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 Zappone welcomes publication of Comhairle na nÓg Annual Report 2019

Minister Zappone welcomes publication of Comhairle na nÓg Annual Report 2019comhairlenanog logo
From Department of Children and Youth Affairs

2019 marks another successful year for Comhairle na nÓg, Ireland’s local youth councils, with almost 4,000 young people participating across all 31 Local Authorities nationwide, according to the organisations’ 2019 Annual Report which was published today.

Comhairle na nÓg ensures that young people can participate in local and national structures. They are a vital infrastructure to ensure the full participation of young people in decisions that directly impact their lives.

Throughout the year Comhairle na nÓg has continued to help young people achieve significant outcomes on many topics of importance including mental health, drugs and alcohol, safe communities and safe socialisation, education, health and wellbeing, discrimination and equality and relationships and sexuality. Mental health was the key topic in 2019.

Welcoming the publication of the Report, the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr Katherine Zappone said:

“The work of young people through Comhairle na nÓg continues to inspire me. I believe that children and young people have a right to a voice and a right to participate in decisions that affect their lives. Comhairle na nÓg provides a meaningful space for young people and enables them to voice their opinions on the challenges we have in our communities. Through the engagement with decision makers, Comhairle na nÓg also works to ensure young people are part of how we respond to these issues, thereby making their participation both meaningful and valuable in effecting positive change.”

An exceptional event from last year was Dáil na nÓg 2019, where 168 delegates from Comhairle na nÓg took seats in the Dáil chamber to celebrate 100 years of democracy in Ireland and the first Dáil in 1919. It was the first time young people had the opportunity to cast their votes in the Dáil Chamber and they voted to set out a climate change agenda for the current National Executive.

2019 was also the year where two key actions were brought to fruition under the theme of equality in a school setting. The Comhairle na nÓg National Executive, which is made up of one member from each of the Comhairle na Óg local groups, achieved two important projects related to equality in education:

  • The #TeachMeAsMe social media campaign, to highlight how schools can ensure all young people are treated equally; and
  • Our Voices Our Schools, an online toolkit for schools to enable young people’s decision-making in everyday school life.

Acknowledging the achievements of 2019, Minister Zappone said:

"Young voices are key in deciding the future of our communities and our country. Every time I meet the members of Comhairle I feel confident about our future. They are ready, willing and able to confront the many challenges in an uncertain world. These young people work hard to create a better, brighter future. I hope they are extremely proud of what they have achieved in 2019, I know I am.”

Ireland is a world leader in terms of the direct commitment by national and local Government to establishing and sustaining local youth councils. As a consultative forum, Comhairle na nÓg plays a vital role in representing the voice of young people in Ireland and in developing resources and disseminating information to young people on a wide range of topics. The Department of Children and Youth Affairs is committed to ensuring the ongoing engagement of young people in decision making through the permanent structures of Comhairle na nÓg.

Letter from EY Division re. Winding down of TWSCS 15/06/2020

Letter from EY Division re. Winding down of TWSCS 15/06/2020DCYA main logo

Dear providers,

Please see attached letter from Early Years Division in relation to the winding down of the Temporary Wage Subsidy Childcare Scheme (TWSCS) following the planned reopening of the childcare sector on June 29.

Regards,

Early Years Division.
DCYA.

The Early Years Service Profile 2019/20 is now LIVE on the PIP and Hive portals

The Early Years Service Profile 2019/20 is now LIVE on the PIP and Hive portalsprofile 19 20

Introduction
The 2019/2020 Early Years Service Profile is the primary data source on the Irish early learning and care and school-age childcare sector. It is developed and published by Pobal on behalf of the Department of Children and Youth Affairs.

The Annual Early Years Service Profile, which has been running for over 17 years, plays a central role in informing policy development and assessing the impact of policy change. It provides comprehensive national analysis of over 4,500 early learning and care and school-age childcare services throughout Ireland on key issues, such as capacity, staff and costs.

The continuation of this survey in 2020 is more important than ever given the challenges COVID-19 have presented for this sector, and the information you provide will be essential for future policy development as well as short term emergency planning. It will also ensure that we maintain an accurate, up-to-date and evidence-based profile of the early learning and care and school-age childcare sector in Ireland, and that we can capture a profile of services before the COVID-19 closures in March. This means that, in time, when the survey rolls out again, we can objectively assess the impact of COVID-19 on individual services and on the sector as a whole.

COVID-19 Notice
This survey covers the period up to the closure of early learning and care and school-age childcare services on 12th March 2020. All responses (including staff details, wages and fees) should therefore reflect how the service was operating up to this date.

Pobal and the DCYA appreciate you taking the time to complete this survey, which has been shortened this year to include only the most critical information needed for Government policy and planning. We understand that the sector is experiencing unprecedented challenges due to COVID-19, and that their focus is placed on working towards the phased reopening of services in line with the Roadmap for Reopening Society and Business. We also acknowledge and sincerely thank the services for their participation in the recent survey, which was rolled out to inform plans on reopening.

About the survey
This annual survey is developed and published by Pobal on behalf of the Department of Children and Youth Affairs. The content of the survey is also informed by a stakeholder consultation, which was conducted in partnership with the Early Years Forum.

