also be shared with Local Authorities to inform local planning and development priorities.

Data may also be combined with findings from other surveys of the early years sector conducted on behalf of the Department of Children and Youth Affairs.

Summary data will also be shared with a range of organisations for research and statistical purposes. For more information about sharing of summary data, please read Section 0. Intro in your service profile.

Where can I access the survey?
When you login to the PIP portal, you will land on the ‘Service’ page which contains a link to the ‘Early Years Service Profile 2017/2018.’

What is the deadline for completing this survey?

The deadline for completing your survey is 5pm on Friday 27th April.

How long will it take to complete the Service Profile?

The length of time it takes to complete the survey depends on the size of your service, the number of staff and number of children enrolled.

Based on feedback from previous years, it should take between 30 minutes to an hour to complete a survey. The service profile contains a ‘Save as Draft’ function so that it can be completed in more than one sitting.

Are guidelines available for filling out the form?

The Early Years Service Profile 2017/2018 Guidelines provides helpful tips for completing your survey.

You can also find these guidelines in the How to Guides section in PIP Resources.

Who do we contact for help?

If your service has any questions about the Early Years Service Profile, please contact the Pobal Helpdesk at:

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Tel: 01 511 7222

AIM Inclusive Play website is now live...

AIM Inclusive Play website is now live...

AIM Inclusive Play is the latest addition to the suite of supports provided under the Access and Inclusion Model. AIM Inclusive Play is a set of sensory and educational play resources to support inclusive practice within pre-school settings. This website supports the appropriate and effective use of these resources.

Follow the link to the website below and take a look at videos and resources to support inclusive play in early years services.

http://play.aim.gov.ie/

AIM Play AIM Logo

Childcare providers urged to take part in Costs Review - Closing Date 12th April

Childcare providers urged to take part in Costs Review19875672 1337059526348124 484620879276509836 n
Vital to keep to keep to timelines for Budget talks
Final Week to Complete online survey
Statement by the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Dr Katherine Zappone TD

Monday 9th April, 2018

Childcare providers are today being reminded to participate in an online survey as part of the Independent Review of Costs of Providing Quality Childcare.

The Review, which is being undertaken by Crowe Horwath on behalf of the Department of Children and Youth Affairs, seeks to:

• Analyse the current costs of providing childcare in Ireland and factors that impact on those costs;
• Develop a model of the unit cost/costs of providing childcare that allows analysis of policy changes and variation in cost-drivers, including the potential impact of increased professionalisation; and
• Provide an objective, high level market analysis of the childcare sector in Ireland, including analysis of fee levels charged to parents.

The results from this survey of childcare providers will feed into the development of a cost model and cost calculator for childcare provision. Importantly, the results will also inform the Estimates Process for Budget 2019 and for subsequent budgets.

Speaking about the Review and the approaching deadline, Minister Zappone urged childcare providers to take part.

“This Review represents a key milestone in the on-going reformation of childcare in Ireland.

The results of this Review will help to further advance my ambition of building an accessible, affordable, quality childcare system, which will last for generations.

To deliver on this ambition, we need a childcare funding system where childcare providers are funded on a fair and sustainable basis and where the genuine concerns over pay and conditions in the sector can be addressed.

The Independent Review of Costs offers us a unique opportunity to change our approach to, and levels of, childcare funding.

I am urging childcare providers to engage honestly and openly through this confidential and independent survey.

The deadline of 12 April was purposely set to ensure I have results in time for upcoming budgetary negotiations.

A good response rate within this timeframe will be critical to ensure the credibility of the survey findings to bring about needed change”.

The closing date for receipt of completed surveys is 12 April. For further information, contact Crowe Horwath at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Quality and Capacity Building Initiative supported through Dormant Accounts Funding

€2m Fund seeks ‘Ground-breaking’ proposals to support young peopledcyalogo
‘Time to think anew to break cycle of disadvantage’
Quality and Capacity Building Initiative supported through Dormant Accounts Funding

Statement by the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr Katherine Zappone

Wednesday 4th April 2018

The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Dr Katherine Zappone TD, has launched a new €2m fund to support ‘ground-breaking and new proposals’ to support disadvantaged young people.

This fund is open to community, voluntary and not-for-profit organisations delivering innovation in prevention and early intervention services for children and young people.

Examples of proposals being sought include the development or scaling up of innovative approaches, practices and resources that support the best outcomes for children and young people.

