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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Minister O’Gorman publishes Independent Review of the Costs of Providing Quality Early Learning and Childcare in Ireland

Minister O’Gorman publishes Independent Review of the Costs of Providing Quality Early Learning and Childcare in Ireland Review of costs of childcare

The Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Roderic O’Gorman, T.D., today launched the Independent Review of the Cost of Providing Quality Early Learning and Childcare in Ireland.

The Review, undertaken by Crowe in association with Apteligen in 2018, is part of a wider commitment by the Minister to establish an evidence base for the development and support of high-quality, accessible and affordable early learning and childcare provision in Ireland.

The Independent Review set out to:

  • analyse the current costs of providing early learning and childcare and the factors that impact on these costs;
  • deliver a model of the unit costs of providing early learning and childcare that allows analysis of policy changes and variation in cost-drivers, and
  • provide a high-level market analysis of the sector in Ireland.

The process involved engagement with key stakeholders from the sector, and the administration of a survey to centre-based providers nationally.

The Independent Review provides a) an hourly unit cost for delivering childcare for all services, b) an hourly unit cost for delivering childcare across service types and location, c) key costs drivers, and d) an average breakdown of operating costs in childcare services.

Unit Cost
The average hourly unit cost for delivering childcare across all services was €4.14. This average hourly unit cost varied across service type and geographic area.

Cost Drivers
Service type and service location were identified among the key cost drivers in the Review. Other key cost drivers included occupancy levels and service size.

Differences in the average unit cost highlight that early learning and childcare may be generally cheaper to deliver in some areas (e.g. rural areas: possibly due to local premises costs) and in some services (e.g. school-age childcare services: possibly due to lower ratio requirements; and sole traders: possibly due to lower premises costs). Differences also highlight how early learning and childcare can be delivered more efficiently (e.g. larger services: possibly due to economies of scale; and services with higher occupancy rates). There is also evidence of higher costs for higher quality (e.g. services employing graduates: possibly due to higher staff costs).

Cost breakdown
The broad components of early learning and childcare services’ operating costs were also identified through the Review. This suggested a pattern consistent with those found in other countries, with staff costs accounting for almost 70 percent of the overall operating costs.

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

“I warmly welcome the publication of the Independent Review of the Costs of Providing Quality Childcare in Ireland. I would like to extend my gratitude to the report authors Crowe and Apteligen, and to the providers who gave so willingly their time to participate.

"The findings from this Review provide us with a rich and detailed understanding of the childcare market and a sound analytical underpinning to inform future funding decisions.

"An output of the Review was the development of a cost calculator. This is a powerful tool that will assist my Department to accurately estimate the impacts of potential future policy changes on the cost of delivering a service.

"Already, this has been used successfully to inform my Department’s approach to funding services during COVID-19 closures in the sector, and through the phased reopening of services since 29 June.

"In the future, it will form a key input into the setting of future funding rates and will be considered by the Expert Group convened by my Department to develop a new funding model for the sector.”

Minister O’Gorman added:

“While the findings on unit cost give us some confidence in our current levels of State subvention, I am acutely aware that the unit cost is based on pay rates in the sector that are unacceptably low. I also acknowledge that the unit cost varies substantially across services and, for some services, their unit cost will be lower or higher than this.

"In First 5, Government has pledged to at least double investment in early learning and childcare by 2028.

"We have now assembled a robust evidence base to inform these future funding decisions and ensure fairness in the distribution of State supports”.

The Minister also used the opportunity of the launch to thank the sector again for their continued and tireless efforts to offer safe and nurturing services for children as the COVID pandemic endures.

The Independent Review of the Costs of Providing Childcare is available here. (Executive Summary)

ELC & SAC COVID-19 Sustainability Support Fund

ELC & SAC COVID-19 Sustainability Support Fundsustainability update

Dear Provider,

We are pleased to announce that a further applicant window to apply for the COVID-19 Sustainability Support Fund will open from today 14th October 2020 and will close at 5pm on 20th October 2020. All applications that were received after 5pm on 13th October will be assessed in this window.

This funding is accessible to providers (not-for-profit and for-profit) who can demonstrate that the other measures available as part of the July Stimulus Package are not sufficient by themselves to enable viable operations of their business. Further information in relation to eligibility is available in the Guidelines.

The Application Form, Workbook, and Applicant Guidelines for the ELC & SAC COVID-19 Sustainability Support Fund are available on the Hive and can be accessed here:

Support for Service Providers in relation to the completion of the Application Form and Workbook is available via the local City and County Childcare Committees. Contact details can be found in the Guidelines document. Pobal EYPC will not be providing support within this context except where queries relate to accessing the Hive.

Early Years Team

AIM Informed Consent

AIM Informed ConsentAIM Logo

Dear Service Provider,

With effect from 20th July 2020, the parental AIM consent form was updated. Please remove any previous AIM Informed consent forms you may hold on your desktop. Older consent forms will not be accepted and will be referred back.

Link to the new consent form below:

In order to apply for AIM Level 4, 5, or 7, consent from the Parent/Guardian is required to be submitted with the child’s application. This will enable the Early Years Specialist and other professionals to support a child’s inclusion in the pre-school for the duration of his or her ECCE registration and to plan for his or her transition to primary school.

The information required on the AIM informed consent form includes;

  • The child’s name
  • The Service DCYA reference number
  • The setting name
  • Signatures of the Parent’s/Guardian of the child.

The form should then be uploaded onto PIP and submitted with the application. This form is a legal document and should be legible, completed in full and all signatures need to be dated.

Applications cannot be processed without been fully completed and will be referred back to the service for completion.

Early Years Team

Higher Capitation Preliminary Payments to ELC Providers in RECEIPT of Higher Capitation in 2019/2020

Higher Capitation Preliminary Payments to ELC Providers in RECEIPT of Higher Capitation in 2019/2020

Dear Service Provider, PobalLogo

Service Providers who are in receipt of a Higher Capitation preliminary payment and whose application status is ‘Awaiting Appraisal’ or ‘Referred Back’ (@ Tues 13/10/2020) will retain the funding until the service is either approved Higher Capitation or until the next Batch payment on 20/11/2020.

The Higher Capitation preliminary payment will be reversed for services who have yet to submit an application (as notified 15/09/2020).

All ELC Providers are encouraged to apply for Higher Capitation as soon as possible.

Early Years Team

Scheduled Maintenance – PIP Portal and Early Years Hive

Scheduled Maintenance – PIP Portal and Early Years Hive Early Years Hive

Dear Service Provider,

Essential scheduled maintenance to the PIP Portal will take place today, 7th October between 5pm and 11pm.

Some information will be temporarily unavailable during this time. Correct information will be restored on your portal once the maintenance is complete.

Further to this, both the Early Years Hive and the National Childcare Scheme website will be unavailable tomorrow, 8th October between 5pm and 8.30pm due to scheduled maintenance.

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause

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.

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