Offaly County Childcare Committee -   057 9135878

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Welcome to Offaly County Childcare Committee

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

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Playing Outside Grant 2021

The Department of Children Equality Diversity Integration and Youth (DCEDIY) is pleased to announce that applications will open for the Playing Outside 2021 tomorrow the 18th of June.DCEDIY logo

Applications will be open from June 18th – August 31st 2021. Applications cannot be submitted outside this application window. All applications must be submitted on the HIVE.

There is €5.5 million in funding available under this grant to support childcare services to enhance their outdoor playing area, in line with current public health guidelines.

The amount of grant which is paid to each Early Learning and Care and School Age Childcare Service is based on the number of individual children registered in a service on one or more DCEDIY programmes on the 3rd of May 2021. The number of individual children registered will be taken from Early Years Portal and PIP systems hosted by Pobal.

To be eligible for funding, you must have had at least one registered child on one of the following schemes on the 3rd of May:

• National Childcare Scheme (NCS)
• Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE)
• Community Childcare Subvention Programme Plus (CCSP)
• Community Childcare Subvention Resettlement (CSSR)
• Community Childcare Subvention Resettlement Transition (CSSR-T)
• Training and Employment Childcare (TEC)

Payment of the grant:

Payments to approved applicants will commence from Friday 25th June and will occur weekly thereafter. Applicants will be paid 100% of their grant allocation, and will receive their payment within 10 working days of submitting their application.

The amount of funding each service is allocated under The Playing Outside Grant 2021 is as follows:

Number of children registered on DECDIY Programmes
Grant Allocation


Further information 

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

For a Step by Step guide on how to complete the application on HIVE please read the Technical Guidelines (HERE).

If you require any further clarifications or information please raise a Service Request in HIVE using the following categories as appropriate:

POG (Playing Outside Grant)

• Payment
• Application Form
• Program Clarification
• Technical Issue
• Review Eligibility

• General

Please note the Early Years Provider Centres Opening Hours are 9am to 5pm Mon/Tues/Thurs/Fri and 10am to 5pm Wed.
You can also call on Telephone number 01 511 7222.

Early Years Hive Scheduled Maintenance

Dear Service Provider, Early Years HiveNCS

The Early Years Hive and the National Childcare Scheme website will be unavailable this afternoon, 17 June at 5pm for a maximum of 2 hours due to scheduled maintenance.

After this time, you will need to refresh your web browser to access the portal again.

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause and thank you for your cooperation.

Thank you,
Early Years Team

Annual Early Years Service Profile 2020/21 and Income and Costs Survey– DEADLINE: 5pm Friday 18th June

The deadline for submitting this year’s Early Years Service Profile and Income and Costs Survey is 5pm, this Friday 18th June.early years survey extended

Your response to these surveys in 2021 is more important than ever given the challenges the pandemic has presented for ELC/SAC services. The information you provide will be essential to assess the impact of the pandemic on the sector and to inform future policy development and funding decisions.

Pobal and the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth appreciate you taking the time to complete these surveys.

Where on the Hive:

You can access both the Annual Early Years Service Profile and Income and Costs Survey by going to My Account > Surveys on the Hive.

You will also find a guideline document available for both these surveys in the Useful Links section of Hive.

Completing the Surveys:

Surveys should be completed for each facility i.e. one for each DCEDIY reference number (DCYA Reference number).

How long will it take to complete the surveys?

The length of time it takes to complete the survey depends on the size of the service, the number of staff and number of children enrolled. The Annual Early Years Service Profile is expected to take around one hour. The Income and Costs Survey is expected to take 15-20 minutes. The survey will save so you can complete it in more than one sitting before final submission.

Can I complete the service profile through Irish?

Yes. We are delighted to introduce this option for the first time for services operating in Irish.

The Survey on Income and Costs can also be completed in Irish.

Who can we contact for assistance?

If you experience any difficulties accessing or completing either survey, please log a request through the Early Years Hive using the following categories:

• Request type: EY Service Profile
• Request type details: EY Service Profile
• Request Programme: EY Service Profile.

Minister O’Gorman publishes the Annual Early Years Sector Profile Report 2019/2020

The Annual Early Years Sector Profile 2019/2020 is available to read in full here.annual profile 19 20

The Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth Roderic O’Gorman, T.D., has published the Annual Early Years Sector Profile Report 2019/2020. This annual report – the eighteenth in the series – provides a detailed overview of the Early Learning and Care (ELC) and School-Age Childcare (SAC) sector in Ireland, including the numbers of children in receipt of state subsidies, information on ELC and SAC fees, staff wages, qualifications and turnover.

The report, which plays a central role in informing policy development and in assessing the impact of policy change, is based on a survey of ELC and SAC providers in Ireland and administrative data from Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth (DCEDIY) schemes. The report is produced by Pobal on behalf of the DCEDIY.

