COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Announcements and Guidance

 

In relation to COVID-19 (Coronavirus), we have compiled a list of recent announcements and guidance.

We have also included relevant announcements from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection below.

 

27th May 2020

Letter from Minister Zappone on Government plans to reopen the early learning and care sector

Dear provider,

Please see attached letter from the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, which includes important updates for providers on Government plans to reopen the early learning and care sector.

Also attached are:

  • a letter from the Secretary General of the Department, which you will be able to copy to your insurance broker if you intend to reopen your service in advance of 29 June, for preparatory works, and
  • a paper setting out the key principles which will underpin service reopening, including the latest health and safety advice.

Regards,
Early Years Division.
DCYA.

Programme Support Payments (PSP) 2019/20

Dear Service Provider,

Programme Support Payments (PSP) will open for applications from Friday May 29 until Friday June 12 2020; the payments will issue after the application process ends.

A ‘How to Guide’ including screen shots explaining how to apply through the service provider portal is attached here.

On Friday 17th April, to assist with any cash flow difficulties being experienced by services due to COVID-19, the DCYA released an advance payment of one third of the Programme Support Payment (PSP) that services were scheduled to receive in June 2020.

This payment together with the remaining two-thirds are subject to the terms and conditions outlined in the PSP application form.

In order to receive the remaining two-thirds and retain the one third already paid to services, the application form must be completed and submitted by Friday 12 June 2020.

Late applications will not be accepted

If a service does not wish to apply, then the advance payment must be returned. Please contact eypc@pobal.ie to make arrangements to return the payment.

Calculation of PSP 2019/2020 (included in announcement of advance payment 15/04/2020)

The PSP for this programme cycle involves a new calculation to include the National Childcare Scheme (NCS) which is being brought into the PSP along with ECCE, CCSP and TEC. The total amount available to providers for 2020, payable this year, remains the same as last year at €19.4m, however, funding for individual providers and registrations may differ from previous years.

PSP is calculated based on a period in time referred to as the “snapshot” period. A number of different snapshot periods during the programme year have been used to calculate PSP since it was introduced in June 2017. This year, December 2019 was selected as an equitable point on which to base the ECCE, CCSP and TEC 2020 PSP payment and March 2020 was the base used for NCS, reflecting that it was a new scheme only introduced in November. PSP is calculated as equal to 7 days’ (1.4 weeks’) registrations for ECCE at Standard Capitation, 1 week for NCS, and 12.5 days’ (2.5 weeks’) registrations for CCSP and TEC, in respect of the 2019/20 programme cycle.

Note: You will receive a separate PSP payment relative to each contract, it will not be a combined single payment. Your provider portal and the remittance advice you receive will include a description of each payment. 

 

26th May 2020

Message & Survey from EY Division for services that normally close over the summer

Dear Provider,

Further to our recent correspondence concerning upcoming provider surveys, please find attached the survey questions for early learning and care and school-age childcare providers usually closed in July and August. This survey will be administered by phone with the support of Pobal and Better Start. Calls to providers that normally close in July and August will begin later this week. In order to support providers to gather the information they may need to participate in this survey, a copy of the survey is attached. Providers that cannot be reached by phone will be sent a link to the survey for self-completion.
 
In addition, with the purpose of obtaining the views of the sector on the re-opening of services, the Department has opened a Call for Submissions. The Call for Submissions opened today (26 May) and will remain open until 5 June. The Call for Submission form can be accessed through the following link https://ec.europa.eu/eusurvey/runner/SectorConsult.
 
The information from this survey and the call for submissions will provide the Department with important and up to date information regarding services and will inform re-opening plans. Therefore, your participation is strongly encouraged and appreciated.    
 
The Minister and the Department will meet with the Advisory Group again later today and it is expected further updates will be circulated following this meeting.
Regards,
Early Years Division.
DCYA.

