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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“Pathway to a Quality Support and Assurance System for Childminding in Ireland”

“Pathway to a Quality Support and Assurance System for Childminding in Ireland”19875672 1337059526348124 484620879276509836 n
Minister Zappone – Speech at Launch of Report of the Working Group
on Reforms and Supports for the Childminding Sector

Monday 26th March, 2018

Minister Zappone will this evening welcome a Report of the Working Group on Reforms and Supports for the Childminding Sector at the Law Society in Dublin.

The group, chaired by Bernadette Orbinski-Burke, CEO of Childminding Ireland, has produced a range of recommendations. These will be considered by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs over the coming months in order to develop a plan to support the development of the childminding sector in Ireland. The Group carried out detailed work - meeting nine times since late 2016.

It is estimated that 35,000 childminders care for as many as 88,000 children throughout Ireland.

Minister Zappone said:
‘The working group has, through this report, provided my Department with an extensive and considered range of recommendations, reflective of the diverse range of experience and expertise of the working group members. I very much appreciate the commitment that the Group has shown and the time it has given to consider and propose major change, change that should be accompanied by appropriate supports. My Department is fortunate to have such a strong basis from which to now move forward.’

Furthermore, in recognising the importance of the childminding sector in Ireland, she noted:
‘I am conscious that the flexibility offered, and the home from home environment provided by childminders, is very important to many families in Ireland. Childcare Regulations introduced in 2016 have a strong focus on centre based care and have done much to assure parents of the quality of service their child should receive in these services. In establishing this expert group on childminding, I sought to start a similar journey with the childminding sector. I hoped that the working group could come up with proposals that would, in time, support a move towards an appropriate level of regulation of childminders and with the accompanying supports required. I am delighted that this is what has been achieved.’

The report is strongly in favour of establishing the sector professionally, with a long term view to inclusion in the Government financial support schemes, in particular the Affordable Childcare Scheme that is being developed. The group highlighted the need for the next steps to feed into the forthcoming National Early Years Strategy.
The report defines a Childminding Service as being ‘offered by a person who single handedly takes care of children aged from 0-15 years old, which may include the persons own children, in the person’s home, for payment, for a total of more than two-hours per day.’

The report recognises that the proposals will require legislative change – including changes to the Childcare Act.

The report recommends that Au Pairs and Nannies should not be considered as ‘child-minders’ and that they should remain outside the State’s childcare support programmes but that the Department should give consideration to training and information supports for families employing these personnel.

DCYA has committed to putting in place an action plan for implementation of the report by the end of the year with short, medium and long-term goals.

A spokesperson for the Minister said that the launch of this report represents another step for the Minister in transforming Ireland’s childcare sector from being one of the most expensive in the world to one of the best.

Pathway Quality Support Assurance System Childminding Ireland

Online survey as part of the Independent Review of Costs of Providing Quality Childcare

Childcare providers are today being urged to participate in an online survey as part of the Independent Review of Costs of Providing Quality Childcare19875672 1337059526348124 484620879276509836 n

Statement by the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs - Dr Katherine Zappone TD

Childcare providers are today being urged to participate in an online survey as part of the Independent Review of Costs of Providing Quality Childcare.

This Independent Review - which was announced by Minister Zappone last autumn – is a Programme for Government commitment.

The Review, which is being undertaken by Crowe Horwath on behalf of the Department of Children and Youth Affairs, seeks to:

· Analyse the current costs of providing childcare in Ireland and factors that impact on those costs;

· Develop a model of the unit cost/costs of providing childcare that allows analysis of policy changes and variation in cost-drivers, including the potential impact of increased professionalisation; and

· Provide an objective, high level market analysis of the childcare sector in Ireland, including analysis of fee levels charged to parents.

The results from this survey of childcare providers will feed into the development of a cost model and cost calculator for childcare provision. Importantly, the results will also inform the Estimates Process for Budget 2019 and for subsequent budgets.

Speaking about the Review, Minister Zappone urged childcare providers to take part.

“This Review represents a key milestone in the on-going reformation of childcare in Ireland.

The results of this Review will help to further advance my ambition of building an accessible, affordable, quality childcare system, which will last for generations.

To deliver on this ambition, we need a childcare funding system where childcare providers are funded on a fair and sustainable basis and where the genuine concerns over pay and conditions in the sector can be addressed.

The Independent Review of Costs offers us a unique opportunity to change our approach to, and levels of, childcare funding.

I am urging childcare providers to engage honestly and openly through this confidential survey.

A good response rate will be critical to ensure the credibility of the survey findings to bring about needed change”.

The survey runs from 27 March until 12 April. For further information, contact Crowe Horwath at (01) 448 2200.

Over €3 million investment boosting resources to over 6,000 pre-school rooms

 'Inclusive Play' helps make pre-school accessible to all
NO FEE MIN ZAPPONE INCLUSIVE PLAY MX 5 Statement by Minister Katherine Zappone

More than 6,000 'Inclusive Play' packs are being distributed free to pre-schools across the country.

The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr. Katherine Zappone is confirming that distribution of the packs is underway under the Access and Inclusive Model (AIM) which is working to make pre-school accessible to all children.

The packs are designed to enhance children?s experience and promote inclusive play.
Speaking today, Minister Zappone said:

"Inclusive Play is another great addition to the Access and Inclusion Model.
In the coming weeks, these resources, which represent an investment of more than €3 million, will be delivered to all pre-school offering the ECCE programme.

These resources will add to the range of resources already offered and will improve pre-school for all children.
Resources have been chosen for their inclusive play value, for their open ended opportunities and, most importantly, for their appeal to young children.

A short introductory guide has been developed and will be delivered with the resources. A set of short videos has also been produced to demonstrate just some of the benefits of and uses that can be made of these resources. These can be viewed on the AIM website ("

Better Start Update

Better Start UpdatePobalLogo

Just as an update we are starting to roll out Hanen Teacher Talk training again in April, May, and June partnering with Teacher Education Centres around the country. Initial invitations for first round have been sent to settings with children receiving AIM support in counties Wexford, Leitrim, Waterford, Meath, Sligo, and one in our Pobal office in Galway. Course dates (Saturdays) 21st April and 12th or 19th May, and 9th June.

Further courses in Cork, Donegal, Kilkenny, will be offered starting in the Autumn.

Lámh will also begin as of April again partnering with the Teacher Education Centres across the country. These invitations are being sent to services in counties Waterford, Sligo, Monaghan, Leitrim and Dublin. Course dates (Saturdays) 21st April and 12th or 26th May, and 9th June.

Further courses in Cork, West Cork, Kildare, Navan, Kilkenny, and Wexford will be offered over the next few months and into the autumn.

Invites are sent directly to relevant services via Eventbrite and services are offered two places on each course. We have opted for one Saturday per month, for the first set of trainings, to reduce impact on services needing cover etc. We will review this after the 2nd roll out, in June. The dates coincide with some LINC training dates, as this will encourage take up and build capacity among other staff. Further info if required from: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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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