There are currently three types of exchequer funding available to Childcare Service Providers (details below), childcare services must enter into a contract with the Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA) in order to participate in any of the schemes/programmes. If you have any queries in relation to these schemes/programmes please do not hesitate to contact Jillian or Eithne on 053-9237156.
1. Free Pre-School Year in Early Childhood Care & Education (ECCE Scheme) is available to Private and Community Childcare Providers
2. Community Childcare Subvention Scheme (CCS Scheme) – available to community based not-for-profit childcare services
3. Training and Employment Childcare (TEC) Programme formerly the CETSProgramme – available to both private and community fullday, half day and school aged services.
1. ECCE Scheme
The objective of the ECCE programme is to make early learning in a formal setting available to eligible children in the year before they commence primary school. To achieve this, services participating in the pre-school year are required to provide age-appropriate activities and programmes to children within a particular age cohort. The free pre-school year is delivered on the basis of 3 hours per day, 5 days per week, 38 weeks per year. It is not mandatory that children attend every day but, where they do not, the capitation fee will be reduced on a pro-rata basis.
When are children eligible to avail of the scheme ?
Currently, children who are aged between 3 years 2 months and 4 years 7 months (Born between 2nd February 2011 and 30th June 2012 inclusive) are eligible for 38 weeks’ of free pre-school when they register for the programme.
The change announced in Budget 2016 means that, from September 2016, children will be able to register for free pre-school when they are aged 3, and will be able to remain in pre-school until they make the transition to primary school (provided they are not older 5 years 6 months at the end of the pre-school year i.e. the end of June).
The change to the pre-school programme announced in 2015 budget take effect from September 2016.
Children who are currently enrolled for the free pre-school programme (i.e. on the basis of the eligibility criteria which applied in September this year) will be able to continue in the programme in September 2016 – once they are not older than 5 years and 6 months at the end of the current pre-school year i.e. June 2017)
From September 2016 the minimum enrolment age for free pre-school is age 3.
On Wednesday 15th of June 2016 Minister Katherine Zappone formally launched the new Better Start Access and Inclusion Model (AIM) for early years services. Minister Zappone said “This is an important step to break-down barriers preventing children with disabilities from taking part in the Early Childhood Care and Education Programme”. Its goal is to empower service providers to deliver an inclusive pre-school experience, ensuring that every eligible child can fully participate in the ECCE programme and reap the benefits of quality early years care and education.
Wexford County Childcare Committee is aware that many providers in the County have raised this issue on numerous occasions, campaigned the issue at many levels, and see the absolute necessity for this way of working so we are delighted that this model has been developed and launched.
More about the Better Start Access and Inclusion Model (AIM)
The model comprises of 7 levels, the County Childcare Committees are involved in levels 1-3 which are termed ‘universal supports’ and levels 4-7 require provide more ‘targeted supports’. We are also delighted that this model has a dedicated website www.preschoolaccess.ie and more information on the 7 levels can be found on this website. Briefly please see below for some information on the levels.
Level 1- 3
A new Inclusion Charter has been developed for the early years sector. The purpose of the Charter is to demonstrate the sector’s commitment to inclusion. Service providers are invited to sign-up to this Charter by producing and publishing their own Inclusion Policy. More information at www.preschoolaccess.ie under ‘service providers’.
A new higher education programme, “Leadership for Inclusion in Early Years” or LINC, will commence in September 2016. It is a special purpose award at Level 6 it aims to equip participants with the knowledge, understanding, skills and competencies to support the participation of children with additional needs in early years settings. There is a dedicated website for this course http://lincprogramme.ie/, applications will open on this website on Monday 20th of June and All candidates applying to the LINC programme must be nominated by their employer/setting. Graduates from the programme will be able to take on a new leadership role of Inclusion Co-ordinator within their pre-school setting which will attract an increase of €2 per child per week in the rate of ECCE capitation payable to that setting.
Finally, a broad multi-annual programme of formal and informal training for pre-school staff in relation to disability and inclusion will be funded by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs and will be delivered by the City and County Childcare Committee’s, in collaboration with the HSE and other agencies. Details of this training programme will be advertised on this website and on your local City or County Childcare Committees website once available.
