On 25 July the Minister announced the Department’s July Jobs Stimulus Funding Package for the Early Learning and Care (ELC) and School-Age Childcare (SAC) sector.
The funding package for the Early Learning and Care (ELC) and School Age Childcare (SAC) sector from 24 August to end 2020 includes:
- Continuation of all DCYA ELC and SAC subsidy schemes (NCS, CCSP, TEC) and resumption of the ECCE Programme at existing capitation and subsidy rates, including ECCE Higher Capitation;
- Access to the Revenue-operated EWSS. A special exemption for early learning and childcare services to the turnover rule within EWSS has been included to recognise the need to retain capacity in the sector and support parents to access childcare places and get back to work.
- A sustainability fund will be accessible to providers (not-for-profit and for-profit) who can demonstrate that the other measures are not sufficient by themselves to enable viable operation of their business.
While services will differ, DCYA believes that the funding package available should allow most services not to increase parental fees and to maintain staff wages while remaining sustainable.
Where providers are struggling with an imminent threat to the viability of the service arising from a demonstrated decline in occupancy and/or demonstrated increase in costs due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, DCYA encourages them to seek financial support in the form of the COVID-19 Sustainability Support funding. A service will need to adhere to its registered Fees List as of 12 March to be eligible to access this funding.
Further detail about the eligibility criteria and how to access this funding will be made available on 14 August.
DCYA encourages providers to review their financial situation in light of the available funding package and wait until they have the full detail to consider whether they may be suitable for Sustainability Funding before making changes to fees or wages.
Early Years Division.