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Welcome to Offaly County Childcare Committee

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Offaly County Childcare Committee is located at St Joseph's Community Centre in Kilcormac, Co Offaly.

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Minister announces new funding arrangements to support delivery of early learning and childcare during extended Level 5 restrictions

Minister announces new funding arrangements to support delivery of early learning and childcareDCEDIY logo
during extended Level 5 restrictions

From Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth

Published on 27 January 2021

Following Cabinet approval yesterday (26 January) for the continuation of additional measures under full Level 5 restrictions, the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Roderic O’Gorman, T.D., has announced new funding measures to support the Early Learning and Care and School Aged Childcare (ELC and SAC) sector up to 5 March.

The Minister has also confirmed that the pre-school (ECCE) programme will continue to be suspended during these extended restrictions. Other early learning and childcare services can remain open for children whose parents work in an essential service and for vulnerable children.

The new funding arrangements are as follows:

  • Services open during this period will continue to receive 70% of the value of ECCE programme funding and 100% of funding provided under other Department schemes (i.e. the National Childcare Scheme (NCS), the Community Childcare Subvention Plus (CCSP), and the Access and Inclusion Model (AIM)) These services can also receive the additional 30% of ECCE Programme funding if they commit to certain conditions that includes waiving fees for parents not using the service and retaining staff where possible.
  • Services closed during this period, where the closure is approved by the Department, will receive 70% of the value of ECCE programme funding and 100% of funding provided under other Department schemes (i.e. NCS, CCSP, and AIM). This funding will be conditional on a commitment to waive fees for parents and retain staff where possible.
  • A newly designed Covid-19 Support Payment is being put in place to support some providers with a significant reliance on parental fee income to waive fees during this period while remaining sustainable.

Central to the funding arrangements is the enhanced EWSS, which early learning and childcare providers continue to be eligible to access without having to demonstrate reduction in turnover as other employers do. The enhanced EWSS is estimated to cover 80% of payroll costs or 50% of full operating costs of this services.

Outlining the arrangements, Minister O’Gorman said:

“We all know how important early learning and childcare is to children and families around the country, and the incredible job these services have done throughout the pandemic.

"These funding arrangements are designed to ensure that the significant public money which is being invested in early learning and childcare is structured in a fair and balanced way to support both parents and providers.

“We want to ensure services can remain open, even at very low levels of occupancy, so that they can be available to children and families who need them at this time, whether this be to protect vulnerable children or to enable parents to work in an essential service. We also want to ensure parents aren’t charged when they do not use a service.

"This funding will build on existing funding schemes and other whole of economy supports, such as the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) and will also enable providers to reimburse parents who do not take up the service, and support providers to retain their staff and to reopen as normal once restrictions are lifted.”

In designing these funding supports, Minister O’Gorman engaged with the Early Learning and Childcare

COVID-19 Advisory Group. He briefed the Group on these supports at a meeting on 25 January.

These funding arrangements will apply up to 5 March in line with the Government’s announcement and reflect the unique challenges and demands facing the sector.

Further information on these funding arrangements will issue to providers and to parents today.

New funding arrangements for early learning and care services from 1 February to 5 March

New funding arrangements for early learning and care services from 1 February to 5 MarchDCEDIY logo

Dear Provider,

We are writing to inform you of new funding arrangements for early learning and childcare services from 1 February to 5 March.

Following Cabinet approval yesterday (26 January) for the continuation of additional measures under full Level 5 restrictions, the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Roderic O’Gorman, T.D., has announced new funding measures to support the early learning and childcare sector up to 5 March.

The Minister has also confirmed that the pre-school (ECCE) programme will continue to be suspended during these extended restrictions. Other early learning and childcare services can remain open for children whose parents work in an essential service and for vulnerable children.

The new funding arrangements are as follows:

  • Services open during this period will continue to receive 70% of the value of ECCE programme funding and 100% of funding provided under other Department schemes (i.e. the National Childcare Scheme (NCS), the Community Childcare Subvention Plus (CCSP), and the Access and Inclusion Model (AIM)) These services can also receive the additional 30% of the value of ECCE Programme funding if they commit to certain conditions that includes waiving fees for parents not using the service and retaining staff where possible.
  • Services closed during this period, where the closure is approved by the Department, will receive 70% of the value of ECCE programme funding and 100% of funding provided under other Department schemes (i.e. NCS, CCSP, and AIM). This funding will be conditional on a commitment to waive fees for parents and retain staff where possible.
  • A newly designed Covid-19 Support Payment is being put in place to support some providers with a significant reliance on parental fee income to waive fees during this period while remaining sustainable.

Central to the funding arrangements is the enhanced EWSS, which early learning and childcare providers continue to be eligible to access without having to demonstrate reduction in turnover as other employers do. The enhanced EWSS is estimated to cover 80% of payroll costs or 50% of full operating costs of these services.

In designing these funding supports, Minister O’Gorman engaged with the Early Learning and Childcare COVID-19 Advisory Group.

These funding arrangements will apply up to 5 March in line with the Government’s announcement and reflect the unique challenges and demands facing the sector.

