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Early Years and School Age Childcare Capital 2019

Extra spaces and fire-safety priorities for Childcare Investment in 2019
Providers urged to prepare applications for €9m capital fund

“Investment marks start of hugely important year for children, parents and providers as countdown to the Affordable Childcare Scheme continues”


Friday 28th December 2018 

The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr Katherine Zappone, TD is pleased to announce the priorities for 2019’s Early Learning and Care and School Age Capital programmes. The Minister has secured €9m for capital grants across 2019.

The budget for the Early Learning and Care and School Age Capital programmes has been set at €6.106m.

A further announcement with details of an additional €3m to be associated with the new Affordable Childcare Scheme will issue early in 2019.

The programmes will be open for applications from early learning and care and school age childcare services in February 2019.
Capital funding under the programmes will be delivered under the following three strands:

Strand A:  Creation of new places for 0-3 year olds - €4.231m (max. €50,000 per grant).
Strand B:  Fire Safety for community early learning and care services – €0.875m, (max. €15,000 per grant).
Strand C:  Creation of new school age places - €1m (max. €20,000 per grant).

The focus of the funding in 2019 is to continue the expansion of early learning and care places for 0-3 year olds and school age childcare places where this is most needed.
Funding is also being made available to aid community/not-for-profit early learning and childcare services in addressing fire safety issues that have been highlighted in inspection reports.

Commenting on the launch of the Capital Fund, Minister Zappone said: - 

“2019 is going to be one of the most significant years in our efforts to transform one of the most expensive childcare services in the world into the best. The final groundwork is now being put in place ahead of the launch of the Affordable Childcare Scheme next October.

Across the year I am delighted to have secured more than €9 million in Capital Funding for early learning and care and school age services. Now I can confirm a first round of investment totalling €6.106m.  We will start this funding process early in the year to give more time for applications and implementation. More children than ever in the history of the state are accessing government funded subsidies for early learning and care and I am mindful of the pressures and opportunities that this can create for the sector. 

In the recent Pobal Annual Sector Profile, almost a quarter of all services indicated their intention to expand in the next 12-months, creating over 15,000 additional spaces for children nationwide. The Government is ready to assist in creating additional capacity at a time of rapid expansion and transformation.

Since 2015 Government investment in childcare is up 117%. Now it is time to take the next big leap as we prepare for the Affordable Childcare Scheme to become a reality which will benefit children, parents and providers for generations to come.”

Further information on the application process, including detailed application guidelines, will be made available to services in January 2019. 

Childcare providers are encouraged to contact their local City/County Childcare Committee to answer any questions they may have.

Christmas 2018 DCYA Payment Schedule

Services should take their non-payable weeks into account when reviewing payments for all childcare programmes; any non-payable weeks occurring over the Christmas period will impact funding received.


Please find details below of the ECCE Payment schedule and an update on registrations over Christmas:

 ECCE Payment Dates: ECCE Payable To: Covering Maximum:
07 December 2018 28 December 2018 5 weeks
14 December 2018 28 December 2018 5 weeks
21 December 2018 28 December 2018 5 weeks
07 January 2019 01 February 2019 5 weeks
11 January 2019 01 February 2019 5 weeks


  • Weekly catch-up payments for ECCE will continue until Friday 21st December – this will be the last payment before Christmas.
  • The first ECCE payment in 2019 is due on Monday 7th January and will cover a maximum of 5 payable weeks to 1st February 2019.
  • ECCE Payments made on a Friday will cover registrations approved by close of business on the previous Monday.


If ECCE Registrations Approved By


Close Of Business On:



You Will Receive Payment On:


03 December 2018 07 December 2018
10 December 2018 14 December 2018
17 December 2018 21 December 2018
31 December 2018 07 January 2019
07 January 2019 11 January 2019




Please find details below of the CCS/P Payment schedule over Christmas:

CCS/P Payment Dates: CCS Payable To: CCSP Payable To:
07 December 2018 04 January 2019 21 December 2018
14 December 2018 18 January 2019 04 January 2019
04 January 2019 01 February 2019 18 January 2019




Please find details below of the TEC Payment schedule over Christmas:

 TEC Payment Dates: TEC Payable To:
14 December 2018 11 January 2019
11 January 2019 25 January 2019


If you have any queries please contact Pobal Online Support on 01-5117222, or your local City/County Childcare Committee.

