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

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Overview of the Policy, Social and Economic Context Related to Growing Up in Ireland Cohort ‘24

From Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth 

Published on 13 April 2023 Overview of Policy Social and Economic Context Related to Growing Up in Ireland Cohort 24


This paper was produced by the Research and Evaluation Unit (REU) to support and inform the establishment of a new Growing Up in Ireland (GUI) Infant Cohort. This will be known as GUI Cohort 24’. Pilot data collection by the Central Statistics Office, from a large national sample of parents and their 9 month old infants is scheduled for 2023, with the main phase data collection scheduled for 2024. The paper provides an overview of the policy, social and economic context related to the new infant cohort.


The paper is organised into two main sections. The first provides an introduction to the topic and outlines the relevant priorities under First 5, the whole-of-Government strategy to improve the lives of babies, young children and their families. The second section details the wider policy landscape, highlighting the key data needs and gaps relevant to the new infant cohort and Growing Up in Ireland.


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Overview of the Policy, Social and Economic Context Related to Growing Up in Ireland Cohort ‘24

Report on a Public Consultation on a Review of Regulations for Early Learning and Care

This report presents the findings from a public consultation on the review of the Regulations governing early learning and care that took place between March andreport on review of regulations 12 04 2023 October 2022. The review primarily focused on enforcement powers of the Tusla Early Years Inspectorate, the independent statutory regulator for the sector. The Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth also took the opportunity to undertake a wider examination of lessons learned from the implementation of the Regulations since 2016.

This report was commissioned by the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, and produced by ACE Communication Ireland.

Report on a Public Consultation on a Review of Regulations for Early Learning and Care - March 2023

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Further information on the public consultation is available here.

Statement of Strategy 2023 Draft Survey

The Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth is currently preparing a new Statement of Strategy to cover the period 2023-2025. It will setDCEDIY logo out our high-level goals and objectives as well as the strategies and actions to be progressed to achieve our mission.


Following the publication of the Department’s last Statement of Strategy in March 2021, we have succeeded in achieving a wide range of goals across our policy areas.

Our Statement of Strategy 2021-2023 included the following 6 strategic goals.

  • We will develop, implement and influence evidence informed policies and legislation that improve the outcomes for those we serve.
  • We will ensure the provision of a range of quality and sustainable services, underpinned by strategic investment, that meet the needs of individuals, families and communities.
  • We will help those who are vulnerable, including children, young people and at risk individuals, to overcome adverse circumstances and to achieve their full potential.
  • We will promote the development of a progressive, respectful and equal society, informed by the experiences of past generations and seek to respond to the needs of survivors.
  • We will work in partnership with individuals, families and communities, and across Government Departments, public bodies and civil society to achieve better outcomes.
  • We will maintain high standards of performance and corporate governance with engaged, motivated and supported staff.

These goals were framed by the 2020 Programme for Government 2020 and the following priority areas contained therein:-

1. White Paper on Direct Provision: Commitment: Publish a White Paper by end-2020

2. Capping of Parental Childcare Fees: Commitment: Publish a policy, legal and economic analysis on capping of parental fees irrespective of income, including an examination of what happens in other countries.

3. Successor Strategy to Better Outcomes Brighter Futures: Commitment: Publish and Implement a successor to Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures

4. Implementation of commitments in First Five: Commitment: Implement the First Five Strategy

5. Early Years Pay: Commitment: Support the establishment of a Joint Labour Committee in the childcare sector and the drawing up of an Employment Regulation Order, which would determine minimum rates of pay for childcare workers, as well as terms and conditions of employment.

6. Action Plan on Racism: Commitment: Publish a new Action Plan against Racism.

7. Implement HIQA (Health Information and Quality Authority) Report on Tusla: Commitment: Fully implement Tusla’s Action Plan on the Recommendations of the HIQA Statutory Investigation into Tusla’s Management of Referrals (June 2018).

8. Childminding Action Plan: Commitment: Examine options to increase flexibility within centre- based care, as well as options to accelerate access to subsidies for non-relative childminders, with a report to be published by year-end.

9. Youth Services: Commitment: Continue to invest in youth work.

10. Comhairle na nÓg: Commitment: Seek to increase funding and establish a Rural Youth Assembly.

11. LGBTI+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex +): Commitment: Implement the LGBTI+ Youth Strategy.

12. Domestic Violence: Commitment: Undertake an examination of paid domestic violence leave.

13. Equality: Commitment: Minister has expressed support for adding socio-economic status as a tenth ground for discrimination under the Equal Status Acts.