Temporary Wage Subsidy Childcare Scheme – Verification Checks

Dear Service Providers,

Please refer to attached DCYA letter and verification requirements on the Temporary Wage Subsidy Childcare Scheme.

DCYA Early Years Finance Governance & Reform Compliance Team.

 

22nd May 2020

Phased Re-Opening of Services: Provider Survey

Dear Service Provider,

The Minister chaired a meeting of the Advisory Group on re-opening of early learning and care and school-age service on Tuesday afternoon.
The Minister, Department and Advisory Group understand the necessity to provide ongoing information on this work and set out some updates below.
Survey and Call for Submissions

In order to capture key data to inform planning for the re-opening, the Department is planning a phone survey of providers. With the support of Pobal and Better Start, a survey will first be administered to providers that normally operate in July and August. A survey to remaining providers will follow thereafter. Calls to providers that normally operate in July and August will begin in the week commencing 25 May. In order to support providers to gather the information they may need to participate in this phone survey, a copy of the survey is attached

With the purpose of obtaining the views of the sector on the re-opening of services, the Department is also issuing a Call for Submissions to providers and practitioners. A link to this Call for Submissions will be circulated to you in the coming days.
This will provide the Department with important and up to date information regarding services and will inform re-opening plans. Therefore, your participation is strongly encouraged and appreciated.
Advisory Group and Provider Reference Group
Acknowledging the expertise and experience of the sectoral representatives on the Advisory Group, the Minister is proposing to supplement this with a provider reference group, which will include representatives of other groups not on the Advisory Group. It is hoped to organise a meeting of the Reference Group next week.
We would encourage providers and practitioners to feed in through the sector representatives on the Advisory Group to ensure your concerns and solutions are brought forward. Representation is via the Association of Childhood Professionals (ACP), the National Childhood Network (NCN), the National Forum for Community Childcare Services, Seas Suas (an organisation representing independent providers), Early Childhood Ireland (ECI), Plé (an organisation representing higher education institutions in early childhood studies), SIPTU and Childminding Ireland.
Work plan
A draft work plan covering all the work that is required to facilitate the 29 June reopening and 20 July expansion was presented to the Advisory Group and working groups are being established to progress initial work streams within set timelines.  
Public health advice
Public Health advice is beginning to be received and the Department should be in a position to make some guidance available in the coming days.  
The Minister and the Department will continue to work with sector representatives and are grateful to the Advisory Group for their commitment to solutions focussed engagement on this matter.
The Department has asked funded organisations to ensure that they are available to support you with return to work preparations. In particular, City and County Childcare Committees will act as a local support hub and focus on reopening supports. Early Childhood Ireland will focus on HR supports for all providers. Childminding Ireland will engage and support childminders specifically. Other support organisations are operating as normal and contributing to resource development.
We would appreciate if you would share this correspondence with your employees.
Regards,
Early Years Division
DCYA.

21st May 2020

TWSCS Application Form and Payment

Dear Service Provider,

Please be aware that this week’s payment under TWSCS is another preliminary payment. This will be made to all services who accepted the funding agreement and submitted an application form by Tuesday, 19th May.

The reason for having another preliminary payment this week is due to a significant number of applications being made with potentially inaccurate information.

Pobal will be in contact with the providers whose applications appear to be inaccurate from our checks. However, we ask that services please review their submissions to ensure they are correct and entered in line with the Application Guidance Document provided. Refer to Step 6 – Reviewing a submitted Application Form on how to edit and resubmit the form.

Providers who have failed to give accurate information may risk delays in their payments. Three main areas to consider are:

Gross pay figure not in line with ARNWP

The figure provided as the average gross weekly payroll costs for January and February for all employees who were employed for the purposes of childcare provision on the application form should be in line with the net weekly pay information provided for employees. See Step 4 of the Guide Document for more information.

Organisations with multiple services

Services were directed to ‘complete an application form for each service’. Please ensure that all application forms for each service in your organisation have a status of submitted when all updates are complete. See Step 3 of the Guidance Document for more information.

