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 launches communications campaign on the National Childcare Scheme

Minister Zappone launches communications campaign on the National Childcare Scheme 19875672 1337059526348124 484620879276509836 n

Monday 23rd September 2019

The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr. Katherine Zappone TD is today (Monday, 23rd September) commencing a communications campaign on the National Childcare Scheme.

The Minister wishes to ensure that parents are aware of the forthcoming Scheme and ready to apply once it opens later this year. The National Childcare Scheme is set to open to parents and providers on the 29th October with payments flowing from November.

“I am delighted that we are in the final phase of completion of this highly complex and hugely important project. The National Childcare Scheme will assist thousands of families to access high quality and affordable early learning and care and school age childcare.”

The National Childcare Scheme is the first ever statutory entitlement to financial support for childcare in Ireland. It aims to improve outcomes for children, support lifelong learning and working families, reduce child poverty and tangibly reduce the cost of quality childcare for thousands of families across Ireland. Importantly, it will also provide a robust and flexible platform for future investment in childcare in Ireland.

Acknowledging that parents should have choice in how they apply to the Scheme, it has always been designed so they can apply online or by post. The initial roll out of the National Childcare Scheme will be on a phased basis, as per the expert recommendation of those overseeing the development of the Scheme. The online system will be available from October 29th. The paper based (i.e. postal) application system will be available in January 2020 for those who do not wish to apply online. From this point on, parents can apply either via the online or the postal route. A Public Services Card (PSC) and verified MyGovID account are required to apply online only.

In relation to the Data Protection Commissioner’s (DPC) report and published findings on certain aspects of the Public Services Card (PSC), the Government and the Attorney General have carefully considered the findings of the report, including the legal basis for the use of the PSC by specified bodies or persons (such as the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs).

The Government has agreed to challenge the findings of the report, as based on the legal advice received, it does not believe the DPC’s findings are correct in law. The advice of the Attorney General’s Office is that there is a strong legal basis for the continued public service wide use of the PSC.

The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection is continuing to engage with the DPC on this issue. Officials in the Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA) will, in turn, continue to liaise with that Department.
In launching the communications campaign for the Scheme, the Minister pledged: “My Department and I are committed to delivering the National Childcare Scheme as planned and, in so doing, assisting thousands of families to access high quality and affordable early learning and care and school age childcare.”

To ensure continuity of service for both parents and providers, the existing childcare support programmes will continue to operate until the launch of the National Childcare Scheme and for the 2019/2020 programme year. Children registered on these schemes will be able to remain on them for the duration of the academic year or switch over to the National Childcare Scheme once it launches.

A Parent Support Centre for the National Childcare Scheme is open and available to assist parents or guardians with any queries regarding the new National Childcare Scheme. It is open Monday to Friday from 9:00am – 5:00pm and parents can contact the centre by calling (01) 906 8530. Information on the Scheme is also available on our website at: www.ncs.gov.ie.

Expert Group to develop a new Funding Model for Early Learning and Care and School Age Childcare

Minister Zappone announces Expert Group to develop a new Funding Model for Early Learning and Care and School Age Childcare 19875672 1337059526348124 484620879276509836 n

The Expert Group will lead a process of in-depth analysis of evidence and an inclusive consultation and engagement process to take account of the voices of providers, parents and other stakeholders within the sector.
Michael Scanlan, former Secretary General of the Department of Health and Children, has been appointed as Chair to the group.
First 5 strategy pledges to build on the 117% increase in investment, made over the last four budgets, in order to make further progress towards average OECD levels of investment. The new Funding Model will ensure that the State leverages maximum value from that investment.

Wednesday 18 September 2019

The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr. Katherine Zappone TD, today announced the formal initiation of a project to develop a new Funding Model for Early Learning and Care and School Age Childcare and the establishment of an Expert Group to lead this work.

Today the Minister said:

“The Early Learning and Care sector is extremely important for hundreds of thousands of families. The 4,500 services in the sector make a massive contribution to children’s early development, particularly for more vulnerable children; they allow parents to participate in the workforce; and they are key to shaping our future economy and society”.

“Whilst we have increased investment by 117% over the last four budgets, doubled the numbers of children benefiting from subsidies, doubled the number of places, doubled the free pre-school scheme, addressing affordability and accessibility and raising quality remain important issues. Government has committed to doubling investment again over the next 10 years and with this investment we should see further major improvements. But, the State must also take care that public money ensures that the fees charged to parents reflect true costs and a reasonable profit only, and that income is used in a reasonable manner to provide appropriate terms and conditions for staff in the sector. A range of initiatives are underway by my Department to address these and other issues, and, as part of that landscape of reform, a review of our funding model is critical.”

