Offaly County Childcare Committee -   057 9135878

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Welcome to Offaly County Childcare Committee

Our site is packed with information so whether you're a parent, working with children, interested in a childcare career or just browsing, this is the place for you!

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

Offaly County Childcare Facebook PageWe have a facebook page. Visit us here

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ECCE 2019-20 Optional Extras Guide

ECCE 2019-20 Optional Extras GuidePobalLogo

An Optional Extras Guide for ECCE 2019-20 has been added to the PIP Portal under ECCE Programme Information, and can also be found here.

Please note that with the exception of sessional only services, no extra time-slots of any duration are permitted as optional extras on ECCE.

National Childcare Scheme - Statement

National Childcare Scheme - Statement National Childcare Scheme Logo
Monday July 1st 2019

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Katherine Zappone, T.D., will update Government this week on the development of the new National Childcare Scheme. Good progress is being made. Many of the major elements are now in place in preparation for the Scheme’s opening in October 2019.

  • Over 2,100 providers have signed up to participate in the Scheme.
  • A dedicated website, launched in March, has received over 150,000 hits and over 50,000 parent information booklets have been distributed nationwide.
  • A Parent Support Centre for the National Childcare Scheme opened last week. It is 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.

While good progress is being made, the Minister noted that the development of the Scheme is highly complex and has thrown up challenges along the way. This would be expected with a scheme of this size which will benefit many families across Ireland. In particular, the Minister referenced the development of the Scheme’s supporting ICT system. The highly innovative system is being designed to deliver the option of a user-friendly, paperless, automated assessment process for parents.

The Minister explained:
“We know parents have a lot on their plate, so we are designing an application process that will be as safe, speedy and stress-free as possible. This means that we have to plan for and develop 30,000 different applicant circumstances and choices through the system, to cater for all possible variations.”

Given the ambition of the National Childcare Scheme, and the associated challenges this brings, the experts overseeing its development have recommended a phased launch approach. While the main IT system to deal with online applications is largely built, work is continuing on the supporting structures to deal with postal applications. We will deliver online, on time, in October. The paper based system will be available in January for those who do not wish to apply online.

Parents will be able to apply for the Scheme online or by post. In order to get the Scheme safely up and running, it will open firstly to online applications, commencing in October 2019, with subsidy payments flowing from November. The Scheme will then open to paper-based (i.e. postal) applications in January 2020. From this point on, parents can apply either via the online or the postal route.

Accepting the expert recommendation, the Minister noted that:
“This approach allows us to deliver the important benefits of the Scheme to parents and providers from this October as promised. It also allows us to deliver the type of timely, user-friendly experience which we have worked so hard to design and which innovative ICT enables. Alongside this, we have supports in place to ensure that any parent who wishes to apply online but lacks IT access or knowledge can get practical help.

"In addition to our new Parent Support Centre, all 30 of our City and County Childcare Committees are available to provide information and practical support to parents. We have also been working with and providing training to many key stakeholders and groups who support vulnerable families. In addition, we have been delighted to engage positively with Intreo Offices, Citizens Information Services and library services, and will be continuing this important work in the weeks and months ahead.”

The Minister emphasised the importance of parents getting MyGovID-verified so that they are ready to apply for the Scheme once it launches later this year.

The Parent Support Centre will help parents with any queries they may have regarding the application process. Their local City or County Childcare Committee is also available to help.

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, reduce child poverty and tangibly reduce the cost of quality childcare for thousands of families across Ireland.

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.

Further information for parents and providers is available on the Scheme’s dedicated website: ncs.gov.ie

New Child Protection and Welfare Practice Handbook 2

Tusla – Child and Family Agency, is pleased to announce the launch of its new Child Protection and Welfare Practice Handbook 2. The Practice Handbook 2 is published as a companion Child Protection and Welfare Practice Handbook 2
document to the 2011 HSE Child Protection and Welfare Practice Handbook and Children First: National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children (DCYA 2017).

The content of the Child Protection and Welfare Practice Handbook 2 was compiled from submissions from numerous stakeholders and content experts, both within Tusla and from partner agencies with particular expertise. The new Child Protection and Welfare Practice Handbook 2 is written for use by front-line social workers, their line managers and other professionals. Practice Handbook 2 is divided into four sections, following the categories identified in Children First: National Guidance (DCYA 2017: 11–12): Parent or Carer Factors, Child Factors, Community Factors, and Environmental Factors. Chapters are provided under each of these headings on factors identified in Children First: National Guidance as well as some additional areas. Chapters provide a short description of each topic area, followed by some key messages from research and a practice note to assist professionals in making evidence informed decisions and judgements.

The Child Protection and Welfare Practice Handbook 2 can be found here

Universal Design Guidelines for Early Learning and Care Settings

AIM LogoUniversal Design is the design and composition of an environment so that it can be accessed, understood and used to the greatest extent possible by all universal design guidelinespeople regardless of their age, size, ability or disability.

On 10th June 2019, the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr Katherine Zappone, launched the Universal Design Guidelines for Early Learning and Care Settings. These guidelines are an important step in making all Early Learning and Care services accessible to all children. This publication offers guidance on the refurbishment, renovation and building of centres for Early Learning and Care in Ireland.

 

http://aim.gov.ie/universal-design-guidelines-for-elc-settings/

 

Compliance visits over the summer months

The Pobal Compliance team will continue to conduct unannounced visits to services that are operational over the summer months as per the service calendars uploaded to PIP for the PobalLogo

2018/2019 programmes cycle.

For those services still operating, please ensure that all records relating to other programmes which may have ceased for the summer months (e.g. ECCE) are also available for review during such visits.

The Service Provider Compliance 2018/2019 checklist should assist in collating the relevant information that forms part of the compliance checks.

In addition, it is essential that all Roll books /Attendance records and fee records where applicable are accessible, as the information contained within will also form part of the compliance checks.

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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