Services marked as having employees but no employee data submitted

Services were asked whether they had employees on the payroll in the period since 6 April, who are employed by you for the purpose of childcare provision. If the answer is yes, you must enter payroll information on each individual employee before submitting the final application form. The opposite of this scenario is also true, if a service selects no for this questions, then they should not include any employee information on the application form. See Step 2 of the Guidance Document for more information.

Final payments will now be made to all services who have correctly submitted the application form by 1pm on Tuesday, 26th May. Incorrectly submitted applications will be issued a further preliminary payment.

Early Years Team

 

16th May 2020

Letter from Minister Zappone on establishing an Advisory Group of the EY Forum & ToR

Attached letter from Minister Zappone on the establishment of the Advisory Group along with the Terms of Reference for the Advisory Group issued to ELC & SAC providers on 15 May 2020.

15th May 2020

Update: Application Form for Temporary Wage Subsidy Childcare Scheme (TWSCS)

Dear Service Provider,

Please see important information regarding the TWSCS application form below.

Employee ID number

An important change has been made to the TWSCS application form. Services completing the form are now asked to provide a unique 3 digit number only for the employee ID number for each of their staff and are no longer required to include the DCYA reference.

Multi-service organisations

We would like to advise when calculating the gross weekly payroll costs, multi-service organisations can either:

  1. Select a single service and enter the total payroll costs for the organisation, or
  2. Input the payroll costs for each service individually.

Guidance documents have also been updated to reflect this change.

Payments

Payments will be made to all services who have correctly submitted the application form by 1pm on Tuesday, 19th May.

Those who have not submitted the application form will not receive payment.

Application guidance

We urge services yet to submit the application form to do so as soon as possible. Please read the updated  TWSCS Phase 2 Application Form – Application Guidance Document for direction on what is required before doing so.

For further assistance, please contact the Early Years Provider Centre at eypc@pobal.ie.

Early Years Team

 

Update: Phase 2 of DCYA Temporary Wage Subsidy Childcare Scheme (TWSCS) now open for applications

Dear Service Provider,

The TWSCS application form is now live on the Early Years Hive.
Completion of the application form is mandatory and is a condition of the TWSCS Funding Agreement. The deadline for completing the form is 1 July.
 
All services must have an account set up on the Early Years Hive and will need to use their username and password to log in and access the form. Any service provider who has forgotten their password or need support in setting up their account should contact EYPC@pobal.ie.
 
The next scheduled payment of 22 May will be made only to services who have completed and submitted a Funding Agreement and application by 1pm Tuesday 19 May.
 
Please see the TWSCS Application Guidance document for assistance on completing the form. The TWSCS Factsheet for service providers has also been updated to include the phase 2 application process.
 
Early Years Team

13th May 2020

Statement on Cancellation of Temporary Childcare Scheme for Essential Health Workers