There will be two strands under this funding measure; the first is a seed strand with minimum funding of €10k. This will support less proven, new and creative approaches to intractable problems facing children and young people experiencing disadvantage in Ireland.

A budget of €800,000 in 2018 will support grants for proposals applying under the SEED strand of the QCBI Innovation Fund.

Under the Scale strand, a budget of €1.2m will support grants that build on existing programmes, models, or approaches that have shown promising outcomes for children and young people.

The QCBI Innovation Fund is specifically designed to support innovative, one-off projects with firm timelines.

This fund is being launched today, Wednesday, 4th April 2018 and will close to applications on Monday 30th April. The administration of this funding scheme is being supported by Tusla.

In launching the QCBI Innovation Fund, Minister Zappone stated:

“Young people can be trapped in disadvantage based on their background, location and family circumstance. For many it is an unbreakable cycle – often spanning generations.

Many frontline agencies provide valuable support and opportunities to re-start or re-focus young lives. However, there is also a need to think anew, to seek new approaches and to be ground-breaking.

The Quality and Capacity Building Initiative provides that opportunity. It will provide the financial support to those working with our children, young people and families so they can afford to take a step back. Look at the work they are doing – and see if there is a new way.

This is an exciting moment. I urge all involved to seize this opportunity and to use this fund effectively.”

Following the application, assessment and selection process successful applicants will be awarded funding from the period of June 1, 2018 to December 31, 2018. All awards are based on funding availability.

Further details on the application process are available on the DCYA and Tusla websites.

QCBI Guidance Note

Innovation Fund Application Form

 

“Pathway to a Quality Support and Assurance System for Childminding in Ireland”

“Pathway to a Quality Support and Assurance System for Childminding in Ireland”19875672 1337059526348124 484620879276509836 n
Minister Zappone – Speech at Launch of Report of the Working Group
on Reforms and Supports for the Childminding Sector

Monday 26th March, 2018

Minister Zappone will this evening welcome a Report of the Working Group on Reforms and Supports for the Childminding Sector at the Law Society in Dublin.

The group, chaired by Bernadette Orbinski-Burke, CEO of Childminding Ireland, has produced a range of recommendations. These will be considered by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs over the coming months in order to develop a plan to support the development of the childminding sector in Ireland. The Group carried out detailed work - meeting nine times since late 2016.

It is estimated that 35,000 childminders care for as many as 88,000 children throughout Ireland.

Minister Zappone said:
‘The working group has, through this report, provided my Department with an extensive and considered range of recommendations, reflective of the diverse range of experience and expertise of the working group members. I very much appreciate the commitment that the Group has shown and the time it has given to consider and propose major change, change that should be accompanied by appropriate supports. My Department is fortunate to have such a strong basis from which to now move forward.’

Furthermore, in recognising the importance of the childminding sector in Ireland, she noted:
‘I am conscious that the flexibility offered, and the home from home environment provided by childminders, is very important to many families in Ireland. Childcare Regulations introduced in 2016 have a strong focus on centre based care and have done much to assure parents of the quality of service their child should receive in these services. In establishing this expert group on childminding, I sought to start a similar journey with the childminding sector. I hoped that the working group could come up with proposals that would, in time, support a move towards an appropriate level of regulation of childminders and with the accompanying supports required. I am delighted that this is what has been achieved.’

The report is strongly in favour of establishing the sector professionally, with a long term view to inclusion in the Government financial support schemes, in particular the Affordable Childcare Scheme that is being developed. The group highlighted the need for the next steps to feed into the forthcoming National Early Years Strategy.
The report defines a Childminding Service as being ‘offered by a person who single handedly takes care of children aged from 0-15 years old, which may include the persons own children, in the person’s home, for payment, for a total of more than two-hours per day.’

The report recognises that the proposals will require legislative change – including changes to the Childcare Act.

The report recommends that Au Pairs and Nannies should not be considered as ‘child-minders’ and that they should remain outside the State’s childcare support programmes but that the Department should give consideration to training and information supports for families employing these personnel.

DCYA has committed to putting in place an action plan for implementation of the report by the end of the year with short, medium and long-term goals.

A spokesperson for the Minister said that the launch of this report represents another step for the Minister in transforming Ireland’s childcare sector from being one of the most expensive in the world to one of the best.

