PIP Announcement: Compliance 2019/2020 Programme Cycle

Compliance Announcement 2019/2020 Programme cycle:

Unannounced compliance visits are commencing on ECCE and the Transitional targeted childcare programmes. Visits will continue for the duration of the programme cycles. Note: Services operating ECCE only sessions will not be visited outside of the ECCE programme cycle.
As previously, the compliance process will involve a series of standardised on-site checks aimed at ensuring adherence with certain programme rules and contract conditions as set out by the Department of Children & Youth Affairs (DCYA). Attendance records will be reviewed as a priority during compliance visits.
To ensure compliance with each programme’s requirements, services must familiarise themselves with the following:
·        Relevant programme Funding Agreements
·        DCYA Rules for ECCE programme
·        Transitional Rules for DCYA Targeted Childcare Programmes (including Attendance record rules and Appendix 2 “Good Practice Guide – Attendance records”)
·        PIP “How to” Guides
·        Announcements available on the PIP Portal (and Pobal and DCYA websites).
Compliance visits will comprise checks on records held on site in respect of the following Early Years Programmes i.e.
·        Free Pre-school Year in Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) Programme
·        Community Childcare Subvention Plus (CCSP) (Including Universal Subsidy               (CCSU))
·        Community Childcare Subvention Resettlement (CCSR)
·        Community Childcare Subvention Resettlement (Transitional) (CCSR(T))
·        Training and Employment Childcare (TEC)
It is advised that services prepare for an unannounced compliance visit by collating relevant information for review e.g. in a Compliance Folder/File which can be made readily available to the Visit Officer on arrival. This will ensure minimum disruption and expedite the compliance visit. It is acknowledged that some services file their records in alternative ways which is acceptable, but it should be noted that records must be available to enable the Visit Officer to complete the compliance visit in a reasonable timescale. In this regard we request that the person in charge on site has access to the Compliance Folder / records in the event of an unannounced visit. Please only maintain compliance related information in the Compliance Folder.
This cycle, a new Compliance Guide for Service Providers is available. This document describes the compliance visit process in relation to the ECCE and Transitional programmes as outlined above and provides guidance and assistance to service providers when preparing for a compliance visit. Please see the relevant link here to the document and also on the PIP homepage and PIP Portal. The Compliance Guide for Service Providers   includes as Appendix 1 – the Compliance Checklist for Service Providers for the 2019/2020 cycle, to assist services in collating the relevant information to meet compliance requirements.  Please note that this checklist contains a separate section for each of the Early Years programmes. In addition, Appendix 2- Compliance Categorisations, includes the compliance categories assigned for each programme reviewed at a visit i.e. Compliant, Minor non-compliant, Moderate non-compliant and Major non-compliant.  Further detail of the possible issues identified under each of the non-compliant categorisations per programme is also included in this Appendix.
Following the commencement of the National Childcare Scheme (NCS), to accommodate service providers in meeting PIP registration updating responsibilities, in line with the relevant DCYA programme rules, there are “proposed dates” for CCSP ‘Saver Management’ windows in the 2019/2020 cycle. These were previously included in a PIP announcement dated 30/09/19 “CCSP and TEC closing dates”. Please note the dates for the “Saver Management” windows are subject to change – refer to PIP Announcements for updates.
A further update will be issued in advance of checks commencing on the new National Childcare Scheme (NCS). It is important that all relevant information is maintained from the commencement of registrations under this scheme.

PIP Maintenance announcemnt

PIP Maintenance

Please be aware that necessary maintenance to our IT systems will take place from 5 pm on Thursday 14th of November to 9 am Friday 15th of November 2019. Service Providers will not be able to submit new child registrations on PIP during the maintenance window.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

Be Winter Ready

Be Winter Ready

The Government recently launched the ‘Be Winter Ready’ 2019-2020 Information Campaign focusing this year on the different colour coding associated with Met Éireann weather warning.  We would encourage everyone to visit www.winterready.ie to enable us all, as individuals and as communities, to be prepared for the winter months ahead.
Further details on the Be Winter Ready Information Campaign 2019-2020 can be found under following link

FAR Reimbursement

Application closing date for payment in quarter 3 is Tuesday 19th November.

Carlow CCC would like to remind you, if you have not availed of it already, of the Minister’s agreement to financially support Registered Providers compliance with Regulation 25, First Aid: First Aid Responder( FAR). This funding, available through a FAR Reimbursement Application Process, administered by ourselves enables you to access a full or refresher FAR training at a reimbursement cost of 1 x course, up to the value of €225.
As per previous communications on FAR, this funding covers one place per registered service, in order to claim the costs of funding, you must ensure the following;
• The FAR trainer can issue you with a Pre-Hospital Emergency Care Council Certificate.
• You complete the attached FAR Reimbursement Application Form and return it to us accompanied by a copy of your certificate, along with a copy of your payment invoice/receipt.
Please note:
The timeline for all registered services to comply with Regulation 25, is beginning of June 2020, therefore we urge you to ensure you engage in this training and avail of this financial support as soon as possible.
Carlow CCC will process payments on a quarterly basis, details on the application form.
Should you have any queries on the above, please contact Connie on 059 9140244 or email connie@carlowccc.ie

