UP COMING TRIPLE P COURSES FOR PARENTS
Extra childcare supports are now available for up to 70,000 children and their families.
The start of supports today marks the first big step towards delivering accessible affordable quality childcare, according to the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr Katherine Zappone.
Speaking at the Tallaght Childcare Centre, Minister Zappone also confirmed that the number of providers signing up to deliver the extra supports continues to rise. 2,805 providers are now on board representing 76% of eligible services (3,705).
Minister Zappone added:
“I want to send best wishes, support and congratulations to children starting childcare services across the country in the coming days.
It is a big moment for children, parents and providers. I wish them all well.
Today we also take the first big step towards accessible affordable quality childcare with extra supports for up to 70,000 children. There are two supports:
· a universal support for all children aged between 6 and 36-months worth up to €1,040 per year
· targeted supports for those families who need it most. These targeted supports can reach €7,500 per child per year – representing a 50% increase on previous supports.
I want to acknowledge the great work undertaken by my officials, Pobal and providers over many months to bring us to this moment.
The sector has responded positively with three quarters of eligible providers already signed up to deliver supports – a figure which continues to increase as services return from the summer break.
The names of signed up services will now be placed online at www.affordablechildcare.ie and will be updated on a regular basis. This will assist parents in accessing the supports put in place by government to lower the cost of childcare for families in Ireland.
In recognition of the extra administrative work services have undertaken I will be making an extra payment of €3.5m available before the end of the year – bringing the total for such payments in 2017 to an unprecedented €18m.
I note early indications that the vast majority of services are not increasing fees and welcome this. This is something my Department will continue to monitor in the coming weeks and months.
While there is no evidence of subsidies being abused – if action is required I will act.
In addition in the coming weeks an Independent Review of the Cost of Childcare will commence. It also has a tight timeline and will report back in ten-months, in time to inform decisions around Budget 2019.
As Minister I have always been clear. Our childcare goals are ambitious. They have to be if we are to correct decades of under-investment. Much more investment is needed in order to secure our goals. In the coming weeks I will be working with parents, providers and Government colleagues to ensure investment continues in Budget 2018 and beyond.”
On September 14th 2017 Offaly CCC will host an ‘Open Day’ for services and Parent and Toddler Groups. Service Providers, Early Years Workers, Students and Parents are cordially invited to attend the open day form 11.00m to 1.30pm and 3.00pm to 7.30pm. The ‘Open Day’ will be an informal opportunity to talk to staff and to visit the Tracey Buckley Resource Library and borrow resources. Story Sacks and Topic Boxes will be available to view on the day. Refreshments will be served throughout the day and your own children are very welcome to attend. Please contact the office on 057 9135878 if you will be attending.
Minimum ECCE Enrolment Exemptions
In certain circumstances, a service may receive an exemption from the minimum number of ECCE children required per session. As per the ECCE Grant Funding Agreement
Service providers must apply to your local CCC for one of the exemptions listed above. Your application will be processed by the DCYA.
Click on the link below to read the procedure in full.
Extra Childcare supports spark surge of interest from Parents and Providers
Parents can start registering with crèches, preschools and providers from Monday
Statement by the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr Katherine Zappone
SATURDAY 19th AUGUST 2017
Extra childcare supports starting in two weeks have sparked a surge of interest from parents, crèches and childcare providers, according to the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr Katherine Zappone.
The Minister is welcoming new figures which show:
· Country’s 4,500 childcare providers currently signing up to various childcare schemes in preparation for September. 3,423 services have completed their ECCE (free pre-school) contracts.
· 2,290 services (67%) have also signed up to deliver childcare subsidies to families.
· Massive interest in supports starting September. Website www.affordablechildcare.ie has been viewed nearly 350k times.
Minister Zappone added: “Changing one of the most expensive childcare systems in the world into the best is an ambitious goal but one I am determined to work towards for the sake of families.
These initial figures are hugely encouraging. It is expected that interest from both parents and providers will increase further when childcare centres start registering parents from Monday (21st August).
2,290 providers have already agreed to offer the extra supports and many others are continuing their annual contract negotiations with my officials.
It is clear that after years of under-investment by successive Governments that a turning point has been reached. Overall funding of early years services has increased over 80% since 2015 to €466m this year – passing the half billion mark must be our next milestone!
