Offaly County Childcare Committee -   057 9135878    info@offalychildcare.com

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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.

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Playing Outside Grant can now be used to buy a CO2 monitor

The Playing Outside Grant 2021, which is open for online applications until 5pm Tuesday 31 August 2021,

can now be used to fund a CO2 monitor for your service. childrens playground 5067156 1920 1 DCEDIY logo

CO2 monitors can provide a useful indicator that areas or rooms may not be adequately ventilated.

They can be used to judge ventilation in a room, taking into account the impact of activities, outdoor weather and window openings.

If you have already applied for this grant, you can use the funding to purchase a CO2 monitor, or, if you have purchased a CO2 monitor in the eligible expenditure window (1 June- 30 November) this will now be counted as eligible expenditure under this grant.

You do not need to contact Pobal to communicate this change.

If you have not made an application under the Playing Outside Grant 2021 and intend to purchase a CO2 monitor with grant monies, please select VENTILATION from the list of eligible expenditure on the grant application.

Further information

For further information on the programme rules and how to apply for this grant please read the Applicant Guidelines.

For a step-by-step guide on how to complete the application on HIVE please read the Technical Guidelines.

AIM 2021/2022 and EWSS

Dear Service Provider, EWSSAIM Logo

Under the Access and Inclusion Model (AIM) Programme Rules, the wages of an employee may be supported through either the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) or AIM Level 7 capitation, but not both. It is open to a service provider to decide whether EWSS or AIM Level 7 funding is most advantageous to them.

While EWSS has been extended until 31 December 2021 and current arrangements apply unchanged until the end of Quarter 3, the arrangements for Quarter 4 will not be announced until September.

Service providers that have a child with a disability attending the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) programme during the year 2021/22 and choose to opt for EWSS funding (instead of AIM Level 7 funding) are encouraged to complete an application for AIM Level 7 also, so that their application can be assessed well in advance. Completing the application for AIM Level 7 funding mitigates the risk of a gap in funding for providers who opt for EWSS, but who are likely to lose EWSS at some point during the programme year 2021/22.

Applying for AIM support now will also allow such services to benefit from educational advice and support under AIM Level 4 while in receipt of EWSS. Once approved for AIM Level 7 funding for 2021/22 programme, the provider must advise Pobal they are opting for EWSS instead and the AIM Level 7 will be withdrawn until such time as EWSS support ends.

Service providers who have a child that is eligible for a second-year extension for 2021/22 and withdrew last year due to EWSS, can apply for their second-year extension support now. However, where a service opts to continue with EWSS funding, AIM Level 7 funding will be allocated from 1 January 2022 (or on the date EWSS ceases for that service.)

Help and support

Should you have any queries in relation to the AIM, please contact the Early Years Provider Centre by raising a Request on Hive.

​Programme Readiness 2021/22 Reminder

Dear Service Provider, pobal logo

As previously communicated, the first stage of Programme Readiness 2021/22 for ECCE, NCS and CCSP Saver programmes was made available for services from 28 May 2021.

Since that date, services have been able to complete programme readiness tasks including fees lists and service calendars, as well as activate programme Funding Agreements.

CCSP Saver Programme

Service calendars, fees lists, and funding agreements needs to be completed by 5.00pm on Friday, 30 July, 2021. You must activate the funding agreement by this day to be eligible for the first preliminary payment.

Please see the CCSP section of PIP resources for guidance.

ECCE

Service calendars, fees lists, and funding agreements need to be completed by 5.00pm on Friday, 13 August 2021. You must activate the funding agreement by this date to be eligible for the first preliminary payment.

Please see the ECCE Guides section of the Early Years Hive for guidance.

A copy of the ECCE Declaration Form 2 must be submitted before you can sign the Funding Agreement. In order to submit this form, please go to "My Account" > "ECCE Pre-Contracting" on the Early Years Hive, and upload a completed copy of the ECCE Declaration Form 2.

NCS

We would also like to remind you to complete your programme readiness tasks for NCS. Please note that for NCS, a service calendar for 2021 and 2022 must be created to allow registrations which span across both programme years.

Please see the NCS Guides section of the Early Years Hive for guidance.

Information on preliminary payments (CCSP Saver Programme and ECCE) and registrations will be communicated soon.

Thank you,
The Pobal Early Years Team

Reopening Support Payment (RSP) – Verification Checks

Dear Provider, pobal logo

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth (DCEDIY) has provided financial supports to the Early Learning and Care (ELC) and School Age Care (SAC) sector in recognition of the particular challenges and difficulties facing providers.

One such support was the Reopening Support Payment (RSP) grant, announced by the Minister on 10 June 2020. The purpose of the reopening grant was to provide a once-off payment to ELC and SAC services opening between 29 June and early September 2020 to support adherence to reopening guidelines, support children to remain in ‘play pods’ to reduce the potential of the virus spreading, and to meet additional staffing needs during the reopening period. The payment covered eligible expenditure during the period 13 March to 31st December 2020 (as per the extension granted in late 2020).

As with all funding, the Department is required to ensure that all funding claimed was spent for the purposes intended. As such the Department and Pobal will soon be undertaking verification checks against the Reopening Support Payment requirements for a sample of services funded. These checks will verify participating services’ compliance with the RSP grant and will be carried out remotely in line with public health advice. The verification checks are expected to commence shortly.

You are requested to review all of the materials carefully to ensure that you have met requirements of the RSP grant.
The Department and Pobal would like to thank you for your ongoing work and cooperation during this difficult time.

Yours faithfully,
The Pobal Compliance Team.

​End of temporary 2-hour attendance rule for NCS

​Dear Service Provider, pobal logo

Last year the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth introduced added flexibility on attendance rules under the National Childcare Scheme response to the exceptional environment caused by COVID-19. The temporary rule change allowed for 2 hour variance in attendance against registration per week without triggering a report.

Please be aware that this 2-hour variance rule will no longer be in affect from Monday, 2 August 2021.

You can find links to Attendance Trackers to support your attendance-keeping for the NCS on the Attendance Rules page of the Early Years Hive. The updated versions of these trackers will be available for use on the morning of 2 August 2021. This page also contains the rules around child absence and under-attendance.

Regards,
Pobal Early Years Team

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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