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Minister O’Gorman launches National Quality Guidelines for School-Age Childcare Services

Minister O’Gorman launches National Quality Guidelines for School-Age Childcare ServicesNational Quality Guidelines for School Age Childcare Services

Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Roderic O’Gorman, T.D., has launched National Quality Guidelines for School-Age Childcare Services.

The National Quality Guidelines describe the features of good quality practice in childcare services for school-age children, including both after-school and holiday childcare services. The National Quality Guidelines will be an important resource for the diverse range of services that provide school-age childcare in Ireland today.

This publication is the output of a Working Group set up by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs in line with the first action identified in the Action Plan for School Age Childcare (2017). The Working Group brought together stakeholders and experts in school-age childcare, who worked intensively over an extended period to develop the Guidelines.

These National Quality Guidelines will assist, guide and inspire school-age childcare services to reach beyond the minimum standards set out in regulations. The Guidelines give central importance to children’s rights, child protection and welfare, equality and diversity, and environmentalism.

Speaking at today’s webinar launch, Minister O’Gorman said:

“I warmly welcome the publication of the National Quality Guidelines. These Guidelines will support school-age childcare providers and practitioners to give the best possible care for children.

“We all want to see childcare places that children will look forward to attending, and the guidelines published today will help achieve that. I would like to thank the Working Group for the effort and care they gave to produce this important resource.”

Consultation played a key part in the development of these guidelines. It included a consultation with children in 2016, a consultation with parents and providers in 2019, and a testing of the final draft Guidelines with a number of providers in 2020.

Minister O’Gorman also today published a report on the public consultation that took place to inform the development of comprehensive regulations and quality standards for school-age childcare. The process included an opportunity for public input into an earlier draft of the quality guidelines.

Minister O’Gorman added:

“The publication of the National Quality Guidelines recognises the importance of school-age childcare in the lives of children and families. The consultation process we carried out is part of our commitment to listen to those involved in school-age childcare and ensure that their voice informs new policy”.

The National Quality Guidelines for School Age Childcare Services are available here.

Plans for the roll-out, and training in the use, of the National Quality Guidelines will be announced over the coming months.

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​ECCE Payments week ending 18 September 2020

​ECCE Payments week ending 18 September 2020Early Years Hive

Dear Service provider

Payments based on registrations submitted and approved on Early Years Hive (including Higher Capitation and Aim Level 1 applications), by COB Tuesday 15/09/20, were paid last week on 18/09/20. In addition, a Higher Capitation preliminary payment was made as per announcement of 15/09/2020.

Because this was the first time payments were made based on registrations on the new Early Years Hive platform, the payments were split into batches to enable necessary validation checks and as a result, there may be up to 3 payments indicated on the Hive for w/e 18/09/2020; this may have resulted in more than one payment in your bank account. However, the total received in your bank account will reflect what was due to your service up to 16/10/20. Future ECCE payments will revert to a single composite payment.

In addition, some service providers have been querying the amount they received - below is an explanation of how the payment was calculated:

· Payment amounts calculated based on registrations submitted and approved by COB Tuesday 15/09/20 for the period to 16/10/20, less any non-payable weeks;
· The amount calculated is then reduced by preliminary payments made - this may have resulted in some providers not receiving a payment this week

Thank you
Early Years Team

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​Notice to Service Providers regarding ECCE Fees Lists checks by CCCs

​Notice to Service Providers regarding ECCE Fees Lists checks by CCCs

Dear Service Providers,DCYA main logo

Your local City and County Childcare Committee officials may be in touch with you shortly regarding the checking of your service’s ECCE Fees Lists. The Department of Children and Youth Affairs requests that you engage with them accordingly.

As you know, every year approximately 40% of Fees Lists submitted are checked for compliance against ECCE rules. The process this year is a little different and is as follows:

  • The selected Service Provider sends a screenshot copy of their Fees List to their local CCC official for checking.
  • The CCC official reviews the list and then liaises with the Service Provider to support and advise them if amendments are required.
  • The Service Provider amends their Fees List on the Hive and sends their local CCC official a screenshot of the amendments.