The Expert Group has been requested to examine the current model of funding, its effectiveness in delivering quality, affordable, sustainable and inclusive services and how additional resourcing can be delivered for the sector to achieve these objectives drawing on international practice in this area. The Expert Group will also design an inclusive consultation and engagement process to take account of the voices of providers, parents and other stakeholders within the sector. Their recommendations will be brought back to Government in due course for approval. The development of the new Funding Model advances a number of the key actions contained in First 5: A Whole-of-Government Strategy for Babies, Young Children and their Families (2019-2028).

Government’s First 5 strategy pledges to build on recent investment in order to make further progress towards average OECD levels of investment. A new Funding Model will be a crucial mechanism to ensure that the State leverages maximum value from that additional investment in terms of affordability for parents and the quality of service offered to children, complementing the transformation the new National Childcare Scheme will bring, and the existing ECCE scheme. It will also be informed by those running current services and aspiring to provide the best service to children and families.

The Expert Group will be independently chaired and will include national and international experts in Early Learning and Care and School Age Childcare systems, funding and quality; economics; and relevant policy experts from the Government Departments which will be involved in implementing the new Funding Model. Michael Scanlan, former Secretary General of the Department of Health and Children, has been appointed as Chair to the group.

The remaining members are follows:

Professor Edward Melhuish, Professor of Human Development at Oxford University and a highly renowned international research expert on quality in Early Learning and Care
Professor Eva Lloyd, Director of the International Centre for the Study of the Mixed Economy of Childcare and a Professor of Early Childhood in the Cass School of Education and Communities at the University of East London, highly specialised in the niche field of funding of Early Learning and Care
Tove Mogstad Slinde, Senior Adviser in the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research in the Department of Kindergartens and Schools and former Chair of the OECD Network on Early Childhood Education and Care.
Dr Tim Callan, former Research Professor at the ESRI and with significant experience in tax and welfare policy, financial incentives to work, labour supply, and income distribution
Dr Rory O’Donnell, former Director of the National Economic and Social Council leading analysis on a wide range of economic, social and environmental issues
Officials from the Departments of Children and Youth Affairs (Bernie McNally, Dr. Anne-Marie Brooks), Education and Skills and Public Expenditure and Reform.
Minister Zappone continued:

“I am delighted to have secured this group of highly renowned national and international experts. They are taking on an important and challenging task, to support my Department in developing additional ways to invest in Early Learning and Care and School Age Childcare services in a way that will deliver better affordability for parents and better quality for children. I know that they are keen to consult with parents and providers and to have these discussions inform their recommendations. I am confident that the group will bring the full breadth and depth of their expertise to this task and l look forward to receiving their report in due course.”

The work of the group will be supported by a research partnership, a tender for which has recently been published, to deliver rigorous, evidence-based inputs to the group to allow them to explore and test various ideas.

The first meeting of the Expert Group will take place on 29th and 30th October 2019.

School Age Childcare Notice

Childcare services for school-age children must now register with Tusla, the Child and Family Agency. School-age childcare services have not previously been subject to registration or PobalLogo
regulation, so this is a significant step forward in ensuring quality school-age childcare.

School-age services must register with Tusla if their primary purpose is to care for children where their parents are unavailable.

All services that currently provide childcare for school-age children must have applied for registration and are urged to start this process straightaway if they have not yet done so. New services must apply for registration at least 3 months before opening.

School-age childcare services that are registered will be eligible to apply to participate in the forthcoming National Childcare Scheme. It is particularly important that any standalone school-age childcare service wishing to take part in the National Childcare Scheme and who has outstanding information required by Tusla should furnish this information to Tusla as soon as possible to ensure registration in time to go into contract for the National Childcare Scheme.

If you need support in preparing your application for Tusla-registration or submitting supplementary information to Tusla, please contact your local City/County Childcare Committee (see www.myccc.ie for details).

CPD Payments

CPD Payments will be issued to all services for participants who completed Hanen and/or Lámh trainings between July 2019 and 31st of August 2019 on Friday the 20th of September.PobalLogo

Payment for those participants that complete trainings after the 1st of September 2019 will be issued at a later date.

Please note that each staff member can avail of a maximum of 18 hours of paid CPD training per calendar year and payments are calculated on this basis. Payments for all participants will be made to the employer/ childcare setting and NOT to the individual. Re-imbursement by way of payment or time worked is the responsibility of the employer.
The rate of payment is €13 per hour.

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

NCS Capital Grant Scheme Reminder

NCS Capital Grant Scheme Reminder National Childcare Scheme Logo

The application window for the NCS Capital Grant scheme will close Friday October 11th.
Please submit your NCS Capital application before this date to avail of grant funding.

If you have any questions or require assistance in submitting documents, please contact Online Support at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 01-5117222.

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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