The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr Katherine Zappone today announced, with regret, that the Temporary Childcare Scheme for Essential Health Workers will not proceed on the 18 May as planned. The scheme was launched last Thursday with a call to childcare services to volunteer to provide childcare for health workers in their homes. Unfortunately, uptake for the scheme among childcare providers has been much lower than was hoped, with only six providers applying to join the scheme so far.  It has become clear that the low uptake is unlikely to change.
The Scheme was designed in response to a request from the Department of Health and the HSE to put emergency childcare in place for essential health workers. In developing a scheme that satisfies public health requirements, the Department of Children and Youth Affairs worked closely with public health officials and colleagues across Government, and took on board feedback from the sector in relation to the operation of such a scheme.
A variety of reasons have been put forward for the low sign-up rate.  These include availability of insurance cover, concerns about possible virus transmission, difficulties in meeting employer responsibilities in relation to breaks and rest periods, and concerns about a lack of protection for staff working alone. The Department was always conscious of the fact that the 27,000 workforce consisted predominantly of women, many of whom had their own parental and caring responsibilities and some of whom had underlying health conditions.  However, it had hoped that sufficient numbers would come forward to enable the scheme to operate.
The scheme that was announced involved childcare practitioners working on an outreach basis in the homes of health workers, with childcare providers and their staff being paid for the service. The funding allowed for payment of an average wage of €15 per hour for childcare practitioners, in addition to associated employer costs, as well as a management overhead to provide for supervision and support. Guidance, developed in collaboration with the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) in the HSE, was made available to providers on how to meet public health advice.
The Minister noted that the challenge of introducing childcare provision at this time is a difficult one given the important public health restrictions in place.  While the home based approach met public health requirements, the provision of this type of model raised other difficulties, and the sector were concerned generally about potential health impacts amidst continued strict social distancing rules.
It was a temporary response in an emergency situation which required participants to operate outside of their normal environments.
The Minister acknowledged the efforts both within her own Department and externally to get the scheme up and running. She had sincerely hoped that it would be possible to deliver such a scheme successfully and so ease some of the burden on our frontline health workers. Unfortunately this has not proved to be the case.
The Minister noted that her Department remains strongly focused on developing solutions to the significant challenges of a phased reopening of early learning and childcare facilities for 29 June in line with the Government’s Roadmap on Reopening Society and Business.
The Department of Children and Youth Affairs will continue to work with Government colleagues, public health officials and the childcare sector, and to this end the Minister had very constructive engagement this afternoon (13 May) with a number of representatives of providers and staff.

11th May 2020

Temporary Childcare Scheme for Essential Health Workers (TCSEHW) Factsheet for Service Providers

Update: Phase 2 of DCYA Temporary Wage Subsidy Childcare Scheme (TWSCS) now open for applications

Dear Service Provider,

The TWSCS application form is now live on the Early Years Hive.

Completion of the application form is mandatory and is a condition of the TWSCS Funding Agreement. The deadline for completing the form is 1 July.

All services must have an account set up on the Early Years Hive and will need to use their username and password to log in and access the form. Any service provider who has forgotten their password or need support in setting up their account should contact EYPC@pobal.ie.

The next scheduled payment of 22 May will be made only to services who have completed and submitted a Funding Agreement and application by 1pm Tuesday 19 May.

Please see the TWSCS Application Guidance document for assistance on completing the form. The TWSCS Factsheet for service providers has also been updated to include the phase 2 application process.

Early Years Team

8th May 2020

Phase 2 of DCYA Temporary Wage Subsidy Childcare Scheme (TWSCS)

Dear Service Provider,

Phase 2 of the TWSCS will go live on Monday, 11th May.

Application process

Phase 2 comprises an application form which will be available to complete and submit on the Early Years Hive.

All services must have an account set up on the Hive and will need to use their username and password to log in and access the form. Invitation links have been sent to the PAU of any organisation who has not previously registered on the Early Years Hive but has accepted the terms and conditions of the Funding Agreement. Service providers do not need to complete all readiness steps or activate an NCS contract in order to submit this application form.

The PAU will be required to complete a number of questions for each employee per facility, including information on their pre-COVID-19 Average Revenue Net Weekly Pay (ARNWP).

Completion of the application form is mandatory and is a condition of the TWSCS Funding Agreement and the deadline for completing the form is 1 July.

Timelines

Funding Agreement closing date – 10 June (or 1 week in advance of the Revenue TWSS closing)

Application form opening date – 11 May and closing date – 1 July

Payments

The next scheduled payment of 22 May will be made only to services who have completed and submitted a Funding Agreement and application by 1pm Tuesday 19 May.

These payments will be based on information provided in the application form. The payment amounts calculated will be reconciled with any preliminary payments already made, and a payment will be made, if due, on 22 May. If an overpayment has occurred, no payment will be issued and it will roll over and be reconciled against next payment due on 5 June. If an overpayment still exists, this will be reconciled against future payments under ELC and SAC programmes (ECCE, AIM, NCS, CCSP, TEC).

