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NCS Capital Funding Announcment

 

 

National Childcare Scheme,Early Learning & Care
Capital Funding Announcement 

 

Monday 15th April 2019

  • Minister announces capital funding for service providers who sign up to the National Childcare Scheme
  • Funding will allow providers to purchase ICT support to assist in recording and reporting children’s attendance 
  • A ‘one stop shop’ template for maintaining attendance records will also be available to meet providers’ needs 
  • Initiative complements other National Childcare Scheme supports, including the Transition Support Payment, the national communications campaign and nationwide training programme for providers

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr Katherine Zappone T.D., has today announced that capital funding will be available to service providers who sign up to the new National Childcare Scheme. The funding will allow service providers to purchase ICT support which will assist them in recording and reporting children’s attendance. Announcing the funding, Minister Zappone noted:   

“The National Childcare Scheme has been designed to be flexible and responsive, with families’ needs and the business requirements of our dedicated childcare service providers in mind. We know that family life happens, and the Scheme’s attendance rules recognise and respond to this. 

I also want to make it as easy and efficient as possible for providers to meet their obligations in relation to recording and reporting attendance. This ICT support grant, coupled with our new ‘one stop shop’ template, will do just that, ensuring streamlined administration and more time spent doing the work that really matters – providing quality Early Learning and Care and School Age Childcare to our nation’s children.”

A standard template for maintaining attendance records will also be made available to providers. This template will meet providers’ needs not just for the National Childcare Scheme but also the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) programme and Tulsa registrations. On the development of the template, Minister Zappone further commented:

“This is another important step in supporting providers to meet requirements which are necessary to ensure that public funds are used to support the maximum number of families possible. For the first time, there is a single, coherent document on which they can rely in terms of meeting their attendance recording obligations.” 

Applications for capital funding are set to open in June and detailed guidelines on the application process will be published on www.ncs.gov.ie in the coming days. 
 

Providers can purchase ICT support which meets the eligibility criteria and will be reimbursed for the amount spent up to the maximum amount allowable.  A full list of eligibility criteria will be laid out in the application guidelines. 

The maximum grants will vary depending on the size of the service availing of State supports, and will range from €500 to €2,000.

ENDS


Notes to the editors

Grants for ICT hardware and software of between €500 and €2,000 will be available to services participating in the National Childcare Scheme. 

This National Childcare Scheme will provide financial support for families towards the cost of high quality childcare. The Scheme will open to applications in October 2019 and aims to:

  • Improve outcomes for children 
  • Reduce poverty 
  • Facilitate labour market activation and
  • Tangibly reduce the cost of childcare in Ireland for tens of thousands of families. 

 

 

AIM Application Process Sept 2019

PIP ANNOUNCEMENT

 

AIM application process for

September 2019 pre-school year

 

AIM Level 7

For children who are currently receiving AIM supports and are eligible to avail of a 2nd year of the ECCE programme from September 2019

If the child is eligible and is returning to the same pre-school setting for a second year and circumstances have not changed, services in receipt of AIM Level 7 supports must submit a 2nd year extension request for all eligible children. This request can be submitted via the AIM tab on the PIP Portal from Wednesday 1st May.

 

If the child who is currently availing of AIM supports is moving to another pre-school in September 2019, a new AIM application has to be made by the new pre-school provider in conjunction with the parent(s).  

 

New AIM applications:

For children eligible for the ECCE programme for the first time from September 2019 where AIM supports are required, the pre-school provider, in conjunction with the parent(s) should make an application for AIM by completing an Access and Inclusion Profile. 

To apply for a child’s 1st year AIM Level 7 support a service request must be included in the submission of a Level 4: AIM Application.  This application form can be accessed via the AIM tab on the PIP Portal and will be available from Wednesday 1st May.

Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you require any support in the submission of your application.

 

Apply early!

Applications should be made as early as possible to ensure that the relevant supports are in place when required.

 

Parents Notice - School Age Childcare

Parents Notice – School Age Childcare

 

Childcare services for school-age children must now register with Tusla, the Child and Family Agency. School-age childcare services have not, to date, been subject to registration, so this is a significant step forward in ensuring quality school-age childcare.

 

Services must register their service if their primary purpose is to care for children where their parents are unavailable.

Services that provide childcare for school-age children only must apply for registration by 18 May 2019 and are encouraged to start this process straightaway. School-age services that are already registered with Tusla as pre-school services must apply for registration by 18 August 2019. New services must apply for registration at least 3 months before opening.

 

School-Age Childcare services that are registered will also be eligible to apply to participate in the forthcoming National Childcare Scheme.

What is the National Childcare Scheme?

The National Childcare Scheme is a pathway to truly accessible, affordable, quality childcare. From October 2019 it will replace all previous targeted childcare programmes with a single, streamlined and user-friendly Scheme to help parents meet the cost of quality childcare.

Supports are available for families with children aged between 24 weeks and 15 years who are attending any participating Tusla registered childcare service, including any Tusla registered childminder.

For further information relating to the National Childcare Scheme please visit https://ncs.gov.ie/parent

Report of the National Disability Authority

Minister Zappone welcomes the report of the National Disability Authority with regard to overage exemptions for the ECCE free pre-school programme

 

Friday 29th March 2019
 
The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr Katherine Zappone and the Minister for Education and Skills, Mr Joe McHugh, today welcomed and published the report by the National Disability Authority (NDA) of the consultation process into overage exemptions for certain children in the Early Childhood Care and Education programme (ECCE). In welcoming the report, which was jointly commissioned by the Ministers for Children & Youth Affairs and Education & Skills and is being published today, Minister Zappone stated

‘The free pre-school programme is an important cornerstone of the Government’s commitment to high quality early learning and care. It is critical that all children are supported to participate fully in the programme. This report provides us with important evidence regarding the needs of children with disabilities which can now inform our future thinking in this important area.’

