Offaly County Childcare Committee -   057 9135878

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ECCE Payments - Christmas Period

ECCE Payments - Christmas Period

Please find details below of the ECCE Payments schedule and an update on registrations over Christmas Period:

Payment Dates: Payable To: Covering Maximum:
01 December 2017 19 January 2018 7 weeks
08 December 2017 19 January 2018  7 weeks
15 December  2017  19 January 2018 7 weeks
05 January 2018 19 January 2018 7 weeks
12 January 2018 19 January 2018 7 weeks
19 January 2018  23 February 2018 5 weeks


If Registrations Approved By
Close Of Business On:
You Will Receive Payment On:
27 November 2017 01 December 2017
04 December 2017 08 December 2017
11 December 2017  15 December 2017
02 January 2018 05 January 2018
08 January 2018 12 January 2018
15 January 2018 19 January 2018


· Payments made on a Friday will cover registrations, Higher Capitation, and AIM Level 1 (LINC) allocations approved by close of business on the previous Monday.

· Services will be paid in accordance with submitted service calendars therefore non-payable weeks should be taken into consideration.

· Following discussions with the DCYA it has been agreed to allow early registration for the January intake - Children being registered from 1st January can be entered on the system from Monday 18th December (14 days in advance of start date).

· If you have any queries please contact Pobal Online Support on 01-5117122, or your local City/County Childcare Committee.

Applications for Overage Exemptions No Longer Accepted for ECCE Programme from 2018/19 Programme Year

dcyalogoApplications for Overage Exemptions No Longer Accepted for ECCE Programme from 2018/19 Programme Year

The free pre-school year provided under the ECCE Programme was introduced by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs in 2010. The objective of this Programme is to make early learning in a formal setting available to eligible children before they commence primary school. When first introduced, the ECCE Programme was delivered over 38 weeks in a given ECCE Programme Year and children were required to be between the ages of 3 years and 2 months and 4 years and 7 months on September 1st in the year they enrolled. Children with a disability could apply for an exemption from this upper age limit for the ECCE Programme (although it remained preferable that these children transitioned to primary school along with the same age peer group).

The application process for an exemption from the upper age limit for the ECCE Programme was introduced within a context where:

  •  The ECCE Programme was one year only; and
  •  Where the Access and Inclusion Model (AIM)1 had yet to be introduced.

Given, the extension of the ECCE Programme in 2016/17; (and the further extension of the Programme to two full years from September 2018), and the introduction of AIM in June 2016, it is clear that an application process for an exemption from the upper age limit for the ECCE Programme is no longer required.

The guiding principle with regard to a child’s participation in pre-school and primary school is the best interests of the child. In keeping with this best interest principle:

  • children should participate in inclusive mainstream settings (both pre-school and primary) (unless there is a compelling argument for a specialist setting), and
  • children should transition from pre-school to primary school with their peers with appropriate supports provided by the relevant primary school, the NCSE and other bodies as required.

On this basis, no applications for overage exemption will be accepted for the ECCE Programme from the 2018/19 Programme Year. From 2018/19, any concerns with regard to a child’s transition to primary school should be referred to the AIM application process. The AIM Early Years Specialists will work with the parents (and guardians), providers, Special
Education Needs Organisers (SENOs) and others (as appropriate) to support the child’s transition to primary school.

Parents (and guardians) and providers are therefore advised to engage with the AIM process early and in the normal way where a concern in relation to a child’s transition to primary school is identified.

Giving Our Children the Best Start in Life - A Survey by KHF

Giving Our Children the Best Start in Life - A Survey by KHFKHF Katherine Howard Foundation

Listening to the View of Parents and Carers of Young Children 

The Katherine Howard Foundation know that providing the right help and support for parents and carers of young children from pregnancy and through early childhood will impact positively throughout the entire lifespan.

Monday 20th November 2017 is Universal Children’s Day. In the weeks surrounding this event, between Wednesday 8th and Thursday 30th November, we want to hear from parents and carers with young children about what works for you and what could help you in your vital role in raising your children. The consultation is being conducted by the Katharine Howard Foundation (KHF) who have a long history of supporting parents of young children.  The aim is to get parents views on what helps parents most during pregnancy and the first three years of their child’s life - and what else would help.

The findings from this consultation will be written up in a report which will be made available publicly on the KHF website ( and social media (FB & Twitter). Your recommendations will be forwarded to the organisations you identify as having a role to play in giving all of our children the best start in life.

Please click HERE to access the survey, survey closes THURSDAY 30TH NOVEMBER

Compliance Announcement for 2017/2018

Unannounced compliance visits will commence in November 2017 and continue to the end of August 2018. Note: Services operating ECCE only sessions will not be visited outside of the ECCE programme cycle. 

