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’Historic’ new pay agreement to provide pay increases and wage structure for early learning and childcare workers

’Historic’ new pay agreement to provide pay increases and wage structure for early learning and childcare workers - Ministers English and O’Gormanhistoric pay 12 09 2022
From Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth

Published on 7 September 2022

Last updated on 9 September 2022

  • Employment Regulation Orders to provide first ever minimum rates of pay for roles in the early learning and childcare sector
  • more than 70% of staff working in early learning and childcare set for pay increase following agreement
  • pay increases supported through government’s €221 million Core Funding Scheme

Damien English, Minister of State for Business, Employment and Retail, has today accepted proposals for Employment Regulation Orders for the Early Years Services Sector. The Orders will commence on 15 September 2022, providing new minimum hourly rates of pay for various roles in the Early Years Services Sector as follows:

  • €13.00 for Early Years Educators/ School-Age Childcare practitioners;
  • €14.00 for Early Years Lead Educators / School-Age Childcare co-ordinators;
  • €15.50 Graduate Early Years Lead Educators / School-Age Childcare co-ordinators;
  • €15.70 for Deputy Managers;
  • €16.50 for Managers; and
  • €17.25 for Graduate Managers

The Orders are being supported by the government’s €221 million Core Funding Scheme, announced by Roderic O’Gorman, Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth as part of Budget 2022, which will see increases in funding to early learning and childcare services to support improvements in staff wages, alongside a commitment to freeze parental fees. The commencement date for the Orders – 15 September – coincides with the official launch of Core Funding.

Minister English said:

“I am very pleased to approve these Employment Regulation Orders which will commence on the 15 of September 2022. The proposals submitted to me will apply to some 27,000 staff and are a welcome acknowledgement of the importance of the work carried out by everyone working in the early learning and childcare sector.

“I would like to thank the members of the Joint Labour Committee and those interested parties who made submissions as part of the public consultation for their contributions to this process. The Early Years Services Joint Labour Committee is a good example of how effective the reformed Joint Labour Committee system can be when representatives of employees and employers voluntarily negotiate together to identify a mutually beneficial agreement."

Minister O’Gorman has welcomed Minister English’s acceptance of the Early Years Services Employment Regulation Orders as they will deliver improved pay and conditions for the large majority of those working in the sector, will support career pathways, and will ensure improved minimum rates of pay for all those considering entering the Sector.

Minister O’Gorman said:

“I have always said that I believe early years educators and school-age childcare practitioners need their pay and conditions to reflect the importance of the work they do. Today’s announcement is an historic first step towards that.

“Since I became Minister with responsibility for early learning and childcare, I have been focused on reducing costs for parents, improving sustainability for providers and importantly improving quality for children.

“Yet low pay and conditions as well as limited opportunities for progression has made it difficult to attract and retain staff in the sector – and it is the staff who are key to the quality of children’s experiences.

“Through these first Employment Regulation Orders for the sector, I hope that early years educators and school-age childcare practitioners can now see a real future for themselves in a job that gives so much to children, their families and to society more broadly.

“I would like to acknowledge the independent nature of the Labour Court and Joint Labour Committee process and the hard work of its members in negotiating the pay and conditions for employees in the early learning and childcare sector."

The Employment Regulation Orders apply to approximately 27,000 staff.

It is estimated that 73% of those working in the sector will see their wages rise as a result of the Employment Regulation Orders with the wages of 50% of employees in the sector expected to rise by 10% or more, and the wages of 20% of employees are expected to rise by 20% or more.

Interim funding payment dates

With the announcement that the ERO will now be in place and Core Funding will be activated from the 15th September. This announcement means that Interim funding will only be paid to the 14th September with the Core Funding kicking in from the 15th September.Early years Hive logo
 
The table below shows the contract cuts offs and subsequent payments for services:
 
Contracts Received Funding Strand Payment Weeks Payment Issued
COB Monday 22 Aug Interim Funding One week 1- 7 Sep Friday 26 Aug
One week 8-14 Sep Friday 2 Sept
COB Monday 29 Aug Interim Funding Two weeks 1- 14 Sep Friday 2 Sep
COB Monday 5 Sep Interim Funding Two weeks 1-14 Sep Friday 9 Sep
Midnight 9 Sep Interim Funding Two weeks 1-14 Sep Friday 16 Sep
 
  • The first Core Funding payments will issue next week for services that have completed the contracting process by accepting the funding agreements. 
  • Payments in respect of the first two weeks of Core Funding (15th September – 28th September) will be providers’ accounts on Friday 16th September for providers who have completed the accepted the funding agreements. 
  • Future Core Funding payments, from 29th September onwards, will be in respect of four or five weekly allocations.