Our work towards accessible affordable quality childcare must go on.”
Minister Zappone announces €1.2m capital grants for 263 providers of School Age Childcare
Grants of up to €5000 to improve existing services
Response to consultation with children on afterschool
Thursday 17th August, 2017
The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr. Katherine Zappone, has announced funding of €1.2m (strand c) of the School Age Childcare Capital Scheme to improve existing school age childcare services. This follows the recent announcement of funding of €2.7m under Strands A and B for new and existing services to increase the number of childcare places that they provide.
“I am determined to support childcare providers in their mission to deliver quality childcare to all our children. I am also determined to listen to children in terms of what they want. This funding of €1.2m is specifically targeted at improving the quality of existing school age childcare services, which was one of the key actions of the Action Plan on School Age Childcare, published in March of this year. This will be done through the provision of age appropriate play equipment to stimulate children mentally and physically. With 263 individual projects set to be funded, our children right across the country will reap the benefits. This demonstrates my commitment to provide quality and affordable childcare for school age children.”
Minister Zappone said:-“We know from consultations with children that many of them would prefer to go home when their school day is finished rather than to various forms of childcare. This funding should help to ensure that when going home is not possible, children attend school age childcare services that simulate many of the characteristics of a healthy home environment, including the comforts and activities children enjoy there. Listening to the voice of the child is important and this funding is our response to the issues they raised”.
Click to view the list of successful participants in STRAND C
Govt funds 5,000 extra childcare spaces for school age children: Capital Funding increases 33% to €4m
Childcare awareness campaign ‘It Starts Now’ launched to inform parents of €19m in Extra Supports for families
Joint Statement by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar TD and Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr Katherine Zappone
Government funding of €4m is being provided to improve childcare services for children of school going age and make life easier for parents and families.
The announcement comes as the Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar TD, and Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr Katherine Zappone, launch the latest phase of a national awareness campaign to make families aware of increased supports starting next month (Sept).
The first two strands of this funding announced today will help create over 5,000 extra childcare places in 225 school age childcare services. A third strand will be announced in the coming weeks.
The extra spaces will further increase capacity ahead of new childcare supports which will benefit up to 70,000 children from September.
The next phase of a national awareness campaign will encourage parents to check out their children’s entitlements under the banner ‘It Starts Now’. This is part of ongoing efforts across Government to support parents and families through a range of policies.
Families are being encouraged to visit a special website www.affordablechildcare.ie which has already recorded more than quarter of a million visits.
At the launch of the campaign the Taoiseach said:
“In just three weeks’ time, up to 70,000 children will be able to register for a range of childcare subsidies put in place by the Government of Ireland to honour our commitment to make childcare more affordable for families. For the first time, a universal, non-means tested childcare subsidy will be available for children aged six months to three years. This amounts to a maximum of €1,040 per year, for some the cost of one month of childcare. We will also be providing extra support for parents on lower incomes going back to work or education, providing as much as €145 per week towards the cost of their childcare.
“In a Republic of Opportunity everyone should have the chance to access employment and education. Childcare can often be a barrier to this, whereas it should be a bridge to opportunity for parents, their children and our economy. These new subsidies will create greater parental choice and financial support for families so they can achieve their full potential. I’m delighted that investment made this year will help families begin to feel a difference in their pockets from September. I urge everyone with children in childcare to visit affordablechildcare.ie to see the supports available to their family.”
Minister Zappone added
“The first big step is being taken to accessible affordable quality childcare. Through our awareness campaign we are reaching out to parents and telling them how they can benefit from the extra €19m in family supports now just four weeks away.
There are two ways in which supports will be delivered. A universal support to every child aged 6-months to 3-years-old and then targeted supports for those families which need it most – this second category covers children up to 15-years of age.
Ensuring capacity for school age children is important to reach our goals in terms of accessibility and quality. The funding of €4m announced today will help us to get there.
I am delighted that 225 projects have been identified in the first two rounds of this funding, with the remainder to be announced shortly.
Our childcare goals are ambitious. They have to be. I remain fully committed to work with parents and providers so we can finally turn one of the most expensive childcare systems in the world into the best.”