As previously, the compliance process will involve a series of standardised on-site checks aimed at ensuring adherence with certain programme rules and contract conditions as set out by the Department of Children & Youth Affairs (DCYA).  To ensure compliance with each programmes requirements, services must familiarise themselves with the relevant programme Grant Agreement, Rules for DCYA Childcare Funding Programmes, PIP “How to” Guides, PIP Announcements available on the PIP Portal (and Pobal and DCYA websites).

Compliance visits will comprise checks on records held on site in respect of the following Early Years Programmes i.e.  

•       Free Pre-school Year in Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) Programme

•       Training and Employment Childcare (TEC) Programmes 

•       Community Childcare Subvention (CCS) Programme 

•       Community Childcare Subvention (Plus) including Universal (CCSP/U) Programme

•       Community Childcare Subvention Resettlement/ Transitional (CCSR (T)) Programmes

It is advised that services prepare for an unannounced compliance visit by collating relevant information for review e.g. in a Compliance Folder/File which can be made readily available to the Visit Officer on arrival. This will ensure minimum disruption and expedite the compliance visit. It is acknowledged that some services file their records in alternative ways which is acceptable, but it should be noted that records must be available to enable the Visit officer to complete the compliance visit in a reasonable timescale. In this regard we request that there is always a staff member on site with access to the Compliance Folder / records in the event of an unannounced visit.  

Please see the link to the 2017-2018 Compliance Service Provider File Checklist ,which is available on the PIP homepage and PIP portal, to assist services in collating the relevant information to meet compliance requirements.  Please note that this checklist contains a separate section for each of the Early Years programmes.

Independent Review of Costs of Providing Quality Childcare

dcyalogoParents, childcare providers and others with an interest in childcare are today being urged to submit evidence to inform the first stage of the Independent Review of Costs of Providing Quality Childcare

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

Parents, childcare providers and others with an interest in childcare are today being urged to submit evidence to inform the first stage of the Independent Review of Costs of Providing Quality Childcare.

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

Crowe Horwath, who is undertaking this Review on behalf of the Department of Children and Youth Affairs, are seeking:

• Existing studies and research about the cost of childcare in Ireland;
• Evidence from childcare providers about the factors that make up the cost of providing childcare, and how much of the total cost they represent;
• Evidence on the additional cost of providing childcare of high quality;
• Evidence from other jurisdictions in respect of establishing, reviewing, or modelling the costs of childcare provision.

The results from this call for evidence will inform subsequent stages of the Independent Review, including a survey of childcare providers in early 2018 and the development of a cost model and cost calculator.

Speaking about the call for evidence and the Review itself, Minister Zappone urged parents, childcare providers and others to take part.

“The results of this Review will help us continue to build an accessible, affordable, quality childcare system which will last for generations.

It will also ensure fairness in the distribution of supports and help address the genuine concerns over pay and conditions in the sector”.

The call for evidence runs from 6 until 20 November.

Programme support payment announced for early years services who sign up to More Affordable Childcare measures from September 2017

dcyalogoAn extra €3.5m for Early Years services in the form of a Programme support payment (non-contact time payment) was announced in June 2017 by the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr. Katherine Zappone. This is in addition to €14.5 million in non–contact time payments Minister Zappone negotiated in Budget 2017 and which was paid to services delivering various Government childcare schemes from June 26th.
All Early Years services participating in the Community Childcare Subvention (CCS and CCSP) Training and Employment Childcare (TEC) programmes signed up to deliver these schemes from September are invited to apply.
Please note that the Programme support payment (non-contact time payment) December 2017 will be open for applications on Monday 6th November. This payment is available to all services who have signed up to deliver the More Affordable Childcare measures (Community Childcare Subvention (CCS and CCSP) Training and Employment Childcare (TEC) programmes for the 2017/18 programme year.
·         Applications can be made by completing the application form on the PIP portal
·         Applications submitted to Pobal by 11 am on Tuesdays should be in service bank accounts by the end of that week
·         Payments will be made weekly
·         The closing date for the submission of applications is COB  30th November
Please see detailed  Programme Support Payment Guidelines with instructions for completing application and further information.

Force Majeure Announcement:

dcyalogoAs per the DCYA announcements on Sunday and Monday, funding will not be affected for childcare services who did not open for Monday 16th October and Tuesday 17th October.

There is no requirement to amend service calendars for these two days.

For services whose premises have been damaged or are facing prolonged outages, due to the adverse weather, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone our client services team @ 015117222 and Pobal will guide you through the next steps

It is also recommended that you contact your local County Childcare Committee for supports