DCYA PRESS RELEASE: Have your say on School Age Childcare Public Consultation launched ahead of National Childcare Scheme

Tuesday 21st May 2019

The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr Katherine Zappone TD, today launched a public and stakeholder consultation process on future regulations and a quality improvement framework for school-age childcare.

The numbers of families accessing school-age childcare has seen significant growth and development in recent years. It is expected that the families of more than 21,000 school going children will benefit from subsidies through the National Childcare Scheme when it starts later this year. In addition, €3.45m in capital funding has been invested since 2017 to create an additional 6,131 school-age childcare places.

Last December Minister Zappone signed Regulations which provided for the registration of school-age childcare services. These initial Regulations came into force in February, enabling services that register with Tusla to take part in the National Childcare Scheme when it opens.

The National Childcare Scheme will provide financial support towards the cost of childcare for parents availing of these services.

The Department of Children and Youth Affairs is now seeking to build on this work by developing comprehensive Regulations and a quality improvement framework. This work will build on draft quality standards that were prepared by a national working group in 2018 and which are being published as part of the public consultation.

Launching the consultation, Minister Zappone invited everyone to share their views.

The Minister stated, ‘Achieving the goal of quality accessible affordable childcare means we must listen to the voices of children, parents and providers. School Age Childcare is a reality for many families. We have made much progress, but school-age childcare is still in the early stages of development. This consultation is a great opportunity to hear the views of all concerned, so we can ensure the 117% increase in Government investment secured since 2015 continues to deliver the best possible benefits for all. The forthcoming National Childcare Scheme marks a major milestone in our efforts. By ensuring all voices are heard we can complete the journey of transformation from having one of the most expensive childcare systems in the world into the best.”

From now until early July, interested parties and members of the public, including children, will be able to make a submission or fill out an online survey available on the Department’s website.

On June 20th, the Department will also host an Open Policy Debate on the future of school-age childcare to which key stakeholders, including school-age childcare providers and groups representing children, parents and practitioners will be invited.

A consultation with school-age children was carried out as part of the development of the Action Plan on School Age Childcare, published in 2017.

Full Press Release: https://www.dcya.gov.ie/docs/EN/21-05-2019-Have-your-say-on-School-Age-Childcare-Public-Consultation-launched-ahead-of-National-Childcare-Scheme-/5307.htm

PIP Announcement**(Updated)***AIM Informed Consent

In order to apply for AIM Level 4, 5, or 7, consent from the Parent/Guardian is required to be submitted with the child’s application. This will enable the Early Years Specialist and other professionals to support a child’s inclusion in the pre-school for the duration of his or her ECCE registration and to plan for his or her transition to primary school.

The information required on the AIM informed consent form includes;

  • The child’s name
  • The Service DCYA reference number
  • The setting name
  • Signatures of the Parent’s/Guardian of the child.

The form should then be uploaded onto PIP and submitted with the application.  This form is a legal document and should be completed in full and all signatures need to be dated. Delays will occur in processing the application if details are missing from the consent form.

Please see a link below to the form.

With effect from the 31st of May 2019 the previous consent form from programme call 2018/19 will no longer be accepted. Please ensure that you fill out the correct consent form (see link below).




The Early Years’ Service Profile 2018/2019 is now LIVE on the PIP portal

The Early Years’ Service Profile 2018/2019 is now LIVE on the PIP portal

What is the Early Years Service Profile?

The Early Years Service Profile is an annual survey completed by Early Learning and Care providers. The survey is developed by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs and Pobal in consultation with key stakeholders and it is the primary source of data on the Irish early years sector.

The data provided by all respondents is critical to understanding and mapping trends in the sector and is used by Government to inform future policy and planning at both local and national levels.

Services are asked to complete the service profile for each facility (i.e. one for each DCYA Reference).

What data is collected through the Early Years Service Profile?

A wide range of data is collected in the service profile. This data is categorised under four main headings
· Service Details and Provision
· Capacity and Attendance
· Child Protection
· Staffing (numbers, qualification, level of turnover,

Who will have access to this data?

Data will be made available to:

– Government Departments (e.g. Department of Education and Skills Early Years Inspectorate)

– Organisations conducting research and analysis on behalf of Government Departments

– Statutory agencies (e.g. Tusla Early Years Inspectorate)
Better Start Early Years Specialist Service

– City/County Childcare Committees

Data on capacity and attendance may also be shared with Local Authorities to inform local planning and development priorities.

Data may also be combined with findings from other surveys of the early years sector conducted on behalf of the Department of Children and Youth Affairs.

Summary data will also be shared with a range of organisations for research and statistical purposes. For more information about sharing of summary data, please read Section 0. Intro in your service profile.

Where can I access the survey?

When you login to the PIP portal, you will land on the ‘Service’ page which contains a link to the ‘Early Years Service Profile 2018/2019.’

What is the deadline for completing this survey?

The deadline for completing your survey is 5pm on Friday 31st May.

How long will it take to complete the Service Profile?

The length of time it takes to complete the survey depends on the size of your service, the number of staff and number of children enrolled.

Based on feedback from previous years, it should take approximately one hour to complete a survey. The service profile contains a ‘Save as Draft’ function so that it can be completed in more than one sitting.

The Early Years Service Profile Guidelines 2018/2019 provides helpful tips for completing your survey.


You can also find these guidelines in the How to Guides section in PIP Resources.

Who do we contact for help?

If your service has any questions about the Early Years Service Profile, please contact the Pobal Helpdesk at:

Email: onlinesupport@pobal.ie
Tel: 01 511 7222

We thank you for your co-operation in completing your service profile and we appreciate your contribution to improving our knowledge of the early years sector.