Childminding Online Information Session – Childminding and Revenue

Childminding Revenue Poster 28 Sept 22 CMDO Final

Are you a childminder working from your own home? Or are you interested in setting up a new childminding service in your home?

Offaly CCC are hosting a free online information session on the Business Side of Childminding focusing on Revenue this is in collaboration with Longford, Meath, Westmeath, Kildare and Louth CCCs.

You are welcome to attend this online event, please book your place using the Eventbrite link: https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/childminding-business-session-tickets-415925443197

Meath Local Enterprise Office (LEO) will attend to provide information for childminders on Setting up a Business Training and Business Mentoring support facilitated by LEO that may be helpful for childminders.

If you require further information on this workshop or about becoming a childminder in Offaly, please contact Siobhán on 057 913 5878 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Wednesdays, Thursdays & Fridays).

Core Funding Partner Service Funding Agreement

Dear Service Providers,Early years hive core funding 07 09 2022

We are writing to you today with a number of important announcements.

Coming into effect of Employment Regulation Orders

As you will have seen in the press release circulated earlier this morning, the Employment Regulation Orders for the sector will come into effect next Thursday 15th September. This is therefore also the day that the Core Funding Partner Service Funding Agreement will come into effect.

Key dates for accepting funding agreements

As communicated last week, an extension has been made to the date that providers can accept the funding agreements and still receive backdated Interim Funding payments from 1st September. All providers who have accepted the funding agreements before midnight on Friday 9th September will receive payment in respect of two full weeks of Interim Funding (1st-14th September) and will receive Core Funding payments from the start of Core Funding on 15th September. Funding agreements activated after 9th September will receive payment from that point onwards but will not be backdated.

Core Funding payments

The first Core Funding payments will therefore issue next week for services that have completed the contracting process by accepting the funding agreements. Payments in respect of the first two weeks of Core Funding (15th September – 28th September) should reach providers’ accounts on Friday 16th September for providers who have completed their Core Funding application module and accepted the funding agreements by close of business on Monday 12th September. Future Core Funding payments, from 29th September onwards, will be in respect of four- or five- weekly allocations.

Making changes to Core Funding applications

Some providers and representative groups have enquired about the provision to make changes to their Core Funding application, for example due to an increase in capacity arising from a Tusla register update, an increase in the service’s operating hours or because of an error. We are advised also that some providers in the process of a Change in Circumstance application with Tusla have delayed their Core Funding application until the Change in Circumstance is approved.

While it is currently not possible to make these changes, this functionality is under development by Pobal and we expect that it will be available in a number of weeks’ time. When this functionality is in effect, it will permit applicants to make changes to their Core Funding application. Further notifications will issue to providers once this is available.

Whereas previously, the FAQ for Core Funding specified that base rate (capacity) allocations would be capped for the duration of the 2022/2023 programme at the amount calculated at the point of the initial application submission year, this is now being revised.

Providers will be able to update their application up until 1st December 2022 with changes that have an impact of their Core Funding base rate (capacity) value (within the upper limit determined by the Tusla register) becoming effective from the point at which the change is submitted.

When the changes functionality initially becomes available, a window will be available to providers to record any changes, with changes to values backdated to the date on which they became effective. We hope this development will be of benefit to providers who are in the process of a Change in Circumstance application with Tusla that has yet to be approved and allow them to proceed to complete the application module, accept the funding agreements and update their capacity at a future date.

Once the changes functionality is available, changes in respect of graduate Lead Educators and graduate Managers can be submitted at any point during the year and the graduate premium values will be adjusted accordingly.

Application statuses

We would also like to clarify for providers that there are different categories of ‘status’ that apply to different stages of the application process.

  • Core Funding Partner Service Funding Agreement: once the funding agreement has been activated the status will change to ‘Submitted’.
  • Core Funding Application Module: the status of your application module will also update to reflect either a ‘Contracted’ or ‘Approved’ status.
    • Contracted: Core Funding Application Module has been submitted, funding agreements have been activated and are awaiting appraisal. Initial Core Funding payments will be made without appraisals. Appraisals are due to commence later this month.
    • Approved: Core Funding Application Module has been submitted, funding agreements have been activated and the Core Funding Application Module has been approved.

We hope the information provided is helpful.

With every good wish for the coming programme year,

Early Learning and Care and School Age Childcare 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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