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Families in crisis receive extra free childcare Zappone takes further steps to improve access to childcare for families who are homeless and programme refugees

Families in crisis receive extra free childcaredcyalogo

Zappone takes further steps to improve access to childcare forfamilies who are homeless and programme refugees

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

10th July 2017

Free childcare schemes for families who are homeless and refugees starting new lives in Ireland are to be expanded, according to the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr Katherine Zappone.

Free childcare for families which are homeless is to be extended to include all children aged 12 and under for the summer months and all future school holidays. Children under 5-years-old currently benefit on a year round basis.

In addition children from families who arrive in Ireland from the Mediterranean crisis under the refugee relocation programme will be offered 60 weeks of free childcare – an increase from the current 8-weeks.

Making the announcement Minister Zappone added:

“I believe every child should have access to childcare, no matter what their background, income or family circumstance. It is an ambitious goal but one which we must reach if we are to have genuine accessible affordable quality childcare.

Since the start of the year we have used funding of €8m to offer free services with a daily meal to children aged 5 years and under from families who are homeless. I am now delighted to confirm that this scheme is being extended to include part-time childcare for 6 to 12-year olds over the summer months and during other school breaks.

The extension will not only provide activity for young children but will also ease the huge burden on families who are in very stressful situations.

In addition free childcare for children arriving in Ireland from the European refugee crisis is to be extended from 8 weeks to 60 weeks.

Families arriving into Ireland from the ‘hotspots’ along the Mediterranean will benefit.

The extension will assist integration and create space for parents, guardians and older family members to seek jobs, training and education. It will assist them to resettle and restart their lives in Irish communities which will become home.

Childcare in Ireland is changing forever. We are transforming one of the most expensive systems in the world into one of the best. Accessibility is a key challenge we must address to reach this goal. These announcements underline our commitment to achieve that goal.”

Achieving Affordable Accessible Quality Childcare

dcyalogoThe Minster for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr Katherine Zappone addressed the Dáil Éireann on the 5th July regarding the first big steps being taken to change Irish Childcare.  The Minsiter also spoke about Quality, pay & conditions, valuing the workfore, administration, community childcare and the early years strategy.

To read the Minister's remarks in full please click HERE

Extra €3.5m payment announced for childcare providers Service providers who sign up to More Affordable Childcare measures from this September to benefit from new ‘non-contact’ funding measure

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

An extra €3.5m will be made available to childcare providers in the form of a ‘non-contact time payment’ announced today 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 will be paid to providers delivering various Government childcare schemes from June 26th.  The new payments will be made before the end of the year.

Today’s announcement will benefit childcare providers participating in the Community Childcare Subvention (CCS and CCSP) and the Training and Employment Childcare (TEC) programmes. All services signed up to deliver these schemes from September will be invited to apply.

Approximately 1,700 childcare services currently provide these childcare subsidisation programmes. However, it is expected that numbers will increase significantly this September as more lower income parents become eligible for enhanced financial supports, and all parents of children aged between 6 and 36 months in registered childcare become eligible for a weekly universal subsidy.

The payment to providers is intended to make a contribution towards the administration and non-contact hour costs involved in providing quality childcare. In particular, the new funding recognises the time providers need to spend familiarising themselves with the new affordable childcare measures, signing contracts, meeting regulatory and compliance requirements and assisting parents with understanding how they can benefit.  The measure provides for a payment equivalent to an additional seven days’ funding for services.

Minister Zappone said:
“I know that childcare providers put in long hours beyond their core time working with children, ensuring that they can deliver quality childcare through Government programmes.  Today’s measure, on top of the €14.5m I secured in Budget 2017, is intended to ensure that staff can be paid for their contribution to meeting the administrative demands.  Government has a responsibility to support the provision of quality childcare. This measure reflects a continued commitment to assisting childcare providers with the demands they face every day meeting the needs of children, parents, funders and regulators.”
All providers of the Department’s funded childcare programmes will be able to apply for the Budget 2017 Non-Contact payment from the week commencing June 26th and at a later date for the additional funding associated with the September 2017 affordable childcare measures.

Leadership for Inclusion (LINC) Programme Wins Best Online Learning Experience Award at the 2017 Education Awards

LINC LogoLeadership for Inclusion (LINC) Programme Wins Best Online Learning Experience Award at the 2017 Education Awards

Up to 1,000 early years practitioners offered free place on the LINC Programme 2017/18 from today

The Leadership for Inclusion (LINC) higher education programme for early years practitioners won the award for ‘Best Online Learning Experience’ at the 2017 Education Awards ceremony. The Education Awards recognise, encourage and celebrate excellence in the third level education sector on the island of Ireland.

LINC, which was established in 2016 as part of the Department of Children and Youth Affairs Access and Inclusion Model (AIM), is a Level 6 Special Purpose Award designed to support the inclusion of children with a disability in free pre-school provided under the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) programme. The LINC programme is being funded by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs and is 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 Katherine Zappone welcomed the news, noting that ‘this is a significant achievement given that the LINC programme is new, having only been established in 2016. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all those who have worked so hard in getting the programme up and running and also the first intake of students who have engaged so enthusiastically with it. The LINC programme is a key initiative under the Access and Inclusion Model (AIM) designed to empower pre-school providers to deliver an inclusive pre-school experience and to ensure that every eligible child can reap the benefits of quality early years care and education’.

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.

Last September, the first intake of 900 early years practitioners were funded by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs to undertake the LINC programme. From September 2017, graduates from the 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 process for the 2017/2018 programme closed in early May and all eligible applicants will be offered a place on this Programme today. In all, 978 places will be offered to early years practitioners around the country.