Early Years Service Profile

The 2018/2019 Early Years Service Profile launches on Monday 13th May.

The annual survey is developed by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs and Pobal in consultation with key stakeholders in the early years sector.
The deadline for completing the survey is 5pm, Friday 24th May.
We are asking all services to make the time over this period to complete the survey as the data collected will be used by the Government to inform policy, planning and investment in Early Learning and Care over the year ahead.
If you have any queries about completing your service profile, please contact the Pobal Helpdesk at:
Tel:      (01) 511 7222

Programme Support Payment (PSP) 2019


 Opening Monday 13th May

DCYA have issued the following press release to announce that the Programme Support Payments are open for application from May 13th until June 21st 2019.  Payments will issue after the application process ends.


ECCE Services are reminded that overpayments made by Pobal due to Service delays in making amendments to child registrations or higher capitation information, will reduce future ECCE payments.

If an overpayment is in excess of the amount due, the Service may be asked to return the funding.

There are 2 x further batch payments remaining for ECCE 2019/20 (due on 17/05/2019 and 14/06/2019), along with a Programme Support Payment (PSP).

Ahead of these payments Services are asked to please review the following:



Review PIP registrations to ensure:

  • All children currently attending the Service are registered on PIP.
  • Children are registered for the correct level of service (no. of days).
  • Children that have left the Service (no longer attending) are added as ‘leavers’ on PIP.

 Queries surrounding ECCE registrations can be raised with Online Support on 01 – 511 7222, or your local CCC.



Review Higher Capitation applications to ensure:

  • Applications at ‘queried’ status are resubmitted with amendments as required.
  • Applications at ‘approved’ status are reflected accurately (e.g. FTE/Staff dates & details), with payment issuing appropriately.
  • Services offering a mixture of both Higher Capitation and Standard Capitation Sessions must keep Pobal updated of any changes to weekly FTE as they occur, by completing an FTE Amendment Form. Updated forms should be emailed to highercap@pobal.ie. (Services offering Higher Capitation Sessions only are not required to update Pobal re: changes to FTE).

 Queries surrounding Higher Capitation can be raised with Online Support on 01 – 511 7222.



Review Fees Lists and Calendars to ensure:

  • Outstanding Fees Lists and/or Calendars are submitted.
  • Fees Lists and/or Calendars at ‘queried’ status are resubmitted with amendments as required.

 Queries surrounding Fees Lists and/or Calendars should be raised with your local CCC.

AIM Level 5 – New Applications

Children eligible for the 2019/2020 ECCE programme

Where AIM Level 5 equipment and/or alterations are required, the preschool provider, in conjunction with the parent(s) can make an application for AIM Level 5 support via the AIM tab on the PIP Portal.

Once a child is eligible for ECCE an AIM Level 5 application can be made at any time throughout the pre-school year. However we encourage applications to be submitted early to ensure support is in place as soon as possible.


Existing Applications

If a child in receipt of AIM Level 5 equipment is moving to another pre-school in September 2019, a new AIM application must be submitted by the new pre-school provider in conjunction with the parent(s).


If a child child in receipt of AIM Level 5 equipment is transitioning to school in September 2019, transfer of ownership documents will be issued in due course.


Please contact onlinesupport@pobal.ie if you require any support in the submission of your application.






National Childcare Scheme, Early Learning & Care: Capital Funding Guidelines Now Available

The guidelines set out the application process for capital funding which will allow service providers, who sign up to the new National Childcare Scheme to purchase ICT support, which will assist them in recording and reporting children’s attendance.

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 is laid out in the application guidelines available here .


Please note:

  • Applications for funding can be made through the Programmes Implementation Platform (PIP) from June 2019.
  • The maximum grants will vary depending on the size of the service availing of State supports, and will range from €500 to €2,000.
  • Providers must have entered into a contract to participate in the National Childcare Scheme to avail of the NCS Capital funding.
  • Further details on the format for the recording and reporting of attendance will be set out in an Appendix to the NCS Contract.
  • Only eligible ICT equipment and software purchased from the date a service signed their National Childcare Scheme contract will be eligible for consideration.
  • Services must only apply for the amount of eligible expenditure incurred, up to the maximum grant applicable to the service.

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 onlinesupport@pobal.ie 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.

DCYA Press Release: Increased funding of €1.5 million for Family Resource Centres in 2019

Minister Zappone has announced an increase of €1.5 million per annum in funding for Family Resource Centres (FRCs) for 2019.

The increased funding will bring the overall allocation to the Family Resource Centre Programme to €18 million. This is the largest allocation provided to FRCs in the past ten years. Additional funding will be used to provide existing FRCs with greater capacity to reach more vulnerable children and families in their communities.

The additional €1.5 million in funding will be used to:

1) Increase core funding to each of the 110 FRCs which existed pre-2018 by 5%.
2) Employ an additional 17 Family Support Workers – one FRC in each of the 17 Tusla geographical areas will be allocated funding to employ a Family Support Worker.
3) Fund the Family Resource Centre Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Promotion Programme.

Minister Zappone said “Family Resource Centres are a key resource in developing strong families and strong communities. The Family Resource Centre Programme is designed to allow communities and local Tusla staff to identify needs and the services required in their local areas. FRCs provide a range of universal and bespoke targeted services to their communities. I am pleased to be in a position to increase their core funding by 5%.

In addition to this, I am also pleased that to announce funding for an additional 17 Family Support Workers for FRCs – one in each of the 17 Tusla areas. Family Support Workers support children and families using community programmes and social networks. The earlier children and families in need of support are identified, the better chance there is that they can get the help they need.

DCYA Press Release