An announcement will be posted on Monday, 11 May on the PIP Portal with a step-by-step application guide for completing the form.

For support with any of the process please contact eypc@pobal.ie

Early Years Hive

Important: TCSEHW Volunteer Application Form Version 2

Dear Service Provider,

Please be advised that an important update has been made to the Volunteer Application Form for the Temporary Childcare Scheme for Essential Health Workers (TCSEHW). The version now found in PIP Resources is version 2 and replaces the previous version.

We kindly ask that any services in the process of completing and/or submitting the form do so with the latest version.

We apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused.

Early Years Team

Update: Temporary Childcare Scheme for Essential Health Workers

Dear Service Provider,

Further to yesterday’s announcement on TCSEHW, please find the letter from Assistant Secretary Bernie McNally to service providers relating to the introduction of the new Scheme here.

Please also find the TCSEHW Factsheet for Service Providers which contains a summary of the main points of the Scheme for your benefit.

 

Dear Early Years Providers,

Please see the attached letter from Assistant Secretary Bernie McNally  and a Press Release  from Minister Katherine Zappone relating to the introduction of the new Temporary Childcare Scheme for Essential Health Workers (TCSEHW).The Funding Agreement and Application Form for this scheme will be made available to view on the Programme Implementation Platform (PIP).

Further information is available from your local CCC.

The DCYA has developed an 
Outreach Pack and FAQs to assist providers, their staff and parents who avail of the scheme, which is also attached.

Regards,
 
Early Years Division.
DCYA.

7th May 2020

Minister Zappone announces plan to provide childcare for essential health workers

The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr Katherine Zappone, has announced new, emergency measures to support essential health workers who are having difficulty meeting their childcare needs. This forms part of Phase 1 of the Government’s Roadmap for Reopening Society and Business.
 
The service will be limited to parents/guardians defined as essential health workers during the COVID emergency.
 
Click on the link below for more information.
 

Additional information Temporary Wage Subsidy Childcare Scheme: A How-To Guide

Dear providers,
 
 
Also, please find attached updated Temporary Wage Subsidy Childcare Scheme: A How-To Guide. This document is a guide which sets out information on the practicalities of operating the DCYA Temporary Wage Subsidy Childcare Scheme (TWSCS). It aims to be informative and useful for providers processing payments for the period of the scheme.
 
Information relating to the new Temporary Childcare Scheme for Essential Health Workers (TCSEHW) will issue from DCYA to ELC & SAC providers later today.
 
Kind regards,
 
Early Years Division.
DCYA.

6th May 2020

COVID-19 Notice: AIM Update

AIM Level 7 – 2nd year extensions process during Covid-19

For children who are currently receiving AIM supports and are eligible to avail of a 2nd year of the ECCE programme from September 2020/21:
If the child is eligible and is expected to return to the same pre-school setting for a second year and circumstances have not changed, services in receipt of AIM Level 7 supports must submit a 2nd year extension request for all eligible children. This request can be submitted via the AIM tab on the PIP Portal from Wednesday 6th May.  Confirmation of continued support will be contingent on services being advised they can re-open, following Covid-19 closures.
 
If the child who is currently availing of AIM supports is expected to move to another pre-school in September 2020/21, or a for a child expected to enrol in a first year of ECCE, a new AIM application will need to be made by the new pre-school provider in conjunction with the parent(s).  
A further announcement in relation to the timing of new AIM Applications for the 2020/21 programme call will be made shortly.
 
AIM Level 5
If a child child in receipt of AIM Level 5 equipment is transitioning to school in September 2020, transfer of ownership documents will be issued in due course.  If a child in receipt of AIM Level 5 equipment is expected to move to another pre-school in September 2020, a new AIM application must be submitted by the new pre-school provider in conjunction with the parent(s).  
A further announcement in relation to the timing of new AIM Level 5 Applications for the 2020/21 programme call will be issued shortly.
 