In December 2017 Minister Zappone announced her decision to pause the proposed rule changes on overage exemptions to the pre-school programme to allow for a consultation process where all voices, including those of parents of children with disabilities, could be heard in relation to the proposed change.

Both Ministers have conveyed their thanks to the NDA for their hard work and commitment in producing the report and for the invaluable contributions by parents, advocacy groups and other stakeholders who engaged with the NDA to assist in the production of the report.

Addressing some of the issues raised in the report Minister Zappone said 

‘Evidence shows us that for the overwhelming majority of children with additional needs it is in their best interest to progress through transitions in their early life with their peers. Positive and well planned transitions from pre-school to supportive primary school environments are key. Our future policy direction must be informed solely by a consideration of what is in the best interests of the children and families involved. We must ensure that whatever information, support and resources that are necessary are in place to enable this to occur.’
 
Minister McHugh agreed, acknowledging that:

“The NDA report highlights that for parents and children, the transition from pre-school into primary school can be an anxious time. There is a shared objective by professionals in both sectors to provide an inclusive environment and experience for all children. We now all need to work collaboratively across the early learning and care and the primary school sectors to ensure that parents and children are aware of the many supports available to them, so that children can fully participate in high quality learning experiences with their peers as they progress through their lives.”

To progress the issue, Minister Zappone has asked that a group of experts in early learning and care, education and health, together with a parent representative, be convened to agree the next practical steps in as short a timeframe as possible. The work of the group will focus on how to support parents in planning for their children’s needs; improving the process of transition for children with additional needs from early learning and care settings to primary school and to ensure that parents are assured that the school will address the children’s need. The group will also consider how best to meet the needs of children in very exceptional circumstances where additional flexibility in the two year ECCE programme may be required.

Minister Zappone stressed that the current procedure for dealing with overage exemptions will remain in place for the 2019/20 pre-school year pending the outcome of this work.

The full NDA report can be found here

Additional letter of advice from NDA can be found here

Ends//

Childcare Programme Support Payments

Zappone confirms Childcare Programme Support Payments worth over €19m 

Application window 13th May – 21st June 2019

Payments to issue end June

 

Thursday 21st March 2019

The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr. Katherine Zappone T.D., today announced details of the forthcoming Programme Support Payment (PSP), due to be made available to all early learning and care providers this summer.

Over €19m will be made available to early learning and care services under the measure from June 2019.

The payment will be calculated as equal to 7 days’ (1.4 weeks’) registrations for ECCE at Standard Capitation, and 14 days’ (2.8 weeks’) registrations for CCS(P) and TEC.

The application window for PSP will open for six weeks from Monday 13 May to Friday 21 June 2019 and the application form can be accessed through the Programmes Implementation Platform (PIP).
Payments will issue the following week.

The Programme Support Payment recognises the additional time required of providers of DCYA-funded early learning and care and school age childcare programmes, to complete the administrative work associated with the scheme. The payment also recognises the time required to perform activities outside of contact time with children, such as preparing materials for early learning and care sessions and assisting parents in understanding how they might benefit from the various childcare schemes supported by the State.

Making the announcement Minister Zappone said:

“For children, parents and providers 2019 is a hugely significant year with the launch of the National Childcare Scheme. As the countdown to October continues it is important that providers are supported to ensure that the biggest change ever undertaken in early learning and childcare becomes a reality. This investment, part of the 117% jump in Government funding since 2015, will help us build a scheme which will serve families in Ireland for generations to come. We have come a long way – and we must never go back!”  

As previously announced by the Minister, there will be a further “Transitional Support Payment” of €2m associated with the National Childcare Scheme, in addition to the Programme Support Payment, later in 2019. Further details in relation to this additional €2m will follow shortly.

NB: Please note that the application window closing date (Friday 21 June 2019) is final, and that no applications for PSP will be admitted beyond this point under any circumstances.

ENDS

 

Notes to editors 

ECCE: The Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) programme is a universal two-year pre-school programme available to all children within the eligible age range. It provides children with their first formal experience of early learning prior to commencing primary school. The programme is provided for three hours per day, five days per week over 38 weeks per year and the programme year runs from September to June each year.

CCS: The Community Childcare Subvention (CCS) Programme is a childcare programme targeted to support parents on a low income to avail of reduced childcare costs at participating community childcare services. The Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA) pays for a portion of the childcare costs for eligible children, a payment described as a subvention payment, with the parent paying the remainder.

CCSP: The    Community    Childcare    Subvention    Plus    (CCS    Plus)    Programme, similar to normal CCS, provides    support    for    parents/guardians on  a  low  income  to  avail  of  reduced  childcare  costs  at participating  privately owned childcare services and at community not-for-profit childcare services.

TEC: The objective of the Training and Employment Childcare (TEC) Programmes is to support parents on eligible training courses and eligible categories of parents returning to work, by providing subsidised childcare places.

NCS: The National Childcare Scheme (NCS) will replace the existing targeted childcare programmes with a single, streamlined and more user-friendly scheme. The Scheme will open to applications in October 2019 and aims to:

  • Improve outcomes for children
  • Reduce poverty
  • Facilitate labour market activation and
  • Tangibly reduce the cost of childcare in Ireland for tens of thousands of families