Pathway Quality Support Assurance System Childminding Ireland

Online survey as part of the Independent Review of Costs of Providing Quality Childcare

Childcare providers are today being urged to participate in an online survey as part of the Independent Review of Costs of Providing Quality Childcare19875672 1337059526348124 484620879276509836 n

Statement by the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs - Dr Katherine Zappone TD

Childcare providers are today being urged to participate in an online survey as part of the Independent Review of Costs of Providing Quality Childcare.

This Independent Review - which was announced by Minister Zappone last autumn – is a Programme for Government commitment.

The Review, which is being undertaken by Crowe Horwath on behalf of the Department of Children and Youth Affairs, seeks to:

· Analyse the current costs of providing childcare in Ireland and factors that impact on those costs;

· Develop a model of the unit cost/costs of providing childcare that allows analysis of policy changes and variation in cost-drivers, including the potential impact of increased professionalisation; and

· Provide an objective, high level market analysis of the childcare sector in Ireland, including analysis of fee levels charged to parents.

The results from this survey of childcare providers will feed into the development of a cost model and cost calculator for childcare provision. Importantly, the results will also inform the Estimates Process for Budget 2019 and for subsequent budgets.

Speaking about the Review, Minister Zappone urged childcare providers to take part.

“This Review represents a key milestone in the on-going reformation of childcare in Ireland.

The results of this Review will help to further advance my ambition of building an accessible, affordable, quality childcare system, which will last for generations.

To deliver on this ambition, we need a childcare funding system where childcare providers are funded on a fair and sustainable basis and where the genuine concerns over pay and conditions in the sector can be addressed.

The Independent Review of Costs offers us a unique opportunity to change our approach to, and levels of, childcare funding.

I am urging childcare providers to engage honestly and openly through this confidential survey.

A good response rate will be critical to ensure the credibility of the survey findings to bring about needed change”.

The survey runs from 27 March until 12 April. For further information, contact Crowe Horwath at (01) 448 2200.

Over €3 million investment boosting resources to over 6,000 pre-school rooms

 'Inclusive Play' helps make pre-school accessible to all
NO FEE MIN ZAPPONE INCLUSIVE PLAY MX 5 Statement by Minister Katherine Zappone

More than 6,000 'Inclusive Play' packs are being distributed free to pre-schools across the country.

The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr. Katherine Zappone is confirming that distribution of the packs is underway under the Access and Inclusive Model (AIM) which is working to make pre-school accessible to all children.

The packs are designed to enhance children?s experience and promote inclusive play.
Speaking today, Minister Zappone said:

"Inclusive Play is another great addition to the Access and Inclusion Model.
In the coming weeks, these resources, which represent an investment of more than €3 million, will be delivered to all pre-school offering the ECCE programme.

These resources will add to the range of resources already offered and will improve pre-school for all children.
Resources have been chosen for their inclusive play value, for their open ended opportunities and, most importantly, for their appeal to young children.

A short introductory guide has been developed and will be delivered with the resources. A set of short videos has also been produced to demonstrate just some of the benefits of and uses that can be made of these resources. These can be viewed on the AIM website (www.aim.gov.ie)"

Better Start Update

Better Start UpdatePobalLogo

Just as an update we are starting to roll out Hanen Teacher Talk training again in April, May, and June partnering with Teacher Education Centres around the country. Initial invitations for first round have been sent to settings with children receiving AIM support in counties Wexford, Leitrim, Waterford, Meath, Sligo, and one in our Pobal office in Galway. Course dates (Saturdays) 21st April and 12th or 19th May, and 9th June.

Further courses in Cork, Donegal, Kilkenny, will be offered starting in the Autumn.

Lámh will also begin as of April again partnering with the Teacher Education Centres across the country. These invitations are being sent to services in counties Waterford, Sligo, Monaghan, Leitrim and Dublin. Course dates (Saturdays) 21st April and 12th or 26th May, and 9th June.

Further courses in Cork, West Cork, Kildare, Navan, Kilkenny, and Wexford will be offered over the next few months and into the autumn.

Invites are sent directly to relevant services via Eventbrite and services are offered two places on each course. We have opted for one Saturday per month, for the first set of trainings, to reduce impact on services needing cover etc. We will review this after the 2nd roll out, in June. The dates coincide with some LINC training dates, as this will encourage take up and build capacity among other staff. Further info if required from: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.