Regards,
Department of Children and Youth Affairs

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Programme of consultation on a Workforce Development Plan and a new Funding Model for early learning and care and school-age childcare

Programme of consultation on a Workforce Development Plan and a new Funding Model for early learning and DCYA main logocare and school-age childcare

  • Open for submissions from 19 August 2020
  • Submissions closed 2 October 2020

On 19 August 2020 Minister for Children, Disability, Equality and Integration, Roderic O'Gorman TD, announced a new programme of consultation on the future early learning and care and school-age childcare workforce and a future funding model for the sector.

In line with commitments in the First 5 strategy and commitments set out in the Programme for Government, the process to develop a Workforce Development Plan and to develop a new Funding Model commenced in 2019. Both reform initiatives will be informed by this inclusive consultation and engagement process.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, original consultation plans, which included large county level or regional gatherings of providers, practitioners and parents were cancelled. However both the Funding Model Expert Group, and the Workforce Development Plan Steering Group and Stakeholder Group, remain committed to ensuring that their work is informed by the views of parents, providers, staff and other stakeholders within the sector. To this end, a new programme of consultation has been scheduled for the coming months.

Separate calls for submissions on the Workforce Development Plan and the new Funding Model are now open. All interested parties are invited to submit to each call using the links provided below. The closing date for submissions is 2 October 2020.

Call for Submissions:

Workforce Development Plan (English): Submit Here

Workforce Development Plan (Irish): Submit Here

Funding Model (English): Submit Here

Funding Model (Irish): Submit Here

 

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Minister O’Gorman announces COVID-19 Supports for the Youth Sector

Minister O’Gorman announces COVID-19 Supports for the Youth SectorRoderic OGorman

From Department of Children and Youth Affairs

  • COVID-19 Small Grant Schemes for Youth Clubs and Services announced
  • Grants will support Youth Sector to continue face-to-face youth work and support for young people in the period ahead
  • Updated Guidance for Youth Work Organisations also published

Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Roderic O’Gorman TD, has approved a grant to youth clubs and services as a contribution towards some of the additional costs arising from COVID-19 restrictions. Over 1,500 funded clubs and organisations can avail of €100 capital grant for small works or once-off purchases, and €100 current grant for consumables such as masks, gloves or deep cleaning. The total fund available is some €338,000 nationally.

While youth funding has continued during the period of COVID-19 restrictions, it is recognised that the pressures on youth services and clubs remain. Some once-off purchases, installations and consumable costs related to the pandemic response will have been incurred and may not be eligible for support from other funding sources.

The scheme is available to a funded organisation receiving UBU/targeted youth funds, Youth Information Centres funded by the Department, or a youth club in receipt of grant under the 2020 Local Youth Club Grant Scheme. The funding will be made available to clubs and organisations through their local Education and Training Board.

Updated Guidance for Youth Work Organisations

The Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth has also today published updated Guidance for Youth Work Organisations. This guidance succeeds and replaces previous youth sector guidance and is prepared in the broader context of the Government’s Resilience & Recovery 2020-2021: Plan for Living with COVID-19.

The Department has again worked with a range of youth sector stakeholders to draw up this sector-specific guidance. The guidance is available here.

The Minister said:

“We know that young people have been hit hard by the Covid-19 restrictions, particularly in terms of mental health and wellbeing. We also know the important role that youth services are playing in responding to that.

“I am pleased therefore to issue new guidance for youth work organisations in light of the Government’s ‘Resilience and Recovery’ plan announced on Tuesday. I would like to recognise the support of our Youth Sector Oversight Group in helping us produce this guidance, and I hope that it provides clarity and assurance to organisations and projects delivering invaluable services to our young people.

He further added:

“I am also delighted to be able to make this contribution towards the costs being experienced by clubs and organisations funded by my Department. My Department has taken a pragmatic approach to funding and the sector has responded in positive and innovative ways. I am grateful to youth workers on the ground, club volunteers, youth officers, the ETBs and national youth organisations for keeping momentum going in these unique and challenging times.”

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