Offaly County Childcare Committee -   057 9135878

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

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AIM Level 1 LINC Applications

AIM Level 1 LINC Applications LINC Logo

Applications for all qualified LINC Co-Ordinators are open. Applications must be received before 31 October 2019 in order to receive funding for the full ECCE year. There will be no backdating of funding for applications received after that date.

All applications received after 31 October 2019 will only be paid the additional capitation from their approval date.

Newly qualified graduates can apply now using your Graduate ID (Student ID).

Services who had funding for previous years will need to reapply for the 2019/2020 ECCE year.

If your Inclusion Co-Ordinator is on extended leave (maternity/sick) then you will need to reapply when they return from leave.

If your Inclusion Co-Ordinator ceases employment or is on maternity or sick leave then you must complete a Notification of Change form[CL1] which you will find on PIP under Better Start Aim – Consent Forms and email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For any further queries, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

CCSP and TEC closing dates

CCSP will permanently close for new registrations at midnight Friday 25th October, 2019 in advance of the commencement of the National Childcare Scheme. After this date only CCSP PobalLogo
registrations with a status of 'Submitted' , 'Provisional' and 'Approved' will be eligible to remain on the programme and will be referred to as 'Savers'.

To support prompt processing all providers are requested to have all CCSP registrations submitted by COB 11th October, 2019.

After October 25th, no new entrants will be permitted to the scheme, although providers will be required to adjust their days and/or session types for existing registrations to ensure compliance with scheme rules. These changes can only be made during 'Saver Management Windows'. Please refer to Transitional Rules for the DCYA Targeted Childcare Funding Programmes for more information.

In order to amend registrations during the Saver Management Window, registrations must have a status of 'Approved'. To guarantee CCSP registrations can be approved in time to avail of the first Saver Management Window, Pobal advise service providers to have all CCSP registrations submitted by COB 11th October, 2019. If not, it may therefore be necessary, for providers who have submitted registrations after this date to wait for the next available savers window to amend existing registrations.

TEC programmes will remain open for new registrations until February 2020.

The proposed dates for the CCSP Saver Management Windows are as follows, and are subject to change:

October - 29th October, 2019 - 11th November, 2019

December - 20th December, 2019 - 13th January, 2020

February - 14th February, 2020 - 2nd March, 2020

April - 3rd April, 2020 - 20th April, 2020

June - 26th June, 2020 - 20th July, 2020

Minister Zappone publishes new data on the cost of early learning and care and school-age childcare to families

Published: 27 September 201919875672 1337059526348124 484620879276509836 n

From: Department of Children and Youth Affairs

Average full-time fees in May 2019 €184 per week, up 3.6%

Average part-time fees €110 per week, up 8%

Lowest full-time fees (for children 2-3 yrs) recorded in Co. Carlow, at €148 per week, with the highest full-time fees recorded in Dublin (Dun Laoghaire Rathdown), at €251 per week

The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr. Katherine Zappone, T.D. today published new data on the cost of early learning and care and school-age childcare to families in Ireland.

The publication of this information, which is drawn from almost 4,000 early learning and care and school age childcare services located around the country, seeks to provide parents with information, on the average cost for early learning and care and school-age childcare in their local area according to their child’s age. It highlights major variations across the country.

The information reveals that the average fee for full-time provision now stands at €184 per week - an increase of 3.6% since last year. The lowest full-time fees, for children 2-3 years old, were recorded in Co. Carlow at €148 per week, with the highest full-time fees recorded in Dublin (Dun Laoghaire Rathdown), at €251 per week for children.

Today’s publication coincides with final preparations for the introduction of the landmark National Childcare Scheme (NCS). This will introduce considerable enhancements to State supported early learning and care and school-age childcare from later this year.

The National Childcare Scheme is the first ever statutory entitlement to financial support for early learning and care and school-age childcare in Ireland. It aims to improve outcomes for children, reduce child poverty and tangibly reduce the cost of quality early learning and care and school-age childcare for thousands of families across Ireland. Importantly, it will also provide a robust and flexible platform for future investment. The OECD Faces of Joblessness Report has said it will significantly improve costs to parents in Ireland.

