Dear Service Provider,
As you are aware, Minister for Children & Youth Affairs, Dr Katherine Zappone and The Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA) announced the Reopening of Early Learning and Care (ELC) and School Age Childcare (SAC) Services from 29th June, 2020. As part of this process, there are a number of actions required by Service Providers and Pobal as scheme administrator to support reactivation of the normal ELC and SAC funding streams and the special reopening measures announced by the Minister.
Pobal will be actively working to ensure that all payments are processed as efficiently as possible, we ask for your continued support as we work to open all of the schemes and get payments flowing as soon as is practicable during this phased reopening.
To support the structured and safe rollout of these schemes, they are being released in sequence, more detailed information on the key dates is available in Appendix 1 of this document.
Programme Support Payments 2020 opened for applications on May 29th and closed on June 15th at 1pm. The balance of PSP 2019/20 (two-thirds) will be paid on June 19th 2020
In the coming days and weeks, the following actions will be required for the remaining measures:
Apply for the Covid-19 Capital Grant from Monday 22nd June with payments flowing from 26th June 2020.
Renew “saver” registrations from Monday 22nd June with payments on approved registrations to flow from 26th June 2020.
4. Renew NCS registrations from Monday 29th June with payments to flow from 10th July 2020.
5. Apply for the Reopening Support Payment (RSP) from July 3rd with payments flowing from 10th July 2020.
An appendix with all the opening and payment dates can be found here
We fully appreciate that this is a challenging time for providers and we are working to ensure that the administrative overhead is kept to the minimum necessary, whilst also ensuring that exchequer funds are managed and deployed to best effect. Be assured that both Pobal and the CCCs are available to support and guide you through this process.
Covid-19 Capital Grant
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, DCYA has decided to use the funding that was allocated for this year’s ELC and SAC Capital Programme to provide grants to assist with the costs of supporting ELC and SAC services adhere to public health requirements to re-open.
Full details on this process can be found here.
Re-opening of NCS & CCSP/TEC Savers
As you know, ex gratia payments continued until April 10th 2020 (with the final week being offset for services who opted for the TWSCS). The registrations which formed the basis for these ex gratia payments ceased at that time. It is not feasible from a technical and administrative perspective to simply “turn” these back on. As such you will need to take steps to renew both savers and NCS registrations.
It is important to note that you will not need to re-gather all the necessary information. Once the service level is agreed with the parent, the necessary data can be pulled from PIP or the Early Years Platform or from material on hand in your service.
The only contact with parents is to confirm the level of service required and associated fee. For existing provider/parent contracts, these can be reconfirmed by email or other electronic means. Changes to the agreement can be sent to parents who can respond via email or other electronic means. Only parents who confirm return to the service can be registered.
It is important to note that the usual attendance rules will apply with regard to non-attendance and under-attendance. It is important to note that these rules accommodate to a considerable extent non-attendance (4 weeks) and under-attendance (12 weeks for NCS and 8 weeks for CCSP/TEC (extended from 4 weeks for the initial 8 week opening period as an exceptional measure). Providers should refer to the relevant scheme rules for further guidance.
FAQ’s on the CCSP/TEC saver process can be found here.
A specific guide to re-registering a CCSP Saver registration can be found here.
A specific guide to re-registering a TEC Saver registration can be found here.
FAQ’s on the NCS registration process can be found here.
A specific guide to re-registering an NCS registration can be found here.
Reopening Support Payment
The RSP will be available to ELC and SAC services to support them in meeting the reopening guidelines, to support children to remain in ‘play pods’ to reduce the potential for COVID-19 to spread, and to meet additional staffing needs during the reopening period. The RSP is provided in recognition of the fact that a reduced number of children are likely to attend ELC and SAC services in the initial weeks of reopening.
Full details on this process will be made available in an announcement Wednesday, 1st July on the PIP portal.
Please note that as part of the sign-up process you will be required to state any payments received under the Covid-19 Restart Grant scheme. If you are unsure about this, further information is available at www.dbei.gov.ie and in our FAQs available on the publications page of the DCYA website.
We ask you to bear with us as we work to open all of the schemes, please be assured that Pobal are actively working to ensure that all payments are processed as efficiently as possible.