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 appoints six new members from the children and youth sector to the Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures National Advisory Council and the nomination of two vice chairs in the areas of early years and youth.

Monday 4th February 201919875672 1337059526348124 484620879276509836 n
The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr Katherine Zappone today announced the recent appointment of six new members to the Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures National Advisory Council and welcomed the appointment of two vice chairs to the Council in the area of early years and the youth sector. 
Ms Aideen Howard, The Ark, Ms Catherine Cosgrave, Immigrant Council of Ireland, Ms Catherine Maher (formerly Focus Ireland), Mr John Church, Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, Ms Suzanne Connolly, Barnardos and Ms Olivia McEvoy, Ernest and Young were recently appointed to the National Advisory Council as experts in their respective fields relating to children and young people. Additionally, two members of the Advisory Council, Ms Teresa Heeney, Early Childhood Ireland and Ms Mary Cunningham, National Youth Council of Ireland were appointed as Vice Chairs representing the early years and youth sectors. 
The National Advisory Council harnesses expertise and experience from the community and voluntary sector, from academia and from independent experts and individuals who have specific expertise in working with and for children and young people. The Advisory Council brings into one forum a diverse range of interests from sectorial stakeholders in the domains of children and young people’s policy and provision. These sectors connect with and mobilise communities, families and individuals, and as such are seen as essential groups in the implementation infrastructure seeking to ensure the achievement of the five national outcomes for children and young people.  
Minister Zappone stated:  “I very much welcome the appointments of Aideen Howard, Catherine Cosgrave, Catherine Maher, John Church, Suzanne Connolly and Olivia McEvoy to the National Advisory Council and I know that their enthusiasm and expert knowledge will lend a fresh perspective to the work of the Council going into phase two of the implementation of Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures. 
I am equally delighted to announce the nomination of Teresa Heeney and Mary Cunningham for undertaking the additional role of Vice Chairs representing the early years and youth sectors. 
I look forward to working closely with the National Advisory Council in 2019 on matters such as child poverty, prevention and early intervention, child homelessness, learning and development and children’s rights and equality.  The Council also has a very important role to play in supporting the implementation of the recently published ‘First Five:  Whole of Government Strategy for Babies, Young Children and their Families’ and I welcome the Council’s focus on this important piece of work. "
Tanya Ward, Chair of the National Advisory Council and CEO of the Children’s Right Alliance added: “The Minister has made a series of excellent new appointments that will build the experience and knowledge of the National Advisory Council as it moves into the second phase of its life and the implementation of Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures. 
I’m also delighted that the Minister has appointed, Mary Cunningham, CEO of National Youth Council of Ireland, and Teresa Heeney, CEO of Early Childhood Ireland, as Vice Chairs of the Council in recognition of the importance of youth and early years in the cross-government policy landscape.“

Guidelines issued for Early Learning and Care and School Age Capital funding

Guidelines issued for Early Learning and Care and School Age Capital funding19875672 1337059526348124 484620879276509836 n
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]

Application Guidelines Early Learning and Care and School Age ChildCare Services Grants 2019.pdf

LINC Information Session in Offaly

In advance of the opening of applications for the LINC course this March, a tutor from the Leadership for INClusion in the Early Years programme will be hosting an information session inLINC Roadshow Facebook Post Image Offaly
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
The information session will cover topics such as; the programme overview & structure, eligibility, the online application process, using the online learning platform and feedback from previous participants. If you have any questions in relation to this year's programme, starting in September, please come along to this information session and a member of the LINC team will be happy to help. If you are going to attend please let us know by emailing aine@CCC with the subject line ‘LINC information session.’

Addendum to Children First Guidance

Online safety risks must be assessed by Organisations working with children and young people19875672 1337059526348124 484620879276509836 n
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”.

Addendum to Children First: National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children

Guidance on Developing a Child Safeguarding Statement

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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