Speaking about the data being published today, Minister Zappone said:

“A key priority for me as Minister for Children and Youth Affairs is to reduce the cost of high-quality early learning and care and school-age childcare to parents and bring it into line with EU norms.
“Despite record investment in early learning and care and school-age childcare – with 117% increase in investment over the past four consecutive Budgets – the cost to families of early learning and care and school-age childcare remains higher in Ireland than in other OECD countries – with wide variation in fees across the country. Staff costs account, on average, for approximately 70% of services’ costs. We know that the average hourly rate for staff in the sector is just over €12.55 and the average hourly rate for Early Years Assistant is €11.44. As the State is not the employer, my Department does not pay the wages of staff working in early learning and care settings. A Labour Court Sectoral Employment Order (SEO) is the most viable mechanism to improve pay and conditions. I have repeatedly expressed support for an SEO and my Department is ready to co-operate with such a process when it is under way. I have engaged and will continue to engage with SIPTU on this issue.

“The introduction of the National Childcare Scheme will add to supports provided to parents over the last four years, for example the second year of the preschool scheme, and targeted subsidies of up to €145 per child per week. It will alleviate the burden on parents further, but more needs to be done. Efforts to address affordability will continue. This will be backed by the Government pledge, set out in the First 5 Strategy, to at least double the investment in early learning and care and school-age childcare by 2028.
“I recently announced plans to develop a new Funding Model for early learning and care and school-age childcare. This Funding Model will be a critical mechanism to ensure that the State leverages maximum value from that additional investment. As Minister I want to see improvements in terms of affordability for parents and the quality of service offered to children. This is highly dependent on a valued workforce. As part of its work, the Funding Model Expert Group will explore mechanisms to control the fees charged to parents, recognising that at present my Department has limited powers to do this.

“In the meantime, I urge parents to use this data to inform themselves of what they should expect to pay for early learning and care and school-age childcare in their area, and to check out www.ncs.gov.ie to see what subsidy they may be eligible for under the National Childcare Scheme.”

Link to www.ncs.gov.ie

Minister Zappone launches communications campaign on the National Childcare Scheme

Minister Zappone launches communications campaign on the National Childcare Scheme 19875672 1337059526348124 484620879276509836 n

Monday 23rd September 2019

The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr. Katherine Zappone TD is today (Monday, 23rd September) commencing a communications campaign on the National Childcare Scheme.

The Minister wishes to ensure that parents are aware of the forthcoming Scheme and ready to apply once it opens later this year. The National Childcare Scheme is set to open to parents and providers on the 29th October with payments flowing from November.

“I am delighted that we are in the final phase of completion of this highly complex and hugely important project. The National Childcare Scheme will assist thousands of families to access high quality and affordable early learning and care and school age childcare.”

The National Childcare Scheme is the first ever statutory entitlement to financial support for childcare in Ireland. It aims to improve outcomes for children, support lifelong learning and working families, reduce child poverty and tangibly reduce the cost of quality childcare for thousands of families across Ireland. Importantly, it will also provide a robust and flexible platform for future investment in childcare in Ireland.

Acknowledging that parents should have choice in how they apply to the Scheme, it has always been designed so they can apply online or by post. The initial roll out of the National Childcare Scheme will be on a phased basis, as per the expert recommendation of those overseeing the development of the Scheme. The online system will be available from October 29th. The paper based (i.e. postal) application system will be available in January 2020 for those who do not wish to apply online. From this point on, parents can apply either via the online or the postal route. A Public Services Card (PSC) and verified MyGovID account are required to apply online only.

In relation to the Data Protection Commissioner’s (DPC) report and published findings on certain aspects of the Public Services Card (PSC), the Government and the Attorney General have carefully considered the findings of the report, including the legal basis for the use of the PSC by specified bodies or persons (such as the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs).

The Government has agreed to challenge the findings of the report, as based on the legal advice received, it does not believe the DPC’s findings are correct in law. The advice of the Attorney General’s Office is that there is a strong legal basis for the continued public service wide use of the PSC.

The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection is continuing to engage with the DPC on this issue. Officials in the Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA) will, in turn, continue to liaise with that Department.
In launching the communications campaign for the Scheme, the Minister pledged: “My Department and I are committed to delivering the National Childcare Scheme as planned and, in so doing, assisting thousands of families to access high quality and affordable early learning and care and school age childcare.”

To ensure continuity of service for both parents and providers, the existing childcare support programmes will continue to operate until the launch of the National Childcare Scheme and for the 2019/2020 programme year. Children registered on these schemes will be able to remain on them for the duration of the academic year or switch over to the National Childcare Scheme once it launches.

A Parent Support Centre for the National Childcare Scheme is open and available to assist parents or guardians with any queries regarding the new National Childcare Scheme. It is open Monday to Friday from 9:00am – 5:00pm and parents can contact the centre by calling (01) 906 8530. Information on the Scheme is also available on our website at: www.ncs.gov.ie.

