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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Letter from Minister Zappone on Government plans to reopen the early learning and care sector

Dear provider,DCYA main logo

Please see attached letter from the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, which includes important updates for providers on Government plans to reopen the early learning and care sector.

Also attached are:

  • a letter from the Secretary General of the Department, which you will be able to copy to your insurance broker if you intend to reopen your service in advance of 29 June, for preparatory works, and
  • a paper setting out the key principles which will underpin service reopening, including the latest health and safety advice.

Early Years Division.

Letter to providers - updates on planned reopening

Letter to Providers Sec General

Principles of Practice for Reopening ELC & SAC services

​Programme Support Payments (PSP) 2019/20

Dear Service Provider,PobalLogo

Programme Support Payments (PSP) will open for applications from Friday May 29 until Friday June 12 2020; the payments will issue after the application process ends.

A ‘How to Guide’ including screen shots explaining how to apply through the service provider portal is attached here.

On Friday 17th April, to assist with any cash flow difficulties being experienced by services due to COVID-19, the DCYA released an advance payment of one third of the Programme Support Payment (PSP) that services were scheduled to receive in June 2020.

This payment together with the remaining two-thirds are subject to the terms and conditions outlined in the PSP application form.

In order to receive the remaining two-thirds and retain the one third already paid to services, the application form must be completed and submitted by Friday 12 June 2020.

Late applications will not be accepted

If a service does not wish to apply, then the advance payment must be returned. Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to make arrangements to return the payment.

Calculation of PSP 2019/2020 (included in announcement of advance payment 15/04/2020)

The PSP for this programme cycle involves a new calculation to include the National Childcare Scheme (NCS) which is being brought into the PSP along with ECCE, CCSP and TEC. The total amount available to providers for 2020, payable this year, remains the same as last year at €19.4m, however, funding for individual providers and registrations may differ from previous years.

PSP is calculated based on a period in time referred to as the "snapshot" period. A number of different snapshot periods during the programme year have been used to calculate PSP since it was introduced in June 2017. This year, December 2019 was selected as an equitable point on which to base the ECCE, CCSP and TEC 2020 PSP payment and March 2020 was the base used for NCS, reflecting that it was a new scheme only introduced in November. PSP is calculated as equal to 7 days' (1.4 weeks') registrations for ECCE at Standard Capitation, 1 week for NCS, and 12.5 days' (2.5 weeks') registrations for CCSP and TEC, in respect of the 2019/20 programme cycle.

Note: You will receive a separate PSP payment relative to each contract, it will not be a combined single payment. Your provider portal and the remittance advice you receive will include a description of each payment.

Message & Survey from EY Division for services that normally close over the summer

Dear Provider,DCYA main logo

Further to our recent correspondence concerning upcoming provider surveys, please find attached here the survey questions for early learning and care and school-age childcare providers usually closed in July and August. This survey will be administered by phone with the support of Pobal and Better Start. Calls to providers that normally close in July and August will begin later this week. In order to support providers to gather the information they may need to participate in this survey, a copy of the survey is attached. Providers that cannot be reached by phone will be sent a link to the survey for self-completion.

In addition, with the purpose of obtaining the views of the sector on the re-opening of services, the Department has opened a Call for Submissions. The Call for Submissions opened today (26 May) and will remain open until 5 June. The Call for Submission form can be accessed through the following link

The information from this survey and the call for submissions will provide the Department with important and up to date information regarding services and will inform re-opening plans. Therefore, your participation is strongly encouraged and appreciated.

The Minister and the Department will meet with the Advisory Group again later today and it is expected further updates will be circulated following this meeting.

Early Years Division.

​Phased Re-Opening of Services: Provider Survey

DCYA main logoDear Service Provider,

The Minister chaired a meeting of the Advisory Group on re-opening of early learning and care and school-age service on Tuesday afternoon.

The Minister, Department and Advisory Group understand the necessity to provide ongoing information on this work and set out some updates below.

Survey and Call for Submissions

In order to capture key data to inform planning for the re-opening, the Department is planning a phone survey of providers. With the support of Pobal and Better Start, a survey will first be administered to providers that normally operate in July and August. A survey to remaining providers will follow thereafter. Calls to providers that normally operate in July and August will begin in the week commencing 25 May. In order to support providers to gather the information they may need to participate in this phone survey, a copy of the survey is attached here.

With the purpose of obtaining the views of the sector on the re-opening of services, the Department is also issuing a Call for Submissions to providers and practitioners. A link to this Call for Submissions will be circulated to you in the coming days.

This will provide the Department with important and up to date information regarding services and will inform re-opening plans. Therefore, your participation is strongly encouraged and appreciated.

Advisory Group and Provider Reference Group

Acknowledging the expertise and experience of the sectoral representatives on the Advisory Group, the Minister is proposing to supplement this with a provider reference group, which will include representatives of other groups not on the Advisory Group. It is hoped to organise a meeting of the Reference Group next week.

We would encourage providers and practitioners to feed in through the sector representatives on the Advisory Group to ensure your concerns and solutions are brought forward. Representation is via the Association of Childhood Professionals (ACP), the National Childhood Network (NCN), the National Forum for Community Childcare Services, Seas Suas (an organisation representing independent providers), Early Childhood Ireland (ECI), Plé (an organisation representing higher education institutions in early childhood studies), SIPTU and Childminding Ireland.

Work plan

A draft work plan covering all the work that is required to facilitate the 29 June reopening and 20 July expansion was presented to the Advisory Group and working groups are being established to progress initial work streams within set timelines.

Public health advice

Public Health advice is beginning to be received and the Department should be in a position to make some guidance available in the coming days.
The Minister and the Department will continue to work with sector representatives and are grateful to the Advisory Group for their commitment to solutions focussed engagement on this matter.

The Department has asked funded organisations to ensure that they are available to support you with return to work preparations. In particular, City and County Childcare Committees will act as a local support hub and focus on reopening supports. Early Childhood Ireland will focus on HR supports for all providers. Childminding Ireland will engage and support childminders specifically. Other support organisations are operating as normal and contributing to resource development.

We would appreciate if you would share this correspondence with your employees.

Early Years Division

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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