Early Years Team
3rd May 2020
Dear Early Years Provider,
 
Please see the attached press release from the Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA) in relation to Covid-19 Emergency Childcare service for Essential Healthcare Workers from 18 May, the DCYA will be in contact in the coming days with details of the scheme.
 
Regards,
 
Early Years Division.
DCYA.

1st May 2020

Phase 2 of TWSCS Application: Submitting the Application Form
Dear Service Provider,
As you are aware, the DCYA’s Temporary Wage Subsidy Childcare Scheme (TWSCS) is now operational and payments started to flow last Friday, 24 April. The first three payments in the TWSCS are preliminary payments which will be reconciled as part of the remaining two payments. Please continue referring to the TWSCS Factsheet and FAQ for information on the scheme and payments, as they are regularly updated.
Phase 1 of the application process was accepting the Terms and Conditions of the TWSCS Funding Agreement.
Phase 2 of the application process will go live on the week beginning 11 May. This is an application form which will be available and submitted on the Early Years Hive. In this application form, the PAU for each service will be asked to answer a number of questions on each staff member on the TWSCS, including their pre-COVID-19 Average Revenue Net Weekly Pay (ARNWP).
The information provided in this form will be used to calculate the total payments due under the TWSC scheme; these amounts will be reconciled against the 3 preliminary payments already made, and a payment will be made, if due, on 22 May, followed by a further payment, if due on 5 June. Completion of the application form is mandatory and is a term of the TWSCS Funding Agreement.
A step-by-step how-to guide on the application form will be made available on the PIP Portal in advance of the form going live.
For guidance on calculating top-up payments under the TWSS and TWSCS, please see the Temporary Wage Subsidy Childcare Scheme: A How-To Guide.
Early Years Team

COVID-19: Emergency Childcare service for Essential Healthcare Workers from 18 May

  • Existing registered childcare services ill be invited to participate in the provision of childcare in the homes of essential healthcare workers from 18 May

Today the Taoiseach has outlined a ‘roadmap’ to lifting restrictions.

Government has asked the Department of Children and Youth Affairs to oversee the provision of childcare in the homes of essential healthcare workers from 18 May. This outreach childcare model has also been supported by the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) as part of the first phase of easing restrictions.

Existing registered childcare services will be invited to participate in this initiative. Participation in the service will be voluntary for both service providers and for childcare professionals. The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs and her department have acknowledged the number of dedicated childcare services and professionals that have expressed their interest in supporting such an initiative in recent weeks and being part of Ireland’s call to action in these very difficult times.

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Katherine Zappone said:

“Over the past few weeks my department has been planning for this emergency childcare service. We have been listening to suggestions from the sector. Now, with this decision to introduce the service, we will engage more intensively to make final preparations. A meeting with provider representatives will be arranged for early next week. We will make further information available to providers and their staff who may wish to volunteer as soon as possible thereafter. We will also finalise details with the Department of Health and the HSE and release information to essential healthcare workers on how they can access the scheme from 18 May.
“I would like to sincerely thank the services and staff who are planning to volunteer for doing their part in this unprecedented time for our health service. I know that not every early education or childcare service or staff member will be in a position to volunteer, but for those who can, their service is greatly valued.”

 

30th April 2020

Temporary COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Childcare Scheme (TWSCS) Factsheet (Updated)

In light of updates made to the DCYA’s FAQs on COVID-19 Measures yesterday, please see attached an updated version of the Temporary Wage Subsidy Childcare Scheme Factsheet – 30.04.2020
Please note that this is version 3 and replaces the previous version.
Early Years Team

27th April 2020

DCYA Notification – Updated FAQ (version 4) & TWSCS A How-To Guide

Dear providers,
It contains information on the DCYA operated Temporary COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Childcare Scheme (TWSCS) which is now available for sign-up.
Also, please find attached a second document the Temporary Wage Subsidy Childcare Scheme: A How-To Guide. This document is a guide which sets out information on the practicalities of operating the DCYA Temporary Wage Subsidy Childcare Scheme (TWSCS) . It aims to be informative and useful for providers processing payments for the period of the scheme.
Kind regards,
Early Years Division.
DCYA.

