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PIP Announcement - Force Majeure: Early Learning and Care and School-Age Childcare services over 11-31 January 2021

 

Force Majeure: Early Learning and Care and School-Age Childcare services over 11-31 January 2021

 

Service Providers wishing to submit a force majeure application are asked to refer to questions 31 – 37 in the FAQ document issued by DCYA.

 

DCEDIY has directed that in addition to normal Force Majeure eligibility, Force Majeure will only be approved on the following two grounds in relation to the closure period:

 

  1. Service Providers which are directed to close by public health, due to Covid-19 or other reasons. Evidence of formal instruction to close must be included with the application.
  2.  Service Providers who cannot open because they have evidence that there is no demand for their service from essential workers and vulnerable children.

 

Please note the following:

 

  • Service Providers who are closing due to no demand for the service from essential workers and vulnerable children must:
    • Contact all registered parents in their service advising them that the service is available for vulnerable children or children of essential workers. The responses from parents should be kept on file at your service.
    • Contact your local CCC to inform them that you intend to close.
    • Where there is no demand, write to all parents in the service advising them that the service is closed as there is no demand for the service from eligible children. A sample letter is available here. This letter should be submitted to Pobal along with a completed Force majeure application form. Pobal cannot process requests for force majeure due to no demand unless a completed application form along with the letter issued to parents has been submitted.
    • Providers who have applied for Force Majeure before 14 January, i.e. in advance of the receipt of this guidance, do not have to re-submit their application, unless requested to do so by Pobal.
    • Force Majeure applications for lack of demand must be submitted on a weekly basis. 
  • Service Providers  who have more than one facility and propose closing one or more facilities, and moving the children in the closed facilities  to their  sister facilities:
    • Should only do so if it is convenient for parents
    • Should contact their CCC in the first instance and inform them if they intend to do so 
    • Should not re register children in the new facilities. The old registrations can remain. 
    • Must keep correct local attendance records for the open facility
    • Must submit a force majeure application for the closed services, ticking the ‘Covid closure – Full Service’ box on the application form and giving a brief explanation in the ‘additional information’ section.
  • Non-ECCE only services that close without an approved  force majeure application will have their NCS, ECCE, CCSP and TEC funding withdrawn for the period 11 January to 31 January, including recoupment of any funding already made in advance.
  • Services are not required to submit a Force Majeure application form for the week commencing 4th January.

 

Please submit the Force Majeure application form to Pobal by attaching it to a Service Request on the Hive and entering ‘Force Majeure’ in the summary heading and selecting category ‘programme request’ from the drop down menu.  

 

PIP Announcement IMPORTANT: CHANGES TO ALL DCEDIY FUNDED PROGRAMMES DUE TO COVID 19 RESTRICTIONS UNTIL 1 FEBRUARY 2021

 

IIMPORTANT: CHANGES TO ALL DCEDIY FUNDED PROGRAMMES DUE TO COVID 19 RESTRICTIONS UNTIL 1 FEBRUARY 2021

The information below details the changes under Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth Funded Childcare Programmes following the announcement by Minister O’Gorman, as of Wednesday, 6 January 2021 in regards to further Level 5 restrictions and the Provider FAQ issued by the DCEDIY today. Early Learning and Care providers are advised to read the below information carefully to understand the implications for their individual service.   

Sessional services offering ECCE only

·        ECCE only services to close fully – payments will continue until Friday, 29 January 2021.

·        ECCE calendar – no adjustment required.

‘ECCE only services’ include services which provide ECCE with no more than 30 minutes of additional of childcare paid for by parents. 

Full or part-time services offering ECCE/NCS/AIM/Legacy (CCSP/TEC) Programmes

Services that remain open for essential workers and vulnerable children – current levels of funding will continue until 29 January 2021.

NCS

·        Weekly attendance returns to be submitted as normal based on child attendance. In cases where a child cannot attend (due to current restrictions), weekly attendance records should be based on the week ending Sunday, 20 December 2020.

·        Children in attendance should be recorded accordingly on the weekly attendance return on the Hive.

·        Non-term weeks/hours (children receiving NCS and ECCE/school going children) can be used, where eligible, for children of essential workers and vulnerable children.  For further information on adding non-term hours please see Adding Non Term Hours Quick Guide .

·        Please continue to maintain correct child attendance records for your service in line with Tusla Regulations and compliance.  

·        Note changes cannot be made to NCS calendars retrospectively.

·        Any amendments to calendars will affect your budget.  

 

Legacy (CCSP/TEC)

·        Services that are closed or close over the coming weeks and do not have an approved Force Majeure application must adjust their calendar to reflect the closed period. 

·        Any amendments to calendars will affect your budget.  

·        The Saver Management Window will remain open for any changes to existing registrations.

·        Please continue to maintain correct child attendance records for your service in line with Tusla Regulations and compliance.  

 

ECCE (full or part-time services)

·        In the case where a full or part-time service remains closed, no adjustments are required to be made to the ECCE calendar and Pobal will make the budget adjustment.

·        Please continue to maintain correct child attendance records for your service in line with Tusla Regulations and compliance.  

AIM

·        AIM Level 7 - 5% of the approved contract value will be paid on 8 January 2021 representing payment up to 29 January 2021.

·        The AIM Level 7 application process will remain open. Applications which are currently in progress or new applications will continue to be appraised; however, application outcomes cannot be finalized until the ECCE programme has recommenced.

 

Force Majeure

Any service wishing to close must have an approved Force Majeure application form.  Please submit this to Pobal by attaching it to a Service Request on Hive and entering ‘Force Majeure’ in the summary heading and selecting category ‘programme request’ from the drop down menu.   

·        Only services that have received formal instruction to close and have an approved Force Majeure application in place can remain closed for the period of the Force Majeure.

·        Non-ECCE only services remaining closed without an approved Force Majeure application must amend their calendars to reflect the closed period, changes are only required from 11 January 2021.  Any changes to calendars will affect your budgets.

·        In instances where Pobal are made aware of services that have remained closed without approved Force Majeure application, contracts will be placed on hold until calendars are amended to reflect the closed period.

 

We understand that this is a hugely challenging time for all Early Learning and Care services. Providers can continue to contact the Early Years Provider Centre for queries relating to programme funding. However, we ask that you contact your CCC in the first instance regarding COVID-19 and service closures.

Many thanks

Early Years​