In light of our evolving landscape, now is an opportune time to develop a new Statement of Strategy which will outline the strategic vision of this department in the coming years. We welcome the views of interested stakeholders.

The Department is inviting submissions from stakeholders in relation to its Statement of Strategy to be received by 5pm on 2nd of May 2023. Click here to submit a response. You will have the opportunity to respond to a series of questions about the Department’s goals and objectives, as well as to tell us what you think we should prioritise in the coming period.

We would request that organisations submit one coordinated response, however individuals are also welcome to submit their views.

Freedom of Information Notice
Please note that submissions will be subject to the Freedom of Information Acts. On completion of this consultation the department may publish all submissions online.


Minister O’Gorman announces funding to Local Authorities for the refurbishment and development of playgrounds and play areas

Minister O’Gorman announces funding to Local Authorities for the refurbishment and development of playgrounds and play areasPlayground announcment 11 04 2023

  • €450,000 allocated across the country to Local Authorities for the refurbishment and development of playgrounds and play areas
  • 29 projects awarded funding under the Play and Recreation Grant Scheme for 2023
  • projects awarded include wheelchair accessible equipment, sensory equipment, and autism friendly play features

Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Roderic O’Gorman, today announced the recipients of this year’s Capital Grant Scheme for Play and Recreation. A total of €450,000 has been awarded to 29 Local Authorities.

The Capital Grant Scheme for Play and Recreation supports the work of Local Authorities in improving access to quality play and recreation facilities within their communities. This can be through the refurbishment and upgrade of existing facilities or through the development of new ones. The scheme offers funding of up to €18,000 per project, an investment that will see positive impacts delivered to children and families across the country.

Many of the projects funded under this year’s scheme give particular focus to inclusion and access, and will help to ensure that children with a diverse range of needs can avail of the benefits of high quality play facilities alongside their peers. Some of these funded projects include the installation of:

  • an accessible mini-basketball court
  • a wheelchair-accessible see-saw
  • aural and visual sensory play units, for example, “Babble Drums”
  • sensory musical equipment and a sensory play trail
  • autism-friendly play features
  • upgraded accessibility features and biodiversity planting

Announcing the award of funding, Minister O’Gorman said:

“I am very happy to support Local Authorities to provide high-quality play areas in their communities that can be enjoyed by all children. By investing in safe, accessible and innovative play infrastructure, we are investing in children’s physical and social development and in their wellbeing.

“I congratulate Local Authorities on their successful projects and look forward to seeing the impact this funding will have across the country.”

Minister O’Gorman announces €9 million in capital funding for “greener, warmer” early learning and childcare services

Minister O’Gorman announces €9 million in capital funding for “greener, warmer” early learning and childcare services

  • green energy and retrofit upgrade grants of €35,000 to €75,000 announced under the Building Blocks – Improvement Grant
  • Building Blocks - Improvement Grant is part of a wider Building Blocks Capital Programme for early learning and childcare services under theBuilding blocks announcment 04 04 2023 National Development Plan

The Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Roderic O’ Gorman, today announced the allocation of €9 million in grant funding for 141 early learning and childcare services under the Building Blocks - Improvement Grant.

Grants range from €35,000 to €75,000 across two separate strands: Green Energy and Retrofit.

Under the Green Energy Strand, grants are being provided for improvements to increase energy efficiency, utilising renewables where feasible, such as the installation of solar panels and heat pumps, insulation and water conservation measures.

The Green Energy Strand will support the Climate Action Agenda and the Programme for Government, which aim to transition to a carbon neutral economy by the end of 2050 and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 51% by 2030.

The Retrofit Strand will support existing services in need of upgrading. Eligible works include kitchen works and refurbishment, upgrading of sanitary facilities for children and adults, roof repairs/replacement, and upgrading of flooring.

Speaking about today’s announcement, Minister O’Gorman said:

“As every sector aims to reduce carbon emissions, in line with Ireland’s Climate Action Plan, I am delighted that early learning and childcare providers across the country will be using these grants to install solar panels, insulate buildings and improve energy efficiency. This will mean greener, warmer buildings, with the added benefit of lower running costs for providers.

"In addition, through the retrofit grant, providers will now have an opportunity to make small changes that can have a big difference, such as new floors, doors and kitchens.”

The Minister also signalled that plans for the €45 million Building Blocks - Capacity Grant and a €15 million Building Blocks - Innovation Grant are in development, with details of the Building Blocks - Capacity Grant to be announced in the coming months.

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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