This section contains a number of resources that have been developed to guide and assist providers and practitioners for the reopening and operation of their service(s) during COVID-19.

Service Interruptions due to Cyberattack

The HSE has issued memos in relation to the handling of Covid-19 cases in Early Learning and Care (ELC) and School Age Childcare (SAC) services, which may be found below

As reported in the media there has also been an interruption to Tusla IT services – Tusla have advised that phone lines are currently operational and you can find the Early Years inspectorate numbers at https://www.tusla.ie/get-in-touch/early-years-inspectors/

Tusla have also issued a memo in relation to contingency plans which can be found below

Preparation Documents

Some quick reference material on a variety of thematic areas:

The new childminding webpage www.gov.ie/childminding is now live. On the website you can find Childminder Guidance during Covid 19.

The 30 City and County Childcare Committees (CCCs) are also available to provide advice and support to early learning and care and school age childcare services. Contact details for your local CCC can be found at www.myccc.ie. The Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth has also established a national weekend Covid-19 support helpline, hosted by the CCCs, which provides support for providers who are faced with a potential or confirmed Covid-19 case in their service by guiding them through the process of engagement with the relevant authorities. This helpline can be reached on 1800 940 341 on Saturdays, Sundays and bank holidays between the hours of 10.00-13.00 and 13.30 and 16.00.

Pre-school at Home Hub

The Department has established a Pre-School at Home Hub to support parents and practitioners during current restrictions. The Preschool at Home Hub has lots of new and existing resources in one convenient place. Early Learning and Care settings have been asked to connect with families to support the children in their setting during current restrictions. Some guidance to support you in relation to connecting with parents is provided below.

To visit the Pre-school at Home hub click on the link here: Pre-School at Home Hub
Connecting with Parents guidance document can be [Downloaded here]

  • Wellbeing webinar for practitioners “Because You Matter: Caring for Self in order to care for others.” Presented by Anthony Semann (Australia) https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/sh… Password: bsvd2C$F
  • Principles of practice for reopening ELC and SAC, (DCEDIY)[Download here]. (updating in progress)
  • Working together with parents, (DYCA) [Download here].
  • FAQs for Practices, (DCEDIY) [Download here]. (updating in progress)
  • Adapting environments for practice , (DCEDIY) [Download here]. (updating in progress)
  • Supporting Children’s Emotional wellbeing in Transition to ELC, (Barnardos) [Download here].
  • Short animated video on returning to childcare for children, (DCEDIY) [Watch here].
  • Webinar looking at the key person approach: Supporting Relationships in the Early Years Setting During Covid-19, (Barnardos)
    The Key Person Approach: Supporting Relationships in the Early Years Setting During Covid-19 is a recording of a free webinar looking at the key person approach – what it is, why it is important and how it works in practice in early learning and care. [Register here].
  • Practice case studies, [Download Case Study 1] [Download Case Study 2]
  • Barnardos have developed a new tip sheet for early years providers on renewing teamwork as settings prepare to reopen. Click here.

FAQs will continue to be updated at appropriate intervals

Useful links

If you need support over a weekend due to a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 in your service, please contact a weekend specific COVID support helpline, being hosted by the City/County Childcare Committees, on 1800 940341 between the hours of 10am-1.00pm and 1.30pm-4.00pm on Saturday, Sunday and bank holidays.

Regulatory Guidance

Tusla’s Early Years Inspectorate has developed guidance for registered providers of early years services to support and facilitate the safe reopening and operation during the COVID-19 period.

These documents have been prepared in line with public health guidance and regulatory requirements. The guidance document provides detailed information on the steps you need to take before and after you reopen. The self-assessment checklist should be completed in parallel with the guidance document as an aide to help services work through the requirements. As you are aware Covid -19 is included in the list of infectious diseases, in the event of a case in an early years’ service it must be notified to Tusla. A revised notification form for Covid-19 has been developed. Should additional advice be received from HPSC before Phase 3 or thereafter, Tusla will amend the documents accordingly.

The suite of documents includes

The Department of Education and Skills, Early Years Education Inspectorate has developed guidance for registered providers of early learning and care settings regarding the arrangements for inspection during the 2020/21 academic year.

  • Circular 0042/2020, Arrangements for Inspection of Early Learning and Care (ELC) Settings for the 2020/2021 academic year, (DES) [Download here].