DCYA PRESS RELEASE re: Minister Zappone launches the Children and Young People’s Services Committees (CYPSC) Shared Vision, Next Steps 2019 – 2024


Minister Zappone launches the Children and Young People’s Services Committees (CYPSC) Shared Vision, Next Steps 2019 – 2024

Published: 4 November 2019
From: Department of Children and Youth Affairs

  • CYPSC plan and co-ordinate services for children and young people in every county in Ireland by enhancing interagency co-operation at a local and national level
  • Shared Vision, Next Steps 2019–2024 provides road map for further development of CYPSC initiative over the next five years
  • there are 27 CYPSC established nationwide
  • CYPSC are co-funded by DCYA, Tusla and the Healthy Ireland Initiative – total budget for CYPSC in 2019 is €4.6 million

The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr Katherine Zappone TD, today launched the Children and Young People’s Services Committees (CYPSC) Shared Vision, Next Steps 2019 – 2024 .

CYPSC are a key structure identified by Government to plan and co-ordinate services for children and young people in every county in Ireland. The overall purpose is to improve outcomes for children and young people by enhancing interagency co-operation at a local and national level.

The aim of Shared Vision, Next Steps 2019–2024 is to provide a road map for the further development of the CYPSC initiative over the next five years.

Shared Vision Next Steps 2019 – 2024 is the successor to the Blueprint for the Development of Children and Young People’s Services Committees 2015 – 2017. It takes stock of progress and identifies the most immediate actions which need to be addressed and advanced. This will assist CYPSC to further develop in a strategic, integrated and sustainable manner to support the co-ordination and planning of efficient and effective services for children and young people.

Minister Zappone said:

“Children and Young People’s Services Committees (CYPSC) bring together a diverse group of agencies in their local areas to engage in joint planning of services for children and young people. I see them as a key inter-agency vehicle for the roll-out of initiatives in collaboration with other partners. These efforts are ensuring that our services and supports are planned and coordinated in a way that is responsive and relevant to the needs of our children and young people.
Through ‘Shared Vision Next Steps 2019 – 2024’, the main focus for CYPSC over the next five years is to build and consolidate on the positive work to date, to identify local and national priorities and to foster further collaboration to effect change in local communities. Joined up working and joined up thinking and leadership, both locally and nationally, will be at the forefront of DCYA, CYPSC and Tusla efforts.
Through the actions in ‘Shared Vision, Next Steps 2019 – 2024’, I am confident that both now and in years to come, the impact of these initiatives will be significant, as it will support children and young people, their families, their communities and vulnerable groups who are experiencing difficulties in their lives.”

Early Years Hive – Is your service parent ready?

Early Years Hive – Is your service parent ready?

Almost all early years service providers have now received an invitation to the Early Years Hive to complete a series of readiness steps.

All steps must be completed on the new Early Years Hive so that services will be Parent Ready on November 20th when the National Childcare Scheme is launched.

To ensure you are parent ready on 20th November the PAU for your organisation must complete the following steps:
1. Click on the invitation link sent to the PAUs email address
2. Complete the readiness tasks by submitting the following:-
– Bank account details;
– Tusla registration;
– Service calendar;
– Fees list;
– NCS Programme Application.
Once all of the above steps have been completed you will be ready to register CHICKS from parents wishing to avail of the National Childcare Scheme from 20th November.

The Early Years Hive will be available for new service providers to on-board from Tuesday 12th , November.

Contact Early Years Provider Centre on 01 5117222 or email eypc@pobal.ie for any queries.

PIP Announcement 5th November re: CCSP closing date

CCSP Closing Friday 15th November.


Reminder that CCSP will close on Friday, 15th November.    No new child registrations will be allowed on the CCSP scheme after this date.


Any changes to existing child registrations can only be made during ‘Saver Management Windows’


TEC programmes will remain open for new registrations until 14th February, 2020

PIP Announcement, 1st November 2019 re: National Childcare Scheme – Training Resources 

National Childcare Scheme – Training Resources
​In preparation for the arrival of the National Childcare Scheme, Service Provider training sessions have been conducted since the 11th of March.

Several hundred training sessions have taken place with thousands of Service Providers, numerous Supporting Organisations and a wide variety of Sign-Posting Organisations attending.

In support of the launch of the National Childcare Scheme on the 20th of November the NCS Training Team have developed a series of training resources.

A selection of Applicant and Service Provider training videos are now available to all on the National Childcare Scheme’s official YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCq1sQs1H5WJPyByl-pMkqYA).

The training video playlists are characterised by Applicant and Service Provider and are available on the following channels.

In addition, 2 webinars have been recorded which demonstrate NCS Returns and Funding. The links to register to view the recordings is shown below.