Level 4-7 – Targeted Supports Under AIM
Under level 4 Expert Educational Advice and Support, service providers can access a national service where specialists in early years care and education for children with disabilities can provide expert advice, mentoring and support. To avail of this support, service providers, in partnership with parents, will be asked to complete an online Access and Inclusion Profile. This profile is available again under the ‘service providers’ page on thewww.preschoolaccess.ie website. Applications can be made at present and are open all year.
Under level 5 Equipment, Appliances and Minor Alterations, a national scheme is available to provide specialised equipment, appliances or capital grants towards minor building alterations, where these are necessary to support access and facilitate a child’s participation in pre-school. Applications for this scheme should be made by a service provider, in partnership with a parent. In all cases, a short report from a “designated professional” is required confirming that the specialised equipment or minor building alterations are necessary.
Under level 6 Therapy services which are considered critical for a child’s participation in the Early Childhood Care and Education programme will be made available. Arrangements are in place with the Health Service Executive (HSE) to deliver this service and a number of additional therapy posts have been funded under the Access and Inclusion Model to support this service provision. To avail of level 6 support, service providers, in partnership with parents, should complete the online form at www.preschoolaccess.ie
Under Level 7: Additional Capitation Where the above supports are not sufficient to meet the needs of the child, service providers, in partnership with parents, can apply for additional capitation to fund extra support in the classroom or to enable the reduction of the staff to child ratio. Applications for level 7 additional capitation should be made by the service provider, in partnership with the parent, by completing the Access and Inclusion Profile (explained under level 4) and, within that profile, the level 7 service request
Getting Started and Accessing Supports
Where you have agreed to enrol a child in your service and consider that you will need additional support to meet the needs of the child in an inclusive way, you can, in partnership with the parent, apply for supports under AIM. The links are on the website www.preschoolaccess.ie The application process is open and will remain open throughout the year.
A telephone support line is also available to you at the following (contact (01) 511 7222 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Friday) or e-mail support at (firstname.lastname@example.org).
2. CCS Scheme:
3. Training & Employment Childcare (TEC) Programmes formerly known as the CETS scheme :From September 2014, the 3 strands of CETS (CETS ETB/Solas, ASCC and CE CETS) will operate as separate programmes under the heading of TRAINING AND EMPLOYMENT CHILDCARE (TEC) PROGRAMMES.Providers please note that it is imperative when you are requesting a place under any TEC programme that you submit the correct Parental Declaration form. The relevant forms are all downloadable below, along with more information about each programme and what it entails.
In addition in order to request a place please submit the relevant letter confirming eligibility for the programme, and proof of the parent and child/childrens PPSN. Please complete one form per child in each family.
The TEC Programmes consist of:
- The Childcare Education and Training Support Programme(CETS);The CETS Programme formerly catered for FAS and VEC training course participants and now provides childcare on behalf of the Local Education and Training Boards.Click here to download the Pre Regristration form for parents who are eligible under the CETS Programme.
- Click here to download 2015/16 CETS Sign In Sheets
- The After-school Childcare Programme (ASCC)The ASCC is administered on behalf of the Department of Social Protection (DSP) and provides afterschool care for primary school children for certain categories of working parents and parents on Department of Social Protection employment programmes (not including Community Employment).Click here to download the Pre Regristration form for parents who are eligible under the ASCC Programme.Please note only a parents local Department of Social Protection Office will be able to determine if a parent is eligible for this programme.
- Click here to download 2015/16 ASCC Sign In Sheets
- The Community Employment Childcare Programme (CEC)The CEC is administered on behalf of the Department of Social Protection (DSP) and provides childcare for children of parents who are participating on Community Employment schemes.Click here to download the Pre Regristration form for parents who are eligible under the CEC Programme.
- Click here to download 2015/16 CEC Sign In Sheets
- These changes are reflected in the contracts which issued for the September 2014 to August 2016 contracting period. The DYCA website and all documentation will be amended over the next few weeks to reflect this name change.