The Annual Early Years Sector Profile report is based on information collected at the end of June 2020during an unusual and challenging period, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, when ELC and SAC providers were preparing to reopen. Despite the difficult circumstances almost 3,000 providers completed the survey, demonstrating their commitment to provide evidence for policy-making.

Speaking on the report Minister O’Gorman thanked all the Early Learning and Care and School-Age Childcare providers who participated in the survey and reflected on some of the key findings and said:

“I am very pleased to publish the 2019/20 Annual Early Years Sector Profile Report. Undoubtedly, 2020 marked one of the most difficult years we have collectively faced and I recognise and applaud the leadership shown by services and staff in the context of Covid-19, putting children and their families and the heart of their work.

"Notwithstanding the impact of Covid-19, I am struck by the positive developments across the sector and through the data evidenced in this report. This report reveals another year-on-year increase in the number of children with additional needs receiving support under the Access and Inclusion model. The continued progress towards a highly qualified workforce is also very positive, with a significant increase in the number of staff qualified to level 7 or higher.

"High quality research and data are essential to developing the early learning and care system, and the data in this report will inform a range of significant policy initiatives underway to continue to develop and strengthen the sector. I offer my thanks again to all of those who took the time to participate”.

Anna Shakespeare, Pobal CEO added:

“For the past 18 years Pobal has been collecting important information about the Early Learning and Care and School Aged Childcare sector in Ireland through the Annual Early Years Service Profile. I welcome the publication of 2019/2020 report knowing that the information and analysis included in this report will be used to plan for accessible and quality early learning and care to all children in Ireland. Over the past year, this information has become even more important in helping the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth to plan the response to the COVID-19 emergency and deliver measures to mitigate its impact on the sector. Pobal has been very proud to be able to work with DCEDIY on this.”

The Annual Early Years Sector Profile 2019/2020 is available to read in full here.

Some of the key findings at-a-glance from this year’s survey include:

  • During the 2019/2020 programme year, a total of 180,149 children were supported under at least one Government subsidy programme. A total of 53,513 children from 42,557 households received subsidies under the National Childcare Scheme, which launched on 20th November 2019.
  • A total of 2,428 Early Learning and Care and School Aged Childcare services and 5,708 children with additional needs were supported under the Access and Inclusion Model (AIM). The number of services receiving support under AIM as well as the number of children receiving targeted supports has increased on the previous year, by 1.7% and 3.5% respectively.
  • Fees have increased across all types of provision, but this rate of increase has been less than in previous years, at less than 1% across all types of provision. In 2019/2020, an average weekly fee for full time care was €186.12.
  • It is estimated that 30,883 staff work in the sector, 85% of whom worked directly with children.
  • Wages of staff working in the ELC and SAC sector have increased year-on-year; however, the pace of growth is slow. The average hourly wage of childcare staff (excluding managers) in 2019/20 was €12.45, 4% higher than in 2018/2019.
  • The level of staff qualifications has continued to grow steadily over the last few years, with 27% of staff working directly with children now holding a qualification at NFQ Level 7 or higher.
  • The staff turnover in the sector decreased for two years in a row and in 2019/20 was 18%, down 7% from two years ago.

Minister O’Gorman announces Capacity Building Grant and Training from Hub na nÓg to support implementation of the National Framework for Children and Young People’s Participation in Decision-making

Minister Roderic O’Gorman, T.D., has announced that the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth (DCEDIY) has established a fundHub na nOg grant
and Hub na nÓg* training to support implementation of the National Participation Framework for Children and Young People’s Participation in Decision Making, (2021). The emphasis will be on the everyday spaces and settings where practitioners work directly with children and young people.

Training and capacity building for decision-makers is one of the four enabling factors that underpin the effective implementation of the Framework.

This grant scheme aims to build capacity and support organisations in a journey towards improving their practice in listening to children and young people and giving them a voice in decision-making in their day-to-day practices, services, projects, programmes or activities.

Eligible organisations are invited to apply for the grant which will provide funding to enable participation in training from Hub na nÓg and to develop and/or purchase resources to support use of the ‘Everyday Spaces Checklist’ in their work with children and young people.

Speaking today, Minister O’Gorman said:

"I am delighted to announce this Capacity Building Grant initiative to run alongside the National Framework for Children and Young People’s Participation in Decision-Making. This initiative will deliver evidence-based training, provide assistance in the creation of online resources and enable the development of a Voice Toolkit of resources to help practitioners to effectively listen to children and young people and take their views seriously in the setting and space in which they work with children or young people."

* Hub na nÓg is the national centre of excellence and co-ordination on giving children and young people a voice in decision-making.

Application Form including guidance booklet available here.

Closing Date for Applications: Close of Business on Monday June 28.

Contact: 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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