Carlow County Childcare Committee aims to support parents in all aspects of childcare provision in the Carlow area including advice on choosing childcare, parent and toddler groups and financial supports available.
Types of Childcare
When and if the time comes to handing your child over to a stranger, you need to be fully informed of the different types of childcare services. This can be a daunting task for any parent and the type of childcare that you need will depend on your needs, your child’s needs and the type of childcare that you prefer. There are a number of options when it comes to childcare. Services can be Community or privately run, centre based in a childcare facility or home based in your or the carers home.
A sessional service refers to a programmed for children for up to 3.5 hours per session. Services may offer a morning and/or afternoon session.
A part-time day care service refers to a programme for children over 3.5 hours and less than 5 hours per day.
Full Day Services:
A full day care service refers to a programme of activities for children for more than 5 hours per day. A full day service may include sessional and part-time services and School Age Childcare services for children attending primary school.
School Age Services:
A School Age service provides for the care needs of children before school starts in the morning, after school finishes in the afternoon and during school holidays and pre-planned school closures.
A List of approved Carlow Services can be found here.
Childminding services refers to care for children within a childminders home.
A List of approved Carlow Childminders can be foundhere.
For further information please contact Carlow CCC. 059 9140244
The Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA) operate a number of Childcare Schemes. These schemes provide free or reduced rate childcare to eligible children and their parents.
Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE):
This programme is a universal childcare programme otherwise known as ‘free pre-school’ with the stated objective of providing children with their first formal experience of early learning. It is delivered to children of pre-school age (2 years 8 months to 5 years 6 months) prior to commencing primary school and is provided for 3 hours per day, 5 days per week over 38 weeks per year.
There is an ECCE calculator on our home page for your use.
Community Childcare Subvention (CCS): This programme provides childcare funding support targeting low income families in community childcare services.
Community Childcare Subvention Plus (CCSP): This programme provides childcare funding support targeting low income families in private childcare services and community childcare services.
Community Childcare Subvention Universal (CCSU): All families are eligible for financial childcare support for children between the ages of six months and the time at which they are eligible for the free pre-school programme. This subsidy will NOT be means tested and therefore will be available for families at any income level. To qualify the parent must provide both the child and parent PPS number to the childcare provider.
Community Childcare Subvention Resettlement (CSSR): This programme provides childcare support to Programme Refugees to support their resettlement and integration into Irish society.
Community Childcare Subvention Resettlement (Transitional) (CSSR(T)): As part of the “Rebuilding Ireland – an Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness” the DCYA has provided access to free childcare for children of families experiencing homelessness.
Training and Employment Childcare (TEC) Programmes: These programmes provide childcare funding support for parents participating in eligible ETB/Solas vocational training courses, Community Employment (CE) programmes or returning to employment.
Each service is obliged to supply a fees list which would show you what you will pay for your childcare. You should also receive a service calendar which will state the days that the service will be closed.
Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr Katherine Zappone, has announced that the new Affordable Childcare Scheme will open for applications in mid- October 2019, with payments flowing from November 2019. The scheme will offer a single, easy to access system of financial subsidies towards childcare for families in Ireland. Through this, it will enhance affordability and accessibility, and provide a platform for investment in quality childcare to benefit current and future generations.
The Access and Inclusion Model (AIM) is a model of supports designed to ensure that children with additional needs can access the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) Programme. Its goal is to empower pre-school providers to deliver an inclusive pre-school experience, ensuring that every eligible child can meaningfully participate in the ECCE Programme and reap the benefits of quality early years care and education.
AIM is a child-centred model, involving seven levels of progressive support, moving from the universal to the targeted, based on the needs of the child and the pre-school service. For many children, the universal supports offered under the model will be sufficient. For others, one particular discrete support may be required to enable participation in the ECCE Programme, such as access to a piece of specialised equipment. For a small number, a suite of different services and supports may be necessary. In other words, the model is designed to be responsive to the needs of each individual child in the context of their pre-school setting. It offers tailored, practical supports based on need and does not require a formal diagnosis of disability.
