Offaly County Childcare Committee -   057 9135878

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CPD Payments

CPD PaymentsPobalLogo

Dear Service Provider

CPD Payments were issued on Friday 23rd of October to all services for participants who partially completed Hanen ‘Teacher Talk’ and Aistear and Play CPD trainings between the 1st of January and the 11th of March. Payments are based on the number of training sessions attended during this time period. Participants were not able to complete the courses due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Please note that each staff member can avail of a maximum of 18 hours of paid CPD training per calendar year. Payments for all participants will be made to the employer/ childcare setting and NOT to the individual. Re-imbursement by way of payment or time worked is the responsibility of the employer. The rate of payment is €13 per hour.

If you have any queries regarding your payments; please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 01-5117222

Thank you
Early Years Team

Attention Childminders

Childminders!Childminder Recruitment Poster

  • Are you a Childminder in Offaly?
  • Are you interested in becoming a Childminder?
  • Offaly County Childcare Committee provide free information, support and advice in relation to all aspects of Childminding in your home.
  • Childminder Development Grants of up to €1000 are available to eligible Childminders every two years.

For further information or assistance please contact Offaly County Childcare Committee:
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or
(057) 9135878 / 0851783397

Reminder: AIM Level 1 LINC Applications

Reminder: AIM Level 1 LINC Applicationshive LINC

Dear Service Provider,

Reminder: The application process for all qualified LINC Co-Ordinators is now open on the Early Years Hive.

Any applications received by 31st October 2020 will be provided with the additional capacitation from the employment start date of the LINC Co-ordinator. Applicants are encouraged to apply early, as any applications received after this date will not be backdated.

Services who had funding for previous years will need to reapply for the 2020/2021 ECCE year.

If you require any additional information, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Early Years Team

Learner Fund Bursary 2020 - REMINDER

REMINDER - CLOSING DATE FRIDAY 23RD OCTOBERPoster Learner Fund Bursary 2020

The Department of Children & Youth Affairs (DCYA) will re-open the Learner Fund Bursary to Early Learning and Care practitioners who are new graduates of a recognised Early Childhood Education and Care degree programme. The local City/County Childcare Committees (CCC) will process and appraise Learner Fund Bursary applications.

The following rules apply to the Graduate Bursary:
1. The qualification for which the bursary is paid must be either:

a. On the DCYA Early Years Recognised Qualifications list and indicated as meeting the qualification requirements for room leader – higher capitation.
Or
b. The applicant must hold a letter of eligibility to practice from DCYA which states that the qualification meets the standard for the higher capitation rate.

2. The award must be placed at level 7/8/9 on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ) and achieved in the academic years 2014 - 2020.
3. The bursary amount will be €750.
4. The qualification must be a full, major award; the bursary cannot be paid in respect of partially completed awards.
5. Letters from third level education providers which state that a partially completed award is equivalent to a full award should not be accepted.
6. The qualification for which the bursary is paid must be that which qualifies the person to work in the Early Years sector (and is at least level 7 on the NFQ).
7. Applicants may only apply once and cannot be granted the Learner Fund bursary for a second time if they have already received it before i.e. the bursary will be paid for one of the following - a level 7 OR a level 8 OR a level 9 qualification.
8. The applicant cannot have received any public funding in support of their completing the award relating to this application.
9. The bursary is available to experienced practitioners only; applicants must have been working in a Tusla registered Early Learning & Care Service prior to beginning their course.
10. Applicants must be currently working in a Tusla registered Early Learning & Care Service.
11. Staff working in standalone School Age Childcare services are not eligible to apply.
12. Application must be made by the holder of the award and not by any third party on their behalf.

Please Note:
With regard to (5) above: Only students who have registered for and successfully completed a Level 7, 8 or 9 Award are eligible. In some specific cases, students who have registered for a Level 8 Award but successfully completed and exited with a Level 7 Major Award are eligible. This is only possible in 3 colleges as follows: National College of Ireland (Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education), Cork IT (BA in Early Years Education), London Metropolitan University offered through Portobello Institute (BA [Ord] Early Childhood Studies) as they appear on the DCYA published list of qualifications. Students enrolled in these courses who are continuing with their studies are not eligible for the Graduate Bursary until they fully complete their studies.

