Ministers Zappone and Bruton announce details of the consultation process on ‘overage exemptions’ to the ECCE programme

Capital Application window extended to 3pm Wednesday 14th March, 2018

Capital application window extended due to adverse effects of weather
New deadline of 3pm Wednesday 14th March 2018
Providers given extra three working days to complete applications
 
Due to the unforeseen delays and inconveniences caused to childcare providers across the country by the recent snow event, the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr. Katherine Zappone, today announced the extension of the 2018 Early Years and School Age Capital application window by three working days, to Wednesday the 14th of March 2018 at 3pm.
It is hoped that the revised application window will allow for applicants whose preparations were affected by the recent red weather warning to complete their application forms as planned before the close of the deadline.
Childcare providers are encouraged to contact their local City/County Childcare Committee (CCC) for any help or guidance they may require in completing their applications for capital funding before the window closes.

Update to Early Years and School Age Childcare Sector – Sunday 4th March 2018


The red weather warning has now been been lifted nationwide and there will be a gradual overall rise in temperatures through the week with remaining deposits of snow continuing to melt. Melting snow may result in localized surface water and people are advised to watch for accumulations of melt water which could lead to flooding.

In much of the country conditions are improved, and we expect life to begin to resume its more normal patterns today. However, other parts of the country, in particular Wexford, West Wicklow and North Kildare continue to be quite badly affected and schools in these areas are unlikely to reopen on Monday.

》 Re-opening of childcare services on Monday 5th March

The majority of the country will resume normal life on Monday with transport, schools and government services reopening. Please be aware that challenging circumstances remain and Monday will not be a normal commute. Extra consideration should be given to staff and parents at drop off and collection times.

Most schools are expected to reopen on Monday unless in specific circumstances where adverse weather conditions and transport restrictions continue.

DCYA is advising all childcare providers to take note of their local situation with regards to access, transport and to base their decision on the safety and welfare of parents, staff and children in their service.

DCYA will continue to attend the meetings of the NECG and update further as necessary.

Information from across all government departments regarding the effects of the current weather situation can be found by visiting www.gov.ie

》Closures

Early years settings should take decisions based on local conditions and the safety of staff, children and parents.

Provisions are in place for childcare providers to receive payment for children registered on any of the government’s childcare subvention schemes should they be forced to remain closed on Monday due to adverse weather in their area.

Force Majeure forms can be downloaded from PIP and sent onwards to pipdocuments@pobal.ie. This must be done within four weeks. Should you require support with this process please contact Online Support by emailing onlinesupport@pobal.ie

DCYA would like to sincerely thank all childcare providers and school age services for their diligence and cooperation during Storm Emma.

Further flexibility announced to overage exemptions to free pre-school programme pending outcome of consultation process

Statement by the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr Katherine Zappone

 

Monday 5th March, 2018

Parents of children with disabilities who are now deciding whether to defer their child’s entry into free pre-school will be able to avail of two full years irrespective of any future policy changes, according to the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr Katherine Zappone.

Following the decision last December to allow for a consultation process on proposed changes to the rules on overage exemptions in the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) programme, the Minister has now acted to address concerns raised by some parents who are facing imminent choices about their children’s education.

This means that parents of children born over autumn months (i.e. from September to December) can defer their children’s start date from September 2018 (when the child will be between 2 year 8 months and 2 years 11 months) to September 2019 (when the child will be between 3 year 8 months and 3 years 11 months) and continue to avail of 2 full years of the ECCE Programme (or 76 consecutive ECCE weeks). As a consequence, an exemption to the upper age limit in the ECCE Programme will be maintained for this cohort for this period of time.

The Minister also advised that details of the consultation process are being finalised and will be published shortly.

Extension to Application Deadline Level 7 Bachelor of Arts in Applied Early Childhood Education & Care

Due to the adverse weather that we are due to have Carlow CCC wish to advise you that the deadline for receipt of applications for the Level 7 Bachelor of Arts in Applied Early Childhood Education and Care has been extended until Wednesday 7th of March 2018.

The one year Level 7 Bachelor of Arts in Applied Early Childhood Education  & Care will commence in IT Carlow in September 2018.  This programme will be part funded again in 2018/19 by SkillNet.

This is an excellent opportunity for those working in the Early Years sector in Carlow/Kilkenny to upskill to degree level.

If you require further information please do not hesitate to contact us.

Update to the Early Years and School Age Childcare Sector

The DCYA has attended a further meeting of the National Emergency Coordination Group (NECG) to monitor the emerging weather situation. Severe weather is expected towards the latter end of this week. DCYA is asking childcare services to be aware of local weather warnings and travel restrictions that may affect their service.

The worst weather is currently predicted to occur on Thursday and Friday. DCYA will continue to attend the daily meetings of the NECG and monitor the situation as it evolves.

Communicating with parents

In particular DCYA asks that childcare providers maintain contact with parents throughout the week in order to keep them informed and to allow time for planning to minimise any possible disruptions.

The safety and welfare of children, providers, staff and parents should be carefully considered by each service and if a childcare service is forced to close due to the worsening weather conditions we encourage childcare services to communicate this to the parents in their service as early as possible.

We encourage both childcare services and parents to visit the Winter Ready website for advice www.winterready.ie and make the appropriate preparations.

Closures
Should conditions in your area worsen to an extent where you cannot open your service safely, Clause 12 of the Grant Agreement for DCYA programmes refers to Force Majeure and the fact that services forced to close will be paid for children registered for current schemes.

In the event that you must invoke Force Majeure, please download and complete the Force Majeure form from PIP and send onwards to pipdocuments@pobal.ie within four weeks. Should you require support with this process please contact Online Support by emailing onlinesupport@pobal.ie or call 01 511 7222

DCYA will continue to update the sector via PIP updates and communication with stakeholders as the weather situation evolves.

DCYA Notice regarding expected severe weather conditions

The DCYA has attended the National Emergency Coordination Group (NECG) which met this morning to plan for severe weather conditions expected later this week.

DCYA is asking childcare services to be aware of local weather warnings and travel restrictions that may affect their service.

We encourage childcare services and parents to visit the Winter Ready website for advice (www.winterready.ie) and make the appropriate preparations to minimise disruptions.

The safety and welfare of children, providers, staff and parents is paramount and should be carefully considered by each service.

Should conditions worsen throughout the week childcare providers affected by the weather conditions should note that Clause 12 of the Grant Agreement for DCYA programmes refers to Force Majeure and the fact that services forced to close will be paid for children registered for current schemes.

In the event that you must invoke Force Majeure, please download and complete the Force Majeure form from PIP and send onwards to pipdocuments@pobal.ie within four weeks.

Should you require support with this process please contact Online Support by emailingonlinesupport@pobal.ie or call 01 511 7222

DCYA will continue to update the sector via PIP updates and communication with stakeholders throughout this weather event. We ask that services in turn keep parents updated of the situation in their area. Please stay safe throughout these adverse conditions.