Please find detailed FAQs on these new funding arrangement here.

Details of the funding arrangement for the period 1 February to 5 March 2021.

The funding arrangements described below is designed to ensure that the significant public money which is being invested in services at this time is structured in a fair and balanced way.

Central to these funding arrangements is the enhanced Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme, which early learning and childcare providers continue to be eligible to access, without having to demonstrate reduction in turnover as other employers do. All providers are encouraged to avail of this scheme which significantly contributes to payroll costs, covering at least 80% of average wage costs in most instances.

i. Open Services (Non-ECCE only, for children whose parents are essential workers and vulnerable children

Standard funding:

Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS);

+ 70% of the value of ECCE funding

+ 100% of NCS, CCSP, TEC, AIM funding

Enhanced funding:

Remaining 30% of the value of ECCE funding

+ Covid-19 Support Payment (CSP)*

* for services with high degrees of reliance on parental fees

Enhanced funding is conditional on commitments to: waive fees for non-participating children; hold children’s places; retain staff

 

ii. Closed Services, DCEDIY-approved closure (i.e. ECCE only or closed due to Force Majeure)

Standard funding:

EWSS

Enhanced funding:

+ 70% of the value of ECCE funding

+ 100% funding NCS, CCSP, TEC and AIM;

+ Covid-19 Support Payment (CSP)*

*for services with high degrees of reliance on parental fees

Enhanced funding is conditional on commitments to: waive all fees; hold children’s places; retain staff; engage with ECCE children not attending the service

 

iii. Closed Services, HSE-directed on public health grounds

Standard funding:

Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS);

+ 70% of the value of ECCE funding

+ 100% of NCS, CCSP, TEC, AIM funding

Enhanced funding:

Remaining 30% of the value of ECCE funding

+ Covid-19 Support Payment (CSP)*

* for services with high degrees of reliance on parental fees

Enhanced funding is conditional on commitments to: waive all fees; hold children’s places; retain staff

 

iv. Closed Services not DCEDIY-approved or HSE-directed

Standard funding:

EWSS

Regards,
DCEDIY

HSE webinar : COVID-19 Infection Control Guidance for Childcare Settings

HSE webinar : COVID-19 Infection Control Guidance for Childcare Settingshpsc HSE logo

The HSE / HPSC will provide a webinar for services in relation to the operation of ELC and SAC services during the pandemic next Wednesday, 27 January at 1pm. Some of you will have attended a similar webinar delivered by the HSE / HPSC last July which we hope was helpful.

Further details on the webinar are set out below, including details on how to register. As noted in the invite, if you would like to have a query or issue raised at the webinar, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by Monday, 25 January.

Date: Wednesday 27th January from 1-2pm

Presented by: Prof Martin Cormican, Clinical Lead Infection Prevention and Control
Dr Abigail Collins , Consultant in Public Health Medicine
Mary Mc Kenna, Infection Prevention and Control, Assistant Director of Nursing

To pre-register and attend copy the following link to your internet browser and follow the instructions

https://hse-webinar.webex.com/hse-webinar/onstage/g.php?MTID=e67a49a199e71b84e5124b68243918c06 

When you join the webinar you can view the slide set and material and listen to the webinar over the computer, sound quality may be better over the phone:

For telephone access use the following:
Irish dial in number: 01 5260058
Access code: 175 090 1491

FREE online, interactive workshops “Supporting Your Child’s Transition from Pre-school to Primary school”

FREE online, interactive workshops “Supporting Your Child’s Transition from Pre-school to PrimaryTransitions from pre school to primary 26 01 2021
school”

Is your child starting Primary school in September 2021?

The National Parents Council Primary are running FREE online, interactive workshops “Supporting Your Child’s Transition from Pre-school to Primary school”

They will be full of practical hints, tips and advice to support you to support your child’s transition to primary school.

Where: Online

When: Dates and times starting on 2nd February 2021 (visible when you click the link)

How: To register click on the link below and choose a date and time that suits.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/NPCEarlyYears2021

If you have any questions, please contact Clare Downey, NPC Early Years' Service Manager This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Version 3 of Provider FAQs on ELC/SAC operation from 11 to 31 January

Version 3 of Provider FAQs on ELC/SAC operation from 11 to 31 JanuaryPobalLogo

Dear Service Provider,

Please see  Version 3 of FAQs related to the current arrangements for provision of early learning and care and school age childcare from 11 to 31 January.

The updated information is highlighted in grey in the text to distinguish it from previous versions.

Further information and FAQs regarding 1 February onwards and will issue as soon as possible.

Early Years Team

Supporting Quality Childcare in Offaly

Offaly County Childcare Committee support the development of quality, affordable, inclusive, accessible childcare and family friendly services for all children in every part of the county.

Offaly County Childcare Committee has been meeting since May 2001 and is made up of representatives from the statutory sector, social partners, community groups, voluntary groups, the Community and Voluntary Forum, National Voluntary Children's Organisations, providers of childcare, and parents - all of whom have a vested interest in childcare provision in the county.

Learn more

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