With regard to (8) above: DCYA is aware that an increasing number of qualified practitioners choose to pursue postgraduate education to further advance their practice, but is not in a position to provide funding in respect of this. If an applicant does not have an eligible undergraduate degree, and has a post-graduate award which is not on the published list, they should apply for qualifications recognition as a priority.

Sharing of data with relevant parties: The Department of Children and Youth Affairs is committed to protecting the
rights and privacy of individuals in accordance with both European Union and Irish data protection legislation. See DCYA Privacy Notice: www.dcya.gov.ie/documents/aboutus/20180822_DCYADataPrivacyNotice.pdf

The CCC decision is final: There is no appeals process for the Graduate Bursary payment. The decision of the CCC is final for the purposes of the bursary application and process, and no delays to the timely conclusion of the process should occur. If an applicant is not approved and wants clarification on this, they can contact DCYA directly.

Application requirements:
I. Application form to be completed in full and by the deadline specified.
II. Applicants must be currently working in a Tusla registered Early Learing & Care service.
III. Supporting qualifications documentation (including photographic identification) must be provided with
the application form.
IV. In lieu of graduating certificates, transcripts from the third level education institution can be accepted.
V. The transcripts must be in document/hard copy form and endorsed by the institution; screenshots of
online student records cannot be accepted.
VI. The transcript can only be accepted if it clearly shows that the full award has been achieved.

Timeframe for applications:

14th September   Call for applications open by CCCs
23rd October All forms must be fully completed and returned (incl. photographic evidence) by email to your local CCC no later than 5PM on Friday 23rd October 2020.

Week of 7th December

CCCs pay approved applicants

 

To download the application form and guidlines please click on the links below:

Learner Fund Graduate Bursary Guidelines

Learner Fund Graduate Bursary application form

For further details please contact Deirdre in Offaly County Childcare on 057 9135878 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Learner Fund Bursary 2020 for Childminders - REMINDER

Learner Fund Bursary 2020 for Childminders - REMINDER CLOSING DATE FRIDAY 23RD OCTOBERPoster Learner Fund Childminder Bursary 2020

The Department of Children & Youth Affairs (DCYA) will open the Learner Fund Bursary for Childminders who are registered with Tusla and hold a Level 5 or Level 6Poster Learner Fund Childminder Bursary 2020
award on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ). The local City/County Childcare Committees (CCCs) will process and appraise the Learner Fund Childminder Bursary applications.

1. A DCYA reference number is required. If the applicant does not have a DCYA reference number, they will need to on-board through the Hive system (https://earlyyearshive.ncs.gov.ie/). This process may take time so applicants are advised to complete as soon as possible.
2. The qualification for which the bursary is paid must be on the DCYA Early Years Recognised Qualifications list.
3. The award must be placed at level 5 or Level 6 on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ) and achieved in the academic years 2014 to 2020 inclusive.
4. The bursary amount will be €750.
5. The qualification must be a full, major award; the bursary will not be paid in respect of partially completed awards.
6. The qualification for which the bursary is paid must be that which qualifies the person to work in the early learning and care sector.
7. Applicants may only apply once and cannot be granted the Learner Fund for a second time if they have already received it before. This includes applicants that may have received a Learner Fund grant in another round of Learner Fund in previous years where the applicant may have previously worked in a centre-based setting.
8. The applicant cannot have received any public funding in support of their completing the award relating to this application.
9. Applicants must be currently registered with Tusla.
10. Late or incomplete applications; will not be accepted.
11. Decision of the CCC is final and cannot be appealed.

Click on the link below to download the application form:

Application form for Learner Fund Bursary for Childminders

NCS: Mid-term Break Updates to Service Calendar and Non-Term Hours

​Dear Service Provider,Early Years Hive

As the majority of schools are closed due to the mid-term break the week of 26th October, it may be necessary to make the following changes on your Early Years Hive portal.

