Guidelines issued for Early Learning and Care and School Age Capital funding
Statement by Minister Katherine Zappone
Thursday 31st January 2019
Guidelines setting out the application process for over €6.1m in childcare capital grants have been published today (31st January 2019).
Announcing the publication, the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr. Katherine Zappone T.D. encouraged providers to study the document and prepare the groundwork for their applications.
The 2019 Early Learning and Care and School Age Capital programmes will open for applications from 25th February to 27th March 2019.
Decisions are expected to be delivered in June 2019.
The available strands of funding are as follows:
Strand A: Creation of new places for 0-3 year olds - €4.231m (max. €50,000 per grant).
Strand B: Fire Safety for community early years services – €0.875m, (max. €15,000 per grant).
Strand C: Creation of new school age places - €1m (max. €20,000 per grant).
Both early learning and care and school age childcare providers are invited to apply.
The Application Guidelines is a detailed document containing all the information prospective applicants need to prepare themselves for making an application under the programmes.
Any interested parties are encouraged to contact their local City/County Childcare Committee (CCC) with any further questions they may have, so that they can begin work and submit their applications as early as possible.
Minister Zappone added: “This is a significant year for childcare. It will see overall Government funding increase by 117% from 2015. This year I am delighted that we have been able to secure over €6.1m for capital work which can be carried out over the summer, with a further €3m to follow on the roll out of the Affordable Childcare Scheme in the later part of the year."
“Last year’s programmes saw the creation of 1,950 new early learning and care places and 807 new school age places, as well as funding 111 essential maintenance projects for community services. I anticipate that 2019’s programme will continue this good work."
“Publication of the guidelines in a timely manner will give providers more time to consider and prepare their applications so that children can enjoy the benefits at an early date.”
[Please note: Applicants are advised to pay special attention to the requirements regarding valid DCYA reference numbers included in the Application Guidelines. The closing date for applying for a new DCYA reference number for 2019 Capital is 13th March 2019]
association with Offaly County Childcare Committee. This information session will take place in the Offaly Centre for Independent Living on the 27th of February at 7.00pm. LINC is a free (fully funded) higher education blended-learning programme designed for early years teachers, to promote the inclusion of children with additional needs. After completing the programme, graduates will carry out the role of Inclusion Coordinator and will also meet the educational requirement for room leader status. Once a qualified graduate is working within an early years setting as the INclusion COordinator, the setting will be entitled to an extra capitation payment of €2 per ECCE-eligible child in a pre-school room, where the child is on an ECCE/CCS/TEC programme. Further information about the programme can be found by visiting the LINC programme website www.lincprogramme.ie.
Deadline for Applications for Access to Primary School Special Needs Assistant Support (SNA)
Do you have a child in your ECCE setting that may require Special Needs Assistant Support (SNA) when they transition to Primary School this September?
The NCSE closing date for the receipt of applications from Primary Schools for access to SNA support is the 8th March 2019.
Online safety risks must be assessed by Organisations working with children and young people
Minister Zappone publishes Addendum to Children First Guidance
Friday 18th January 2019
Groups, clubs and services working with young people are required by law to assess and manage online risks, according to the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr Katherine Zappone.
Minister Zappone has signed and published an addendum to Children First: National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children on on-line safety.
It makes clear that all organisations and services working with young people must include online risks and safeguards in their legally required Child Safeguarding Statements.
Safeguarding Statements have been a legal requirement since March 2018 after Minister Zappone commenced all sections of Children’s First in December 2017.
Speaking today the Minister said “The internet is a hugely valuable resource that has brought so many positive opportunities for learning, creating and communicating across the whole of society.
However, with these increased opportunities has come increased risks. There are those online who wish to harm, hurt or abuse our children. We all have a responsibility to offer protection and safety from this danger.
This responsibility extends to relevant services who offer internet access, PCs and wifi. Organisations who work with our young people need to know how to identify and manage these risks, and know the appropriate response if a child is at risk."
The Minister noted that the Children First: National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children was fully revised and published in 2017 to reflect the provisions in the Act and stated “This addendum to the guidance does not alter or increase the obligations on organisations providing services to children under the Act, rather it clarifies that the specific issue of online safety should be considered when carrying out risk assessments and preparing Child Safeguarding Statements.”
The Minister added that a range of Government Departments and agencies have a role in relation to internet safety saying that, “the cross-Government approach required to tackle online safety issues is recognised in the Government’s Action Plan for Online Safety, which sets out the wide range of actions and activities that are underway across a number of Government Departments to support and promote online safety for children and adults”.