Expert Group to develop a new Funding Model for Early Learning and Care and School Age Childcare

Minister Zappone announces Expert Group to develop a new Funding Model for Early Learning and Care and School Age Childcare 19875672 1337059526348124 484620879276509836 n

The Expert Group will lead a process of in-depth analysis of evidence and an inclusive consultation and engagement process to take account of the voices of providers, parents and other stakeholders within the sector.
Michael Scanlan, former Secretary General of the Department of Health and Children, has been appointed as Chair to the group.
First 5 strategy pledges to build on the 117% increase in investment, made over the last four budgets, in order to make further progress towards average OECD levels of investment. The new Funding Model will ensure that the State leverages maximum value from that investment.

Wednesday 18 September 2019

The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr. Katherine Zappone TD, today announced the formal initiation of a project to develop a new Funding Model for Early Learning and Care and School Age Childcare and the establishment of an Expert Group to lead this work.

Today the Minister said:

“The Early Learning and Care sector is extremely important for hundreds of thousands of families. The 4,500 services in the sector make a massive contribution to children’s early development, particularly for more vulnerable children; they allow parents to participate in the workforce; and they are key to shaping our future economy and society”.

“Whilst we have increased investment by 117% over the last four budgets, doubled the numbers of children benefiting from subsidies, doubled the number of places, doubled the free pre-school scheme, addressing affordability and accessibility and raising quality remain important issues. Government has committed to doubling investment again over the next 10 years and with this investment we should see further major improvements. But, the State must also take care that public money ensures that the fees charged to parents reflect true costs and a reasonable profit only, and that income is used in a reasonable manner to provide appropriate terms and conditions for staff in the sector. A range of initiatives are underway by my Department to address these and other issues, and, as part of that landscape of reform, a review of our funding model is critical.”

The Expert Group has been requested to examine the current model of funding, its effectiveness in delivering quality, affordable, sustainable and inclusive services and how additional resourcing can be delivered for the sector to achieve these objectives drawing on international practice in this area. The Expert Group will also design an inclusive consultation and engagement process to take account of the voices of providers, parents and other stakeholders within the sector. Their recommendations will be brought back to Government in due course for approval. The development of the new Funding Model advances a number of the key actions contained in First 5: A Whole-of-Government Strategy for Babies, Young Children and their Families (2019-2028).

Government’s First 5 strategy pledges to build on recent investment in order to make further progress towards average OECD levels of investment. A new Funding Model will be a crucial mechanism to ensure that the State leverages maximum value from that additional investment in terms of affordability for parents and the quality of service offered to children, complementing the transformation the new National Childcare Scheme will bring, and the existing ECCE scheme. It will also be informed by those running current services and aspiring to provide the best service to children and families.

The Expert Group will be independently chaired and will include national and international experts in Early Learning and Care and School Age Childcare systems, funding and quality; economics; and relevant policy experts from the Government Departments which will be involved in implementing the new Funding Model. Michael Scanlan, former Secretary General of the Department of Health and Children, has been appointed as Chair to the group.

The remaining members are follows:

Professor Edward Melhuish, Professor of Human Development at Oxford University and a highly renowned international research expert on quality in Early Learning and Care
Professor Eva Lloyd, Director of the International Centre for the Study of the Mixed Economy of Childcare and a Professor of Early Childhood in the Cass School of Education and Communities at the University of East London, highly specialised in the niche field of funding of Early Learning and Care
Tove Mogstad Slinde, Senior Adviser in the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research in the Department of Kindergartens and Schools and former Chair of the OECD Network on Early Childhood Education and Care.
Dr Tim Callan, former Research Professor at the ESRI and with significant experience in tax and welfare policy, financial incentives to work, labour supply, and income distribution
Dr Rory O’Donnell, former Director of the National Economic and Social Council leading analysis on a wide range of economic, social and environmental issues
Officials from the Departments of Children and Youth Affairs (Bernie McNally, Dr. Anne-Marie Brooks), Education and Skills and Public Expenditure and Reform.
Minister Zappone continued:

“I am delighted to have secured this group of highly renowned national and international experts. They are taking on an important and challenging task, to support my Department in developing additional ways to invest in Early Learning and Care and School Age Childcare services in a way that will deliver better affordability for parents and better quality for children. I know that they are keen to consult with parents and providers and to have these discussions inform their recommendations. I am confident that the group will bring the full breadth and depth of their expertise to this task and l look forward to receiving their report in due course.”

The work of the group will be supported by a research partnership, a tender for which has recently been published, to deliver rigorous, evidence-based inputs to the group to allow them to explore and test various ideas.

The first meeting of the Expert Group will take place on 29th and 30th October 2019.

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.

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