PIP ANNOUNCEMENT: Hanen and Lámh Training


Hanen Teacher Talk Training

AIM will be rolling out further rounds of Hanen Teacher Talk training in January partnering with Teacher Education Centres around the country. Invitations will be sent to settings with children receiving AIM support over the last 6 months. Courses will run in Cork City, Letterkenny, Dublin West, Louth, Kilkenny, Limerick, Galway, Kerry, Drumcondra, Mayo, Athlone, Wexford and Navan. Invitations will be sent out over the coming weeks.
Lámh trainings will also be offered, again partnering with the Teacher Education Centres across the country. Trainings are scheduled for January, February and March in Cork City, Tralee, Kilkenny, Galway, Drumcondra and Carrick on Shannon. Further trainings are scheduled for April to June in Athlone, Donegal, West Cork, Drumcondra, Limerick, Navan and Dublin West.
We will be prioritizing those services that have children attending their setting that are currently using Lámh. If you have children in your service that are Lámh users, please reach out to your Better Start Early Years Specialist regarding the trainings.
Please note that each staff member can only avail of a maximum of 18 hours of paid CPD training per calendar year. In the case where one staff member has already completed Hanen training (18 hours), they can attend Lámh training but will NOT be reimbursed. Payments will be made to the employer/ childcare setting and NOT to the individual.
Invites are sent directly to relevant services via Eventbrite and services will be offered up to 2 spaces for each course. The dates may coincide with some LINC training dates, as this will encourage take up and build capacity among other staff. Further info if required from:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Pobal Early Years Sector Profile Report 2017/18 – Now available

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr. Katherine Zappone T.D. Launches Early Years Sector Profile Report 2017/2018

 Minister Katherine Zappone today launched the Early Years Sector Profile Report 2017/2018, developed and published by Pobal for the Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA). The comprehensive findings are based on the largest ever survey of the early years sector, with responses from a total of 3,928 childcare services (88% of childcare facilities) providing significant insight into current childcare numbers, fees, staff qualifications and wages.

Overall, there are estimated to be 202,600 children attending early years services nationwide (an increase of 9%). While the total capacity within the sector has grown by approximately 6%, this has not kept pace with increased demand, with the total number of vacant childcare places reducing by 31%.

Nationally, the cost of a full-time childcare place has increased by just below €4 (to €177.92), compared to a €7 increase last year. Over the last 12 months, fee increases have been more prevalent in community based services and in those located in rural areas. Despite this increase, fees remain more expensive in affluent areas, in cities, and in private facilities.

Currently, the childcare sector employs over 29,500 staff, almost 26,000 of whom work with children. The average qualification level of childcare staff has increased, with 65% to Level 6 (up 2%).  The 2017/2018 report also revealed 47% of all staff work part-time, 3% less than last year. On average, staff working with children earn €12.17 per hour; almost half of these are early year’s assistants, earning an average of €11.20 per hour. The staff turnover rate in the last 12 months was 24.7%, down slightly from 28% the previous year.

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr. Katherine Zappone T.D. formally launched the report and speaking at the event said:

“We are experiencing a period of transformative change in the Early Learning and Care sector in Ireland. Over 200,000 children attended an early learning and care setting last year; an experience that will impact these children positively as they make their way through life. More than 84,000 benefited from the enhanced measures introduced last year.

The new subsidies we introduced last year have stabilised the cost of childcare, which has only grown by 2% this year and the new Affordable Childcare Scheme will launch in late 2019. Investment in childcare has grown 117% over recent budgets and these figures show that this is working.

The number of staff working in the sector has grown by 8% to nearly 30,000 and we welcome the nearly 100 new services delivering our schemes this year; improving access to quality early learning across the country.”

Denis Leamy, Pobal CEO added:

“Once again, the Early Years Sector Profile Report, developed and published by Pobal has revealed important findings, analysis and key insights into the early years sector. The responses received from our colleagues in the early years sector, allow for the formulation of accurate and dependable analysis, highlighting existing opportunities and challenges. Pobal are proud to produce this important publication on an annual basis and we are mindful of the significance of the report and how key findings are used to inform and guide future developments and policy within the sector”.

The detailed report, presents an overview of the early years sector in Ireland for the programme year 2017/2018. Report analysis is based on survey responses received in late April and early May 2018 and supplemented with information available from the national childcare ICT system – ‘Programme Implementation Platform’ (PIP).

Responses also demonstrated that, nine in ten children who are currently attending early years services receive funding from one of the three DCYA funded programmes (ECCE, Community Childcare Subvention (CCS) / Training and Employment Childcare programmes (TEC)). During the programme year, over 185,500 children were supported by programmes, an increase of 24% on the previous year. The report also found, 7% of children attending early years services had additional needs.

The Early Years Sector Profile Report 2017/2018 is available here.