AIM provides a suite of universal and targeted supports across 7 levels. For more information please visit : http://aim.gov.ie/
Parent & Toddler Groups
A Parent and Toddler Group is an informal group within the local community, which provides an opportunity for young children and their parents/carers to meet. All children are cared for by the adult that attends with them. There are many benefits for parents and children participating in P&T Groups i.e. building new friendships, support systems and children develop their social skills.
There are currently 12 P&T groups in Co Carlow.
A List of Carlow Parent and Toddler groups can be foundhere.
If you are interested in starting up a Parent & Toddler Group there are grants available through Carlow CCC which could entitle you to up to €1000. Please contact Carlow CCC on 059-9140244.
Aistear Information for Parents
Parents play a key role in their children’s education. Effective early childhood settings and schools take account of the influence of the home on children’s learning and they build on the experience children bring to the setting or school. Establishing strong links with parents helps make children’s education as successful as possible.
The NCCA developed Aistear:the Early Childhood Curriculum Framework (2009) in partnership with the early childhood sector.
For more information and lots of useful resources go to the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) Aistear Toolkit atwww.ncca.ie
Síolta Information For Parents
Síolta, the National Quality Framework for Early Childhood Education is designed to define, assess and support the improvement of quality across all aspects of practice in early childhood are and education (ECCE) settings where children aged birth to six years are present.
Parents and professionals working in partnership benefit children. The essence of partnership is respectful listening and sharing of information between parents and practitioners about children’s learning and development at home and at an early childhood care and education (ECCE) service. The partnership involves responsibility on both sides.
Pobal on behalf of the Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA), conducts compliance visits with each participating childcare service who operates one or more of the National Childcare Programmes.
Children First, National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children 2017, applies to all those working in a voluntary or paid capacity with children and families. It outlines the roles and responsibilities in relation to recognising, responding and reporting child protection and welfare concerns. Early Years Providers are mandated under Children First to inform Tusla when they have reasonable grounds for concern that a child may have been, is being, or is at risk of being abused or neglected.
The National Vetting Bureau Act 2012-2016 makes it mandatory for persons working with children or vulnerable adults to be vetted.
Meitheal is a National Practice Model developed by Tusla which ensures that the needs and strengths of children and their families are effectively identified and understood and responded to in a timely way so that children and families get the help and support needed to improve children’s outcomes and realise their rights.
Children and families are most likely to do well if they are provided with appropriate support in a timely fashion that is coordinated, and there is good communication and partnership working between professionals. Supporting families and keeping children safe is everyone’s business. Families should experience services as easily accessible and integrated at the front line in their own communities. Meitheal is an early intervention, multi-agency (when necessary) response tailored to the needs of an individual child or young person.
The Child and Family Support Network coordinator for the Carlow area is:
Any concerns you may have should be discussed directly with the early years’ service provider. Providers are required by the childcare regulations to have a complaints policy outlining how your concern will be managed. You are advised to put your concern in writing to the early years’ service and request a copy of their complaints policy.
If you are dissatisfied with the response received from the provider or have reasons that you feel are prohibiting you from bringing the matter to your provider directly, you may contact Tusla. Tusla does not investigate individual concerns or complaints. They review all information, about early years’ services and assess this information against the childcare regulations with a view to forming an opinion. You will receive an acknowledgment indicating if your concern has been accepted by the Early Years Inspectorate. They may also contact you to clarify information you have provided.
If the inspectorate considers that a risk to the health and welfare of children in an early years’ service is present, the Inspectorate will take appropriate actions with the service provider to ensure that the risk is addressed. Information will be treated as received in confidence, however they may not in all incidences be able to guarantee anonymity.
If you wish to contact Tusla regarding a concern you have about an early years service you may do so in a number of ways: