Support for the Childcare Sector
Offaly County Childcare Committee provides a variety of supports to the childcare sector including organising, facilitating, delivering training, cluster group meetings, workshops and forum meetings. Potential Childcare Providers and Childminders wishing to set up a new childcare service can call the office to arrange an appointment with the Support and Development Workers who will support the potential provider through the process of establishing a new service.
Offaly County Childcare Committee supports Parent & Toddler Groups to set up and to develop their groups. The Support & Development Workers can offer a six week programme to groups, which centres around child and adult interactions. The programme is tailored to the needs of individual groups and can include music and movement, arts & crafts, basic cookery with children, storytelling, physical development etc. For further details contact the office on 057-9135878.
Offaly CCC supports the development of Quality Childcare Services in Offaly.
We work with service providers and potential providers to assist them to develop and / or expand a service. Please feel free to contact us if you need support, advice and/or information on any of the following:
- Carrying out a needs assessment
- Setting up a Childcare Service
- Expanding a Childcare service
- Setting up as a Childminder
- Setting up a Parent & Toddler Group
- Entry into the ECCE Scheme
- Childcare Training
- Childminder Development Grants
- Quality Development in a Service
- Síolta (Quality Framework)
- Voice & Choice (Afterschool Support Programme)
- Books and publications relating to childcare
These are just a few of our publications to date:
Directory of Childcare Services in Offaly:
This Directory gives the definition of the different types of childcare services i.e. full day care, sessional, playgroup etc. It provides information on childcare services. It also gives a list of Parent & Toddler groups, Crèches, Playgroups and After-Schools in Offaly. It is available to parents who are looking for childcare facilities for their children.
Spraoi Le Cheile:
This resource manual for use with children of all ages was compiled by the Border, Midlands and West County Childcare Committees. The A5 sized manual includes rhymes, poems, songs and games which were contributed by people from the 14 counties involved who remembered them from their childhood. Contributions were made in both Irish and English and both languages are reflected in the manual. Manuals will be distributed to services over the coming months and are available free of charge to parents.
Benefits of Playgroup/Preschool for your Child:
The government has recently given due recognition to the role of early childhood care and education. This booklet was prepared by Offaly County Childcare Committee to help parents and childcare providers to recognise the benefits for children of Early Childhood Care and Education. The booklet informs parents of the various programmes available in Offaly as well as the skills that children may acquire while attending playgroup/pre-school.
A Parent’s Guide to Choosing Childcare:
Choosing a childcare service for your child can be a very anxious time for parents. As a parent, it is your responsibility to ensure that your child is safe and happy in a child care environment that is fun, educational and nurturing. This booklet was prepared by Offaly County Childcare Committee to help parents to identify the types of childcare options that are available and to assist parents to make an informed choice that suits you and your child/ren.
Quality Play for Adults and Children:
“A playing child is a learning child”. This leaflet outlines the ages and stage appropriate play for children from birth to 4 years of age.
Child-minder Advisory Pack:
This pack aims to support child-minders in providing a Quality Child-minding Service and complements the voluntary notification process and the National Guidelines for Child-minders. The Support pack contains sample Child-minding Policies and Procedures, Record Keeping Forms and an Information Booklet for Child-minders.
National Strategic Plan 2011-2013
Early Childhood Care and Education Programmes
- Early childhood is a significant and distinct time in life that must be nurtured, respected, valued and supported in its own right.
- The child's individuality, strengths, rights and needs are central in the provision of quality early childhood experiences.
- Parents are the primary educators of the child and have a pre-eminent role in promoting his/her well-being, learning and development.
- Responsive, sensitive and reciprocal relationships, which are consistent over time, are essential to the well-being, learning and development of the young child.
- Equality is an essential characteristic of quality early childhood care and education.
- Care and education are inseparable and interdependent.
- Quality early childhood settings acknowledge and respect diversity and ensure that all children and families have their individual, personal, cultural and linguistic identity validated. The importance of the Irish language as the national language is recognised.
- The physical environment of the young child has a direct impact on her/his well-being, learning and development.
- The safety, welfare and well-being of all children must be protected and promoted in all early childhood environments.
- The role of the adult in providing quality early childhood experiences is fundamental.
- A professional, well trained and competent early childhood workforce is fundamental to the provision of quality and developmental experiences of children.
- The provision of quality early childhood experiences requires co-operation, communication and mutual respect.
- A partnership approach among all stakeholders with an interest in early childhood care, health and education is essential for the implementation of cohesive and effective supports and services for children and families and for the long-term sustainability of the early childhood infrastructure.
- Pedagogy in early childhood is expressed by curricula or programmes of activities which take a holistic approach to the development and learning of the child and reflect the inseparable nature of care and education.
- Play is central to the well-being, development and learning of the young child.
- To develop comprehensive childcare supports infrastructure and services, where the holistic well-being of children and families are fundamental.
- To enhance quality early childhood education and care and school-age provision.
- To consolidate investment in the sector in order to support the continuing development of a stable, integrated and sustainable infrastructure.
- To build on the capacity of the ECCE sector to enhance and develop quality services for children and their families, through the provision of on-going professional development
- To ensure effective and transparent collaboration, communication and consultation, and optimum use of resources by all stakeholders in early childhood care and education.
A copy of any of these publications can be obtained by telephoning the office on 057- 9135878.