NCS Service Calendar
If your service is closed for part or all of the week, you must mark the closures on your NCS service calendar on the Hive accordingly. You must also note whether it is a subsidised (paid) closure or not.
To add a closure to your NCS service calendar, log into the Hive and follow the below steps:
1. Go to the My Account menu and select Service Calendar
2. In the list of service calendars, expand the yellow triangle on NCS 2021 and select Edit Closures
3. Click Add Closure
4. Select the days your service is closed (individually if it is a subsided closure)
5. Select whether the closure is subsidised (paid) or not
6. Enter the reason for the closure and click Submit

Note: We advise that you select each day individually opposed to using the select period option here. Please be aware that if you use the select period option, you will be unable to mark this closure as subsidised, which may affect payment.

For more information on your NCS service calendar, please see the Service Calendar section of Resources on the Hive.

Non-Term Hours
If there are any eligible children attending your service who require additional hours to their regular registered hours during the mid-term break, you must submit Non-Term hours for them.
To add Non-Term hours to NCS claims, log into the Hive and follow the below steps:
1. Go to the Registrations menu and select NCS Registrations
2. Select the claim you wish to amend
3. Select the weeks that are to be Non-Term from the list and select Bulk Edit
4. Enter the number of Non-Term Hours in the window, submit and confirm
5. Click Submit at the bottom of the page

For more information on NCS registrations, please the Registrations section of Resources on the Hive.

There is also a Quick Guide on Adding Non-Term Hours available and a number of videos available on our youtube channel​ to offer step-by-step guides.

Important: Changes cannot be made to service calendar opening hours or claim hours once a return for that week has been submitted on the Early Years Hive.

We advise making any necessary changes as soon as possible to ensure there are no issues when returns are submitted and payments processed.

If you need further assistance, please raise a Request on the Early Years Hive.

Early Years Team

Minister O’Gorman publishes Independent Review of the Costs of Providing Quality Early Learning and Childcare in Ireland

Minister O’Gorman publishes Independent Review of the Costs of Providing Quality Early Learning and Childcare in Ireland Review of costs of childcare

The Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Roderic O’Gorman, T.D., today launched the Independent Review of the Cost of Providing Quality Early Learning and Childcare in Ireland.

The Review, undertaken by Crowe in association with Apteligen in 2018, is part of a wider commitment by the Minister to establish an evidence base for the development and support of high-quality, accessible and affordable early learning and childcare provision in Ireland.

The Independent Review set out to:

  • analyse the current costs of providing early learning and childcare and the factors that impact on these costs;
  • deliver a model of the unit costs of providing early learning and childcare that allows analysis of policy changes and variation in cost-drivers, and
  • provide a high-level market analysis of the sector in Ireland.

The process involved engagement with key stakeholders from the sector, and the administration of a survey to centre-based providers nationally.

The Independent Review provides a) an hourly unit cost for delivering childcare for all services, b) an hourly unit cost for delivering childcare across service types and location, c) key costs drivers, and d) an average breakdown of operating costs in childcare services.

Unit Cost
The average hourly unit cost for delivering childcare across all services was €4.14. This average hourly unit cost varied across service type and geographic area.

Cost Drivers
Service type and service location were identified among the key cost drivers in the Review. Other key cost drivers included occupancy levels and service size.

Differences in the average unit cost highlight that early learning and childcare may be generally cheaper to deliver in some areas (e.g. rural areas: possibly due to local premises costs) and in some services (e.g. school-age childcare services: possibly due to lower ratio requirements; and sole traders: possibly due to lower premises costs). Differences also highlight how early learning and childcare can be delivered more efficiently (e.g. larger services: possibly due to economies of scale; and services with higher occupancy rates). There is also evidence of higher costs for higher quality (e.g. services employing graduates: possibly due to higher staff costs).

Cost breakdown
The broad components of early learning and childcare services’ operating costs were also identified through the Review. This suggested a pattern consistent with those found in other countries, with staff costs accounting for almost 70 percent of the overall operating costs.

Speaking at today’s launch, Minister O’Gorman said:

“I warmly welcome the publication of the Independent Review of the Costs of Providing Quality Childcare in Ireland. I would like to extend my gratitude to the report authors Crowe and Apteligen, and to the providers who gave so willingly their time to participate.

