Childcare Providers Information

ECCE Information for Providers 2017

The Free Pre-school Year in the Early Childhood Care & Education Programme (ECCE) is a universal childcare programme designed to give children access to up to 2 years free preschool education before they start primary school.

For eligibility information please download the Eligibility Dates Poster.

For further details see Department of Children & Youth Affairs

CCS Information for Providers 2017

The Community Childcare Subvention Programme (CCS) and Community Childcare Subvention Plus Programme (CCSP) is a support programme for Community and Private based childcare services to provide quality childcare at a reduced rate to parents. It enables community and private childcare services to reduce fees for parents in receipt of certain social welfare payments, Family Income Supplement and holders of medical cards and GP visit cards. Participation in the CCS programme is for both community and private childcare services.

There is also a universal subsidy available to parents for children aged from 6 – 36 months enrolled in a Tusla registered service.

For further details see www.affordablechildcare.ie

TEC information for Providers 2017

The Training and Employment Childcare (TEC) Programme is administered by the Department of Children & Youth Affairs. The objective of the Programme is to support parents on eligible training courses and eligible categories of parents returning to work, by providing subsidised childcare places. The allocation of childcare places under the Programme is managed by the Department, via the City and County Childcare Committees (CCCs) and local childcare service providers. Payments in respect of TEC places are made to services by Pobal, based on information supplied by the Department.

The Programme consists of three distinct strands:

Strand 1 (CETS)
This strand formerly catered for FAS and VEC training course participants. Following the establishment of the Local Education and Training Boards, Strand 1 is now administered on behalf of the Department of Education, who have sole responsibility for deciding who is eligible to avail of this strand of the Programme.

Places can be full-time, part-time, afterschool only or afterschool with pick up places.

Strand 2 (ASCC) 
The ASCC is administered on behalf of the Department of Social Protection (DSP) and provides afterschool care for primary school children for certain categories of working parents and parents on DSP employment programmes (not including Community Employment).

Strand 3 (CEC)

The CEC is administered on behalf of Department of Social Protection (DSP) and provides childcare for children of parents who are participating on Community Employment schemes.

For further details see Department of Children & Youth Affairs

ECCE Staff Qualifications – Increased Qualification Requirements

Since 31st December 2016, all other staff must hold a minimum of QQI Level 5 Major Award in Early Childhood Care and Education (or an equivalent qualification that is recognised on the National Framework of Qualifications).
Since 31st December 2016, all ECCE room leaders must hold a minimum QQI Level 6 Major Award in Early Childhood Care and Education (or equivalent qualification or higher award recognised on the National Framework of Qualifications of Ireland (NFQ).  Please Note: Learners already approved Level 6/Learner Fund 1 or Learner Fund 2, and who have already commenced their course, can complete their Level 6 course up to June 30th 2018.

For further details see Department of Children & Youth Affairs

Childcare Regulations

Early Years is an overarching term that includes Preschool Services. Tusla, Child and Family Agency is responsible for inspecting preschools, play groups, day nursery, crèches, day-care, childminders and similar services which cater for children aged 0-6 years.

The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, published the Child Care Regulations (The Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016 on the 4th May 2016. These Regulations are effective on a phased basis from 30th June 2016. The 2016 Regulations provide for pre-school services, that is, those services catering for children under the age of 6 who are not attending primary school.

Part 12 of The Child and Family Agency Act amends the Child Care Act 1991(as inserted by section 92 of The Child and Family Agency Act) known as Part VIIA sets out the Supervision of Early Years Services.

For further information in relation to the childcare regulations see Tusla Child & Family Agency

Focused Inspection Tool

The Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016 require that all early years services in Ireland are required to strive for full compliance across all early years regulations, however it is accepted that at present there are areas that require greater focus and attention. Resulting from this, the Child and Family Agency introduced a revised model of Preschool Inspection.  Currently the primary scope of early years inspection will be the areas identified as requiring improvement; Governance, Welfare and Safety.  Below is a link to the Tusla website where providers can access the inspection tool to make themselves familiar with what the inspectorate are looking at when performing an inspection.

Focused Inspection Tool

Early Years Education Focused Inspection

Early-Years Education-focused Inspections (EYEI) are carried out in early-years services participating in the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) Programme – a programme which provides a period of free early childhood care and education for children before they start school.

During these inspections, the quality of the nature, range and appropriateness of the early educational experiences for children participating in the ECCE Programme is evaluated. The main activity of an EYEI inspection is the observation, by the inspector, of the processes and practices relating to children’s learning in one or more learning rooms or areas in the early-years setting.

At the end of each inspection the early-years practitioners and the owners/managers (where available) are given feedback on the quality of educational provision in the setting. Subsequently a written report is sent to the pre-school inspected outlining the inspection findings and providing advice as to how educational provision in the setting can be further developed or improved. The inspection report is published on the Department of Education and Skills website.

For further details see Department of Children & Youth Affairs

Developing a Child Protection & Welfare Policy

The National Early Years Children First Committee has developed a publication, ‘Developing a Child Protection & Welfare Policy: A Resource for Early Years Services’, to support Early Years Services to develop their own Child Protection & Welfare Policies.

This practical resource aims to support early childhood services to develop and implement a Child Protection and Welfare Policy for their service, in line with Children First. The resource is designed to be tailored to the management structure, number of employees, age of children in the service and other policies and procedures in operation in the service.

Developing a Child Protection & Welfare Policy: A Resource for Early Years Settings