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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NOTICE FROM THE NATIONAL CHILD SAFEGUARDING PROGRAMME

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NOTICE FROM THE NATIONAL CHILD SAFEGUARDING PROGRAMME

We understand that a number of early years services have been open and operating to support vulnerable children and the children of essential workers throughout this current lockdown period. This is an incredible service and a testament to the professionalism and dedication of all working in early years.

We have all experienced the impact of Covid19 and children in particular, have seen their lives disrupted and much loved and needed daily routines fall by the wayside. As we know, child centred practice is crucial to ensuring that we can build and strengthen relationships with children through positive interactions, listening and encouraging children to voice their concerns, while keeping their health, development and welfare at the centre of all we do.

The Children First National Guidance states that ‘everyone must be alert to the possibility that children they are in contact with may be experiencing abuse or neglect’. In order to ensure that we can recognise signs of abuse or neglect among the children we are working with and know how to respond, we suggest that practitioners take time to refresh their child safeguarding knowledge.

ALL staff in early years services should refamiliarise themselves with their service’s Child Safeguarding Statement and Child Safeguarding Policies and Procedures. It is imperative that all staff are aware of their obligations under the Children First Act, 2015 and the Children First National Guidance, 2017. Management should ensure that the service’s list of Mandated Persons is updated to reflect any staff changes and should also ensure that the DLP contact details are displayed where all staff can access them if necessary.

In advance of further children and staff returning to services across the country throughout March, we have put together some child safeguarding resources to support practitioners who are currently working in services and those who will be returning over the coming weeks.

These are outlined below:

Further information and resources can be found at www.childsafeguardingelc.ie and on Twitter @safeguardingelc

Additional Resources:

Letter from Deputy CMO to Parents and Reopening Video

Letter from Deputy CMO to Parents and Reopening Video open letter to parents

Dear Provider

We are writing to you this evening to provide you with an open letter from the Deputy Chief Medical Officer (DCMO) to parents of children returning to ELC/SAC over the coming weeks. Please accept our sincere apologies for the late circulation of the letter which we have just received from the CMO’s office.

The letter has been published on the Department’s website and is being circulated through social media. Given the content the Department felt it was important to share it directly with providers.

The Department has also published a video for providers and parents on reopening and you can view/access the video here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0hfomokzr58.

The Department would like to take this opportunity to wish providers every success with the reopening of ECCE on Monday and the return to full service provision in a few weeks.

Kind regards

EY Comms Team
Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth

Letter from DCMO

Important information on Emergency Measures 8 - 28 March 2021

Important information on Emergency Measures 8 - 28 March 2021 info 05 03 2021

Dear Service Provider,

Full details of the funding arrangements for the period 8th March to 28th March were announced by the Government on Tuesday, 23rd February and can be found  here.

Covid-19 Operating Support Payment (COSP)

This scheme has been extended to cover period 8th March to 28th March. All services eligible for COSP will be required to accept the terms and conditions of funding including:

  • During the period 8 March to 28 March, be open and providing ELC or SAC, or closed with permission of the Department or at the direction of the Government, Department or public health authorities;
  • Not charge parental fees for the period 8 March to 28 March, for any children who are not attending the service, whether or not they are receiving subsidy under any of the following Department funding schemes – NCS, ECCE, CCSP and TEC;
  • Maintain places for all children in the service, including those who do not attend between 8 March to 28 March;
  • Make all reasonable effort to retain all of the staff in the service;
  • Make all reasonable effort to engage with children not attending the service; and
  • Make all reasonable effort to engage staff who are not attending the premises to participate in continuing professional development or planning or administrative activities.

The COSP funding agreement will be available on HIVE from Friday, 12th March and further guidance on the application process will be published next week.

Force Majeure

Closed services must continue to apply for Force Majeure by raising a Service Request on Hive. Force Majeure applications will be reviewed and approved/declined accordingly. All approved closures, with the exception of those directed by public health, will be required to agree to the terms and conditions as outlined above in order to receive and/or maintain any funding from DCEDIY for this period. Please note force majeure will no longer be approved for services claiming no demand from 8th March 2021.

Payment Schedule

Eligible COSP services who have accepted the terms and condition of funding by COB on Monday, 15th March, will be paid on Friday, 19th March. Thereafter payments will be issued on a weekly basis.

Help and support

Should you have any queries in relation to the Covid 19 Operating Supports outlined above please contact the Early Years Provider Centre by raising a Request on Hive and selecting the following categories:

  • Request Type Detail: COSP General Query
  • Request Type: COSP
  • Programme Request: Covid 19 Supports

Thank you,
Early Years Team

​​Clarification on resumption of ECCE from 08 March 2021

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DCEDIY have provided the following clarification with regard to the resumption of ECCE from 08 March, ( Question 22 of the March FAQs).

Children eligible to return on 08 March

All children within the eligible age range and currently registered on the ECCE programme on the Early Years Hive

Children within the eligible age range, availing of ECCE provision but are funded through CCSP/TEC

This is in addition to children considered vulnerable or children of essential workers who continue to be eligible to avail any service during this period.

Children not eligible to return until 29 March

Children who are not children of essential workers, are not considered vulnerable or, are not ECCE-eligible (based on age) and availing of ECCE provision within a service.

For clarity, children who are ECCE eligible (based on age) and are availing of ECCE provision can also avail of non-ECCE hours during the same period. For example, if a child resumes on March 8th and requires full-time provision they can attend for the three hour ECCE provision and remain within the service for remainder of the day.

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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