"The findings from this Review provide us with a rich and detailed understanding of the childcare market and a sound analytical underpinning to inform future funding decisions.

"An output of the Review was the development of a cost calculator. This is a powerful tool that will assist my Department to accurately estimate the impacts of potential future policy changes on the cost of delivering a service.

"Already, this has been used successfully to inform my Department’s approach to funding services during COVID-19 closures in the sector, and through the phased reopening of services since 29 June.

"In the future, it will form a key input into the setting of future funding rates and will be considered by the Expert Group convened by my Department to develop a new funding model for the sector.”

Minister O’Gorman added:

“While the findings on unit cost give us some confidence in our current levels of State subvention, I am acutely aware that the unit cost is based on pay rates in the sector that are unacceptably low. I also acknowledge that the unit cost varies substantially across services and, for some services, their unit cost will be lower or higher than this.

"In First 5, Government has pledged to at least double investment in early learning and childcare by 2028.

"We have now assembled a robust evidence base to inform these future funding decisions and ensure fairness in the distribution of State supports”.

The Minister also used the opportunity of the launch to thank the sector again for their continued and tireless efforts to offer safe and nurturing services for children as the COVID pandemic endures.

The Independent Review of the Costs of Providing Childcare is available here. (Executive Summary)

ELC & SAC COVID-19 Sustainability Support Fund

ELC & SAC COVID-19 Sustainability Support Fundsustainability update

Dear Provider,

We are pleased to announce that a further applicant window to apply for the COVID-19 Sustainability Support Fund will open from today 14th October 2020 and will close at 5pm on 20th October 2020. All applications that were received after 5pm on 13th October will be assessed in this window.

This funding is accessible to providers (not-for-profit and for-profit) who can demonstrate that the other measures available as part of the July Stimulus Package are not sufficient by themselves to enable viable operations of their business. Further information in relation to eligibility is available in the Guidelines.

The Application Form, Workbook, and Applicant Guidelines for the ELC & SAC COVID-19 Sustainability Support Fund are available on the Hive and can be accessed here: https://earlyyearshive.ncs.gov.ie/useful-links/.

Support for Service Providers in relation to the completion of the Application Form and Workbook is available via the local City and County Childcare Committees. Contact details can be found in the Guidelines document. Pobal EYPC will not be providing support within this context except where queries relate to accessing the Hive.

Early Years Team

AIM Informed Consent

AIM Informed ConsentAIM Logo

Dear Service Provider,

With effect from 20th July 2020, the parental AIM consent form was updated. Please remove any previous AIM Informed consent forms you may hold on your desktop. Older consent forms will not be accepted and will be referred back.

Link to the new consent form below:

https://pip.pobal.ie/Shared%20Documents/AIM%20Informed%20Consent%202018.pdf

In order to apply for AIM Level 4, 5, or 7, consent from the Parent/Guardian is required to be submitted with the child’s application. This will enable the Early Years Specialist and other professionals to support a child’s inclusion in the pre-school for the duration of his or her ECCE registration and to plan for his or her transition to primary school.

The information required on the AIM informed consent form includes;

  • The child’s name
  • The Service DCYA reference number
  • The setting name
  • Signatures of the Parent’s/Guardian of the child.

The form should then be uploaded onto PIP and submitted with the application. This form is a legal document and should be legible, completed in full and all signatures need to be dated.

Applications cannot be processed without been fully completed and will be referred back to the service for completion.

Early Years Team

Higher Capitation Preliminary Payments to ELC Providers in RECEIPT of Higher Capitation in 2019/2020

Higher Capitation Preliminary Payments to ELC Providers in RECEIPT of Higher Capitation in 2019/2020

Dear Service Provider, PobalLogo

Service Providers who are in receipt of a Higher Capitation preliminary payment and whose application status is ‘Awaiting Appraisal’ or ‘Referred Back’ (@ Tues 13/10/2020) will retain the funding until the service is either approved Higher Capitation or until the next Batch payment on 20/11/2020.

The Higher Capitation preliminary payment will be reversed for services who have yet to submit an application (as notified 15/09/2020).

All ELC Providers are encouraged to apply for Higher Capitation as soon as possible.

Early Years Team

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