Offaly County Childcare Committee -   057 9135878

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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.

Offaly County Childcare Facebook PageWe have a facebook page. Visit us here

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Reminder: Covid 19 Capital and RSP Grant applications

Reminder: Covid 19 Capital and RSP Grant applications reminder logo

Dear Service Provider,

The application process for the Covid 19 Capital and RSP Grants will close at 5 pm on Wednesday 9th September. We encourage any service that wishes to apply or who has an application in draft to complete and submit their application as soon as possible.

We strongly advise the submission of applications before the 9th September to ensure that any technical issues raised can be resolved. Any issues or queries raised with the Early Years Provider Centre team after Tuesday 8th September 2020 may not be resolved before the application submission deadline and could impact you being able to complete/submit your application in time.

If you have any queries please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 01 5117222.

Early Years Team

​Important Updates for NCS and AIM Level 1 Reminder – 4 September, 2020

​Important Updates for NCS and AIM Level 1 Reminder – 4 September, 2020 Early Years Hive

Dear Service Provider,

Please note the below important updates for NCS and AIM Level 1.

NCS: Change in Hours Available to Parents from 7 September 2020

As previously announced, the maximum number of subsidised hours available under NCS will increase from 40 to 45 hours per week as of Monday, 7 September.

For new awards, these hours will already be reflected in the award and there will be no change to the CHICK registration process.

For existing awards, the hours will be added onto the award on 7 September which will create a new segment with the new hours. Applicants will receive a notification on their portal when this has been applied.

For applicants who wish to use the additional hours, and where the additional hours are agreed between the provider and the applicant, Service Providers will be required to amend the existing registration.

Guidance on how to amend an NCS registration can be found under the ‘Amending Registrations’ Quick Guide on the Early Years Hive.

NCS: Submit Service Calendars for 2020 and 2021

All service providers contracted to NCS should have two active service calendars on their Early Years Hive; one for the current programme year and one for the following programme year.

Service calendars are submitted for each programme year i.e. August to August. A parent can be awarded a 52-week award at any time, e.g. it would run from September 2020 until September 2021. In this case, their chosen provider would be required to have an active service calendar for the 2021/22 programme year to cover the entire award.

As such, you must submit both an NCS 2020 service calendar and an NCS 2021 service calendar. If you are unsure as to what your opening hours will in the next programme year, please replicate your 2020 hours. You will be able to amend this calendar at a later date.

Please see the Service Calendar Quick Guide of the Early Years Hive for more information on how to add a service calendar. There you’ll find a clear PDF action sheet outlining the steps involved as well a short training video.

AIM Level 1: Reminder

Please note that if you are submitting an application for AIM Level 1 on the Early Years Hive, you must ensure that you attach all pages of the declaration.

A copy of the applicant guidelines can be found here.

Thank you,
Early Years Team

Sponsor Referrals on NCS - Information for Providers

Sponsor Referrals on NCS - Information for ProvidersEarly Years Hive

Dear Service Provider,

This is a reminder of the Sponsor process under NCS. NCS makes special arrangements for vulnerable children and families, a referral is required from a sponsor body for this. The following designated statutory bodies may make referrals for childcare support under NCS:

  • Minister for Education and Skills
  • Minister for Justice and Equality
  • Child and Family Agency
  • HSE
  • Local authorities / Homeless agencies

Each Sponsor Body has its own eligibility criteria, and its own referral form, which sets out those criteria. The Sponsor decides if a particular child is eligible; eligibility may include age rules (e.g. HSE only refer children under 4 years). The Sponsor Referral Officer will have the relevant referral form and will link with the family to complete the form, which then must be signed and stamped by the Sponsor.

Sponsors decide on the number of hours and weeks the Subsidy will cover, up to a max of 45 hours (from 7th September, 2020) and usually up to 52 weeks.

The Sponsor process:

  1. Referrals are posted to us. They may be marked ‘Urgent’ and these will be prioritised: the CHICK will issue by email and also by phone.
  2. We receive the referral and it is converted to a Sponsor Application on the system.
  3. The CHICK notification is emailed to the Sponsor contact (Local Authority/Homeless Agency, HSE, Tusla) or to the parent (in the case of DJE and DES referrals).
  4. The Sponsor shares the CHICK with the parent.
  5. The parent brings the CHICK to the Provider to set up the claim for the child.
  6. A flat rate is paid by DCYA to the Provider.

Parents do not pay fees where the child has a Sponsor subsidy. Attendance rules for Sponsored children take into account this vulnerable cohort (see Chapter 14 of the NCS Policy Guidelines for details).

Training has been rolled out for the Sponsor Bodies and is available on an ongoing basis.

Children who were referred under CCSP by Tusla or HSE or as a CCSRT may now seek a Sponsor Referral under NCS. Any provider or parent who requires support to access the NCS Sponsor Process can contact the Parent Support Centre by phone at 01 906 8530 or the Early Years Provider Centre by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by phone at 01 511 7222. They will provide support and a contact in the relevant organisation. Any child who is eligible will be able to be sponsored.

There is also a ‘Sponsor Referral’ FAQ available on the Early Years Hive -

Early Years Team

Teach your kids handwashing the Rufus way

Teach your kids handwashing the Rufus wayWash hands Rufus

The Rufus handwashing programme has been developed by Safefood with childcare professionals to teach children about good handwashing habits.

We all have our role to play in keeping germs like Covid-19 at bay, and Rufus our handwashing hero teaches kids about good handwashing practice at home – especially how important it is to wash hands for 20 seconds and to dry them properly.

Proper handwashing means following these five steps:

  1. Wash
  2. Soap
  3. Rub between fingers, thumbs and all parts of the hands for at least 20 seconds
  4. Rinse
  5. Dry

To help children memorise these steps, sing the Rufus song with RTÉjr’s Clara Murray. Repeat it two to three times to make sure your hands are clean.

You can also read the Rufus story book either by using the whiteboard version which works best on desktop or tablets, watch the YouTube video or download the pdf.

Click on the link to listen to the story:

Click on the link to view the story book and watch the video:

Update on HPSC Health Advice on Symptoms of Covid-19 for Early Learning and Care and School-Age Childcare Settings

Update on HPSC Health Advice on Symptoms of Covid-19 for Early Learning and Care and School-hpsc HSE logo
Age Childcare Settings

The HPSC have published a new Decision Pathways document that provides some new information on when children from 3 months to 13 years can attend their school and ELC/SAC setting. The document includes the following change to previous advice:

  • A child with nasal cold symptoms (runny nose or sneezing) can continue to attend their ELC/SAC setting, provided:

o The child is otherwise well and active,
o The child has no new cough or temperature, and
o There is no other person in the child’s household with a suspected or confirmed case of Covid-19.
Please see scenario E in the HPSCs Decision Pathways document for further information.

Other advice remains unchanged.

More detail is available in the Decision Pathways document here:

The Department is currently developing a Tip Sheet based on the HPSC advice which will be available soon.

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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