Offaly County Childcare Committee -   057 9135878    info@offalychildcare.com

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Welcome to Offaly County Childcare Committee

Our site is packed with information so whether you're a parent, working with children, interested in a childcare career or just browsing, this is the place for you!

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

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TWSCS resumption of recoupment

TWSCS resumption of recoupmentpobal logo

The Department has provided significant financial supports to the Early Learning and Care (ELC) and School Age Childcare (SAC) sector throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. This included the Temporary Wage Subsidy Childcare Scheme (TWSCS), which supported services by providing funding to top-up staff wages and contribute towards overhead costs. To ensure that funding continued to flow, a number of preliminary payments were made, which in some cases resulted in overpayments.

The overpayment amount will be viewable on your PIP portal in due course. In the meantime, if you have any concerns/issues regarding your overpayment, you can contact the Early Years Provider Centre directly or alternatively raise a service request on the HIVE and select the following options:

  • Request type: TWSCS
  • Request type detail: TWSCS
  • Programme Request: Covid 19 Supports

The recoupment of these overpayments commenced in November 2020 and there was an option to extend the recoupment into 2021 with final payments made by end March 2021. However, in light of new Level 5 restrictions in the post-Christmas period, a decision was made to delay any outstanding recoupments. This decision was made to avoid placing any undue administrative burden on services and financial challenges at a time where there were already additional pressures and uncertainty.

The Department remains committed to its public duty of ensuring that all tax payer money is properly accounted for, and for this reason recoupment will now resume and take place from April until June 2021. Services that have overpayments are now given advance notice to allow them to make arrangements to manage their cashflow in the coming weeks. Recoupment plans already agreed will resume in April and will be completed by the end of June. For all other services, you may either repay Pobal directly or we will spread the recoupment across payments due from April to June in agreement with Pobal.

ELC and SAC services continue to be supported through a number of funding packages such as the extension of the enhanced EWSS until the end of June, and more recently the DCEDIY–led COVID Operating Support Payment (COSP) to ensure that services’ ongoing sustainability is maintained.

If for any reason a service does have concerns about sustainability arising from recoupment of TWSCS overpayments, they are advised to contact Pobal. If this arrangement is not viable for the business and an alternative arrangement is needed, this can be arranged. Hence, if you have any concerns or issues, please raise a service Request on the HIVE (see steps above)

Pobal will be available to support any providers who face sustainability issues with resumption of TWSCS recoupment and will work with you to manage re-payments.

The enhanced EWSS, COSP and other Government measures have been designed to support providers to the greatest extent possible. If your service is currently experiencing sustainability issues even after these measures, the Department has asked us to advise you of a new Sustainability Fund in place – COVID19 Impacts Support Fund. This will assist providers (not-for-profit and for-profit) that require further financial assistance in addition to current support measures available to remain viable. The Department encourages providers in such circumstances to contact their CCC to seek advice on applying for this funding which is available from 1 March.

As stated previously, Pobal recognises the pressure that services have been under and is committed to continuing to work with the Department and the sector to support all providers through these exceptionally difficult times.

Early Years Hive Improvements

Early Years HiveDear Service Provider,

We are happy to highlight two updates recently made to the Early Years Hive based on service provider feedback. We will continue to work with services on ways to improve the user experience of this portal and will communicate any changes with you here.

Announcements calendar

A new calendar feature has been added to Hive, located under the Announcements menu dropdown. This calendar displays key dates and upcoming deadlines for services on a monthly basis, this should be especially beneficial as we move closer to the summer months and Programme Readiness.

Announcements will continue to be posted on the Announcements page, but this calendar gives a clear visualisation of what’s coming up and what actions may need to be taken by services. We advise that you check both this calendar and the announcements page regularly to keep updated.

Note the entries on this calendar are managed by Pobal and cannot be edited or added to by the portal user.

Guidance for the Funding menu

New guidance has been added under the Quick Guides section of the Early Years Hive. This page will help you navigate the Funding menu of Hive and can be accessed by going to NCS Quick Guides > Payments/funding.

Three new training videos are available on this page. These videos show you how to do the following on Hive:

  • View programme funding via the Contracts page
  • View payments issued via the Payments Issued page
  • View allocations via the Allocations page

Please also note that there are further training videos available for NCS and ECCE on YouTube.

Thank you,

Early Years Team

 

Guidance and Reopening Videos for ELC and SAC services.

Guidance and Reopening Videos for ELC and SAC services.

The Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth (DCEDIY) have produced a number of guidance and reopening videos for Early Learning Ccare and School Age Childcare services.

Please see links to videos below:

Phased reopening (08 March) of Early Learning and Care and School-Age Childcare services

Dealing with COVID-19 symptoms in ELC/SAC settings

The importance of play as children return to early learning and childcare settings

 https://first5.gov.ie/guidance

Key messages for childminding settings

Social distancing for adults: information for adults about social distancing in ELC/SAC settings

Helping kids through it: a reminder to us all about supporting children’s wellbeing at this time.

 https://first5.gov.ie/guidance

Important information for adults regarding the use of face coverings in ELC/SAC settings

 Operating play-pods is key to keeping both children and staff in ELC and SAC settings safe

National Childcare Scheme 

https://first5.gov.ie/guidance https://www.ncs.gov.ie/en/

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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