The data collected will allow for in-depth analysis of the sector across a range of headings including:

  • Service detail and provision
  • Capacity and attendance
  • Staffing (numbers, qualifications, staffing retention, level of turnover etc.)

By providing the most up-to-date national data on the sector, we are able to support a range of key stakeholders in their planning and analysis. For instance, data may be shared with:
Government Departments (e.g. Department of Education and Skills, Early Years Inspectorate)

  • Organisations conducting research and analysis on behalf of Government Departments
  • Statutory agencies (e.g. Túsla Early Years Inspectorate)
  • Better Start Early Years Specialist Service
  • City/County Childcare Committees
  • Local Authorities (to inform local planning and development priorities)

Summary data will also be provided to the following organisations for research and statistical purposes:

  • Voluntary Childcare Organisations
  • Central Statistics Office
  • OECD
  • Third Level Institutions

Data from this survey may also be combined with findings from other surveys of the early learning and care and school-age childcare sector conducted on behalf of the Department of Children and Youth Affairs.

We have made every effort to keep the survey concise and relevant. Only questions that relate to key policy and planning priorities are included in the survey.

Completing the Survey:
A service profile should be completed for each facility i.e. one for each DCYA reference number.

How long will it take to complete the service profile?
The length of time it takes to complete the survey depends on the size of the service, the number of staff and number of children enrolled. It is expected to take approximately one hour. The survey will save so you can complete it in more than one sitting before final submission.

Why does the survey look different to previous years?
This year’s survey was developed on a new platform and so the layout and format of some questions has been changed.

Can I complete the service profile through Irish?
Based on feedback from the sector, we had intended to offer the service profile through Irish this year. This unfortunately has not been possible due to resource constraints arising from COVID-19. Pobal and the DCYA continue to work towards this goal for future years.

When is it due?
The deadline for completing the survey is 5pm, Friday 26th June.

Who can we contact for assistance?
If you experience any difficulties accessing or completing this survey, please contact the Early Years Provider Centre at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. While we are unable to accept calls at the moment due to COVID-19 constraints, we can arrange a call back for you at a time that suits

Early Years Team

Minister Zappone and Minister McHugh announce information and resources for children preparing for pre-school and junior infants

Minister Zappone and Minister McHugh announce information and resources for children preparing for pre-school and junior infants Lets get ready
From Department of Children and Youth Affairs

Published at: 15 June 2020

The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr Katherine Zappone and the Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh TD, today launched an initiative for children and families – Let’s Get Ready – a gov.ie resource to support young children and their parents/guardians plan for returning to Early Learning and Care (ELC) settings or transitioning to pre-school or primary school for the first time.

As Early Learning and Care settings plan to re-open from 29 June, the Let’s Get Ready website provides guidance for children and parents preparing to return these settings. There is a particular focus on new public health requirements introduced in response to COVID-19.

The Let’s Get Ready website also focuses on children preparing to attend pre-school or primary school for the first time from this September. Let’s Get Ready includes guidance for parents on practical steps they can take to support their children over these coming months and tips on what children and parents can expect on their transition or return to pre-school and primary school.

A transitions pack for children starting primary school is soon to be distributed through a range of channels, including through City and County Childcare Committees (CCCS), Early Learning and Care settings and Home School Liaison Officers. This pack includes a tip sheet for parents, a transitions card for children and a ‘Mo Scéal’ transitions template developed by the National Council of Curriculum and Assessment for completion by parents. This templates enables parents to share key information with their child’s teacher and the school.

Speaking today, Minister Zappone said:

“All over the country, as early learning and care settings prepare to re-open later this month, children and families are also preparing to return to these familiar settings and to reconnect with the friends and staff who know them well. A new cohort of children are also planning to enrol in pre-school later this year.

“Transitions can create a range of emotions for children and families under normal circumstances and need to be supported. Transitions during these extraordinary times merit even greater attention.

“Let’s Get Ready is a government-led initiative that provides parents and guardians with useful tips and suggests fun play-based activities parents can do to support their children with these important transitions”

Minister McHugh said:

“Starting in primary school is a huge milestone for children and their families. We are working hard with all the education partners on planning for school re-opening, to support children’ first days, weeks and months of their primary school life.

"Let’s Get Ready will be an important way to communicate with parents as we provide further information and support about school re-opening plans over the coming months”.

FAQs on the Funding Package available to support ELC & SAC services to reopen from 29 June - 12/06/2020

FAQs on the Funding Package available to support ELC & SAC services to reopen from 29 June - 12/06/2020FAQ Reopening package V1

Please find attached information on the Funding Package available to support Early Learning and Care and School Age Childcare (ELC and SAC) to reopen from 29 June.

The Government has provided a substantial funding package, with supports for reopening costs, wage costs, and capital costs alongside the resumption of ELC and SAC subsidy schemes. The funding recognises the important role that the ELC and SAC sector plays in the economic and societal infrastructure of the country.

The attached FAQs are intended to provide clarity on how this funding package will work. These FAQs aim to be informative but may be added to and/or amended as more information becomes available. The Department will also be keeping track of any queries we receive and clarify any areas of uncertainty in an updated FAQ if necessary.

As always, your local CCCs will be available to offer support. Please do not hesitate to contact them if you require assistance with interpreting or applying for any element of the new funding package.

Kind regards,

Early Years Division.
DCYA.

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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