Further information about the LINC programme can be found on

Minister for Children launches Information Campaign on More Affordable Childcare at Government Buildings

Posters 02Minister for Children launches Information Campaign on More Affordable Childcare at Government Buildings

…..“Highest levels of new childcare supports will go to families on the lowest incomes”….
Minister Katherine Zappone T.D.,

The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr. Katherine Zappone T.D., today launched a public information campaign about the Government’s plans to deliver More Affordable Childcare to families from September. This campaign will target thousands of families who will qualify for enhanced childcare supports from September. It also will also target more than 4,000 childcare providers throughout the country.

The information campaign will use a range of media, including a dedicated website ( to raise awareness among families of the childcare support that may be available to them. Commenting on the launch of the information campaign, Minister Zappone said:  “For decades, several Governments of all political persuasions have struggled to come up with an equitable way to make childcare more affordable.  After many false dawns we are now finally on the road to taking those first steps towards easing the burden of childcare costs on hard pressed families. My objective in tackling this issue head on is to ensure that access to affordable childcare is not a barrier to anyone who wants to participate in education, training or the labour market.  This, I believe, will not only help parents who wish to return to work, but it will ultimately have a positive impact on upskilling thousands of people while simultaneously reducing child poverty in Ireland.

This information campaign has been created to help families’ access new and more affordable childcare packages”.

The childcare supports available have been boosted significantly by €19m in additional investment bringing the total annual investment in childcare to €466.5 million. The childcare supports, which are expected to benefit up to 70,000 children and their families, include:  A new non-means tested universal subsidy of up to €80 per month for all children aged between 6 months and three years in full time registered childcare; and increases of up to 50% in targeted childcare subsidies for children up to age 15. These subsidies, which will subsidise the cost of full-time registered childcare for families by up to €145 per week will be provided through existing schemes, the Community Childcare Subvention (CCS) and Training and Employment Childcare (TEC) Schemes.

“I am confident that these enhanced childcare supports will have a meaningful impact for recipient families, particularly for those on very low incomes” the Minister said.

“I am also aware that delivering these enhanced childcare supports is only possible because of the commitment and co-operation of more than 4,000 childcare providers throughout the country. I want to acknowledge their continuing support and, in recognition of their invaluable contribution, I will be asking for extra funding during Budget 2018 negotiations so we can address some of the issues raised by childcare providers”.

For more information go to

Triple P Positive Parenting 2 Hour Workshops

Triple P:  Positive Parenting ProgrammeTriplePLogo, Midland Area Parenting Partnership

Laois, Offaly, Longford & Westmeath

Tel: 090 6447111:  :  Or Find us @ Triple P MAPP Page

Being a parent is not always easy!  When it comes to parenting, how do you know what’s best and what works for your family?

What is Triple P?

Triple P is a positive parenting programme that promotes good communication and strong relationships between parents and their children and teenagers, aged 2 to 15 years. This positive approach to parenting gives practical help with everyday parenting problems.

You might be concerned about
• bedtimes,• whining & whinging,• toddler tantrums,• mayhem at mealtimes,• fighting or teasing,
• dealing with frustration,• trouble with homework,• signs of anxiety• common teenage issues.

Or, there might be no problems at all, you might be thinking of how best to support your child, to set up a homework routine, to encourage healthy eating or set a Bedtime Routine, to build their confidence and develop problem solving skills.  Whatever your parenting need, Triple P has the information, tip sheets, course and practitioner to help you.

For Every Parent:  The three P’s in Triple P stand for “Positive Parenting Programme”. We offer support for every parent. The courses are free and all parents are welcome.

How do I do Triple P?:  Parents can call the Triple P office at 090 64 47111 to book into a course that suits you. Our practitioners will help you choose the right course that fits your family. We offer two hour workshops or a longer group programme in the morning or evening in your local area.

What happens at a Triple P Course?:  You will receive a reminder text with the date and venue from the practitioner running the course. The course is delivered in a relaxed friendly environment. Your practitioner will introduce the course and give you a booklet. Throughout the course you will have the chance to listen and share your parental experiences with other parents, pick up tips and make a plan of how to make your family life more enjoyable. If parents have any concerns around attending or participating in the course please talk to your local practitioner

What the Parents Said……
“Because I am more calm myself, everybody in the house is calmer”
“Thank you for giving me other ways to deal with problem behaviour instead of shouting at the kids and getting nowhere”
“It was completely life-changing. I went from being a traumatic single mother with five kids to a positive mother with happy kids”
“We didn’t have any major problems. I just wanted some tips and strategies and Triple P was great. So easy to use.”
“I was very grateful for a chance to be able to discuss my worries about my son, just little behaviours a mother needs help with”
“You get a lot of ideas & possible ways of dealing with things. It doesn’t mean all will work for all circumstances, but you can try them out and pick what works for you”
“Fantastic programme & reassuring for parents dealing with the transition into teenager and all it entails. Will highly recommend to my friends”

Click on the poster below to see full details of upcoming courses during the month of June in Laois, Offaly and Westmeath.


Triple P poster june 2017


Information Campaign on Affordable Childcare

dcyalogoFollowing on from the launch of the further sections have now been added where parents can view additional information.  There are three new areas as follows:

  • I have a child under 3 years
  • I currrently get DCYA supports
  • Can I get help with my childcare costs

Within each section parents will be guided to their entitlements and how they can apply for support.  Information evenings for parents will be held over the coming weeks in central areas.  For more information please contact Offaly County Childcare on 057 9135878.

For further details please see