We would like to thank all of the stakeholders who assisted us throughout this process, the City and County Childcare Committees who delivered hundreds of training sessions, and to all of the Service Providers and multiple Organisations who gave up their valuable time to attend the training/information sessions.

Be sure to visit ncs.gov.ie for more information about the National Childcare Scheme.


PIP Announcement, 31st October re: NCS Capital

NCS Capital Grant  Announcement
The application window for NCS Capital 2019 will close on the 1st of November 2019.
There is now only one full day remaining to submit applications.
For any services who wish to apply at this stage, please check your grant allocation and make an application in advance of this closing date. Please note that new service allocations will not be processed after close of business on Thursday 31st October 2019.
As our lines are very busy approaching the deadline we cannot guarantee that all technical queries/ issues raised with our Online Support team will be resolved before the application deadline of Friday (1st November).

DCYA PRESS RELEASE, 29th October 2019 Re: Minister Zappone addresses Funding Model Expert Group at Inaugural Meeting

Minister Zappone addresses Funding Model Expert Group at Inaugural Meeting

Published: 29 October 2019
From: Department of Children and Youth Affairs

Expert Group tasked with developing a new funding model for early learning and care and school-age childcare

Expert Group is independently chaired by Michael Scanlan, former Secretary General of the Department of Health and Children

Extensive programme of engagement and consultation with key stakeholders for the project including with children, parents, the workforce and providers to take place

The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr Katherine Zappone TD, today (Tuesday) addressed the inaugural meeting of the Expert Group tasked with developing a new funding model for early learning and care and school-age childcare.

Delivering on a commitment in First 5: A Whole-of-Government Strategy for Babies, Young Children and their Families 2019-2028,

the Expert Group has been convened to examine the current model of funding for early learning and care and school-age childcare and its effectiveness in delivering quality, affordable, sustainable and inclusive services. The Group will make recommendations on how additional funding for the sector can be structured to deliver on these objectives going forward.

The Expert Group is independently chaired by Michael Scanlan, former Secretary General of the Department of Health and Children, and includes national and international experts in Early Learning and Care and School Age Childcare systems; funding and quality; economics; and relevant policy experts from Government Departments as follows:

  • Professor Edward Melhuish, Professor of Human Development at Oxford University and a highly renowned international research expert on quality in Early Learning and Care
  • Professor Eva Lloyd, Director of the International Centre for the Study of the Mixed Economy of Childcare and a Professor of Early Childhood at the University of East London, highly specialised in the niche field of funding of Early Learning and Care
  • Tove Mogstad Slinde, Senior Adviser in the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research in the Department of Kindergartens and Schools and former Chair of the OECD Network on Early Childhood Education and Care
  • Dr Tim Callan, former Research Professor at the ESRI and with significant experience in tax and welfare policy, financial incentives to work, labour supply, and income distribution
  • Dr Rory O’Donnell, former Director of the National Economic and Social Council leading analysis on a wide range of economic, social and environmental issues
  • Officials from the Departments of Children and Youth Affairs (Bernie McNally, Dr. Anne-Marie Brooks), Public Expenditure and Reform (Niamh Callaghan) and Education and Skills

Addressing the Group this morning the Minister reflected on the significant progress that has been made in recent years in transforming the system for early learning and care and school-age childcare. For example, the numbers of children benefitting from State supported early learning and childcare has more than doubled since 2015. Free-pre-school provided under the ECCE Programme has increased from one year to two years. Supports have been put in place for children with additional learning needs to access this Programme and there have been very significant increases in subsidies for families who need it most.

The Minister also noted the challenges that remain, including the cost of early learning and care and school-age childcare to families, which remains higher in Ireland than in other OECD countries and the quality of provision, which remains variable. The Minister also restated her support for better pay and conditions for staff in the sector given the critical role they play in supporting young children’s early learning and development and providing a safe and caring environment.

The Minister said:

“In the First 5 Strategy we have pledged to double investment in early learning and care and school-age childcare over the next 10 years. But more funding, even if it reaches record levels, is only part of the answer. We now need to ensure that public funding is allocated efficiently, fairly and that it is targeted in the correct manner, not just to families most in need, but within settings, to where it can make the greatest difference from a quality perspective.”
“Investment must continue to reduce the out of pocket cost to parents. It must compensate providers so that they can deliver early learning and care and school-age on a sustainable and high-quality basis. It must be used to attract and retain a well-qualified. It must be directed towards creating more supportive working conditions, where the workforce feel valued, where there is time for preparation, for reflection and for parental engagement, among other things.”

The Minister described the funding model as the:

“crucial mechanism to address challenges in the sector and to channel additional State investment.”

The Expert Group will meet 12 times in total over the next two years and their recommendations will submitted to Government for approval.

A research partner will also be contracted to deliver rigorous, evidence-based inputs that will support the work of the Group. They will, under the direction of the Group, lead an extensive programme of engagement and consultation with the key stakeholders for the project including with children, parents, the workforce and providers.

Full Press Release