Note to Editors:
Capital Grants for School Age Childcare
• Strand A: establishment of new SAC services (€1.7m – maximum €20k per grant): 113 projects to be funded.
• Strand B: Expansion of existing SAC services (€1m maximum €10k per grant): 112 projects to be funded.
• Strand C: Improvement of existing SAC services (€1.3m, maximum €5k per grant): Appraisals to be finalised in early August.
The services approved for funding in today’s announcement relate to Strands A and B, comprising 225 individual projects, which should see the creation of over 5000 additional School Age Childcare places. Appraisals relating to Strand C will be finalised in early August and the applicants will be notified accordingly.
Childcare Capital Funding Doubled to €8.4m : Zappone
More than 2,200 new childcare places pave way for big changes in September
“Accessible affordable quality Childcare needs proper infrastructure”
Statement by Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr Katherine Zappone
Wednesday, 19th July 2017
Funding to improve childcare services is to be doubled to €8.4m, according to the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr Katherine Zappone.
Minister Zappone has announced that €8.4m in capital funding has been allocated through the Department of Children and Youth Affairs to 683 pre-school providers nationwide; an increase in €4,4m on the amount announced for this programme in March 2017. Minister Zappone says the increase in funding comes at a key moment in Ireland’s move to accessible affordable quality childcare.
The money is to be used to provide more than 2,200 new childcare places, maintenance and building work as well as outdoor play areas and is available for immediate draw-down by the successful applicants.
Minister Zappone said: “I am delighted to be able to more than double the funding being provided to Early Years Services at this critical time. We are responding to huge demand from Early Years providers. I am confirming that 683 individual projects are set to be funded, reflecting my strong commitment to increasing the capacity and quality of Ireland’s childcare sector.”
The approved 2017 Early Years Capital Funding will be made available to childcare centres, crèches and other Early Years services under three strands:
• Strand 1: New Places (€4.2m – maximum €50k per grant): 89 projects to be funded.
• Strand 2: Building improvements and maintenance (€2.1m maximum €20k per grant, Community only): 131 projects to be funded.
• Strand 3: Natural outdoor play area (€2.1m, maximum €5k per grant): 463 projects to be funded.
The additional funding being announced today is focused in particular on Strands 2 and 3, comprising 594 individual projects, which will benefit in particular community services providing Early Years care, with nine more projects than anticipated also being funded under Strand 1.
Minister Zappone said:- “As Minister, I hold the provision of quality, affordable and accessible childcare as a very highest priority. This year’s Early Years Capital Funding programme received an overwhelming amount of applications from providers who share these same goals. This funding will benefit children, families and providers under our Early Years programmes, and will contribute to the development of an infrastructure that is ready to meet the radical new approach to subsidising childcare outlined in Budget 2017.”
Joint Oireachtas Committee on Children and Youth Affairs
Update on Affordable Childcare
Opening remarks by Dr Katherine Zappone TD Minister for Children and Youth Affairs
12th July 2017
"I am very pleased to meet with the Committee this morning to provide an update on the measures, which are being put in place to make childcare more affordable for families from September and to outline the progress that has been made since we last met on 8 February in developing the Affordable Childcare Scheme (ACS).
In particular, I would like to update you on some of the issues raised by the Committee in Pre-Legislative Scrutiny.
Update on measures to make childcare more affordable
On 11 April, I announced a range of measures, which will make childcare more affordable for families from September.
Deputies will be aware that these measures include:
§ universal subsidies, of up to €1,040 per annum per child, which will be available for all children aged between 6 and 36 months; and
§ targeted subsidies, of up to €7,500 per annum per child, which will be delivered to those families who need it most.
It is these targeted subsidies that will open up jobs, training and education for parents who want to lift their families out of poverty. As a result of these measures, up to 70,000 children will benefit from extra childcare support this September – this will be an important moment.
This is the first big practical step to changing one of the most expensive childcare systems in the world into one of the best.
By addressing the affordability issue we will ease the burden on many parents for whom childcare costs have become a second rent or mortgage."
The Minister up-dated the Joint Oireachtas Committee on areas such as Legislation, ICT approval process, Launch planning, timelines and other preparatory work.
To read the Ministers full remarks please click HERE