Offaly County Childcare Committee -   057 9135878

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Welcome to Offaly County Childcare Committee

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

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On or before Friday, 28th April 2017

Childcare Scheme for Families who are homeless extended

dcyalogoAn €8.25m scheme to provide free childcare to under 5-year olds living in emergency accommodation is being extended outside Dublin to nine other regions, the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr Katherine Zappone has confirmed.

The Minister says Councils in Clare, Cork City, Cavan, Donegal, Kildare, Kilkenny, Leitrim, Offaly, Wicklow have signed up to get involved

Under the scheme each child is entitled to 25 hours of free childcare a week and a daily meal.

In addition an information campaign is underway to ensure families are aware of this entitlement, with leaflets being distributed through frontline agencies such as Focus Ireland.

Currently just over 50 children are availing of the scheme – but Minister Zappone says there is capacity for many more if they wish to take up the entitlement.  Giving an update on the scheme the Children’s Minister said: “Accessibility is at the very centre of our ambitious plans to move Ireland from one of the most expensive childcare systems in the world to one of the best. Expensive childcare is stopping parents from taking up jobs, training and education opportunities. This scheme is aimed at lifting that barrier for those families in greatest need.

By providng a safe environment for very young children and an important daily meal we are helping to open up opportunities for their parents.  This scheme was identified as providing an important need by those who work in the frontline of the homeless crisis when I met them last year.  We acted swiftly to make it a reality and were able to secure over €8m in funding.  I am encouraging Focus Ireland, other frontline agencies and all local authorities to use every means possible to ensure families are aware of this vital support.

Our expansion beyond the four Dublin local authorities into nine new areas is welcome – but I would like to see us operational in every part of the country. I encourage other Councils to come on board.”

Implementation of Affordable Childcare Scheme Postponed

dcyalogoFollowing an announcement on the 12th April by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs the Affordable Childcare Scheme which was due to come into effect in September will be postponed as a result in the delay of the IT system.

A new universal childcare subsidy for children aged from 6 months up to 36 months old (or commencement of the free pre-school programme) will be introduced and take affect from September 2017. This new universal childcare subsidy will benefit up to 33,000 children. For children in full-time, registered childcare, it will amount to €1,000 per annum.

The universal childcare subsidy will be administered through the Community Childcare Subvention Plus - CCS Plus. Childcare services that are currently contracted to offer the CCSP and TEC Schemes will need to re-contract through the normal mechanisms. Details for any services who have not already joined the CCSP or TEC Schemes will follow in May.

Parents currently availing of the Community Childcare Subvention – CCS and CCS Plus will see significant increases in September of up to 50 per cent in childcare subvention rates provided for children aged from 6 months up to 15 years old. Up to 23,000 children and their families currently availing of childcare supports under this Scheme will benefit from these increases. For example, parents availing of full-time childcare who currently have had their childcare costs subsidised by €95 per week under this Scheme will see their subvention rate rise to €145 per week.

Parents who are not currently availing of any childcare supports will find out more information through a public information campaign which will commence in May to advise who qualifies of these childcare supports and the steps needed to take to avail of them.

To read the statement issued by the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr Katherine Zappone and Minister for Social Protection, Leo Varadkar please click HERE

To view the Question and Answer document for parents and providers please click HERE

 

Government announces plans for the delivery of more affordable childcare this September

dcyalogoGovernment has agreed its plan to make childcare more affordable from September using the additional €19m of childcare funding agreed in Budget 2017.

Minister Katherine Zappone said: “Today we agreed the next step towards affordable, accessible quality childcare. The Government has approved a range of financial measures that will see more than 70,000 families benefit from reduced childcare costs from September.

To ensure that parents and childcare providers understand these childcare supports and how to access them, my colleagues in Cabinet also approved a public information campaign starting next month.

Moving from one of the most expensive childcare systems in the world to the best is ambitious. It is a journey we will take one step at a time. Today we are confirming that parents of 70,000 children will start feeling the benefit in their pockets from September. This is a significant step forward.”

Children aged from 6 months through to 15 years will benefit with the highest levels of supports aimed at those families with the lowest incomes.

Minister for Social Protection, Leo Varadkar said: “'A lack of access to affordable childcare is one of the main barriers to employment and further education for many parents. The action the Government is now taking builds on progress made already like the two years of free pre-school, extended maternity leave and the introduction of paternity leave with universal subsides for all children under 3 and targeted additional support for low and middle income families. It's a major step forward and will open up opportunities for more parents to enter the workforce, secure new qualifications and improve living standards for themselves and their families.”

The public information campaign will provide detailed information, through a variety of sources, to ensure everyone who needs to find out more will be able to so.

It will be targeted at low-income families and those with children under three years old. It will also target more than 3,000 childcare providers through the country.

To read the statement in full please click HERE

Question and Answer for Providers and Parents

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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