Updated FAQ’s from Revenue (v8) re COVID-19 wage subsidy

Revenue have published an updated FAQ document (V8), in respect of the Temporary COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme including the DCYA childcare wage subsidy scheme.

Download a copy here

22nd April 2020

Updated Temporary COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Childcare Scheme (TWSCS) Factsheet

Dear Service Provider,
In light of updates made to the DCYA’s FAQs on COVID-19 Measures yesterday, please see attached an updated version of the Temporary COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Childcare Scheme Factsheet – 22.04.2020
Please note that this is version 2 and replaces the previous version.
Early Years Team

 

21st April 2020

WSCS Preliminary Payments

Payments under the Department of Children and Youth Affairs Temporary Wage Subsidy Childcare Scheme (DCYA TWSC) will be issued this week on 24th April 2020 to any service provider who has accepted the terms of the funding agreement and submitted the form by today 5pm Tuesday 21st April.

 

Important: To sign up for and benefit from this scheme, participating ELC and SAC providers with employees must register for the Revenue Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (Revenue TWSS) and operate the Revenue TWSS in accordance with the Revenue TWSS guidance.
Preliminary payments will be made based on a model that estimates amounts due under the DCYA TWSC scheme for both wages and overheads. When the DCYA TWSC value has been calculated, any preliminary payments under this agreement will be reconciled with the actual DCYA TWSC Scheme payments due to services following submission to Pobal of an application form and proof of the Revenue calculation. Further information on this process will be provided in the coming weeks.
As Childcare Services with no employees are not identifiable from PIP/EYP, the preliminary payments do not account for providers with no employees. Any excess in the preliminary payment will be reconciled when the DCYA TWSC Scheme payment value is calculated.

 

A reconciliation of payments made for the week 4th – 10th April under previous schemes ECCE (including AIM), CCSP, TEC and NCS will also be done when processing the second payment due 1st May for any providers signing on up to the DCYA TWSC Scheme.

Reminder: WSCS Funding Agreement

Dear Service Provider,

Payments will be issued on Friday 24th April to any service provider who has accepted the terms of this agreement and submitted the form to Pobal by 5pm on Tuesday, 21st April.
 
The application form for Phase 2 of WSCS process is currently being finalised and will be made available in the coming weeks.
 
If you have any queries on the application process please contact eypc@pobal.ie.
 
Scheduled system maintenance
 
Both the National Childcare Scheme website (NCS.gov.ie) and the Early Years Hive will be unavailable on Wednesday, 22nd April for a maximum of 3 hours between 8am-11am due to scheduled maintenance.  
 
During this time, the Early Years Provider Centre (EYPC) will have limited capacity to assist as internal systems will also be affected.
 
We try to keep temporary downtime such as this to a minimum, however, they are essential for the development and improvement of the Early Years Hive.
 
We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause and thank you for your cooperation.
 

DCYA notification – Updated FAQ and Temporary COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Childcare Scheme (TWSCS)

Dear Providers,
 
 
It contains information on the DCYA operated Temporary COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Childcare Scheme (TWSCS) which is now available for sign-up.
 
Kind regards,
 
DCYA EY Division.

Revenue have published an updated FAQ document (V7), in respect of the Temporary COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme including the DCYA childcare wage subsidy scheme.

Download your copy here

 

Reminder: Wage Subsidy Childcare Scheme (WSCS) funding agreement

Dear Service Provider,
As you know the PAU for your organisation received an email on Thursday, 16th April with a link to the Wage Subsidy Childcare Scheme (WSCS) Funding Agreement.
Payments will be issued on Friday 24th April to any service provider who has accepted the terms of this agreement and submitted the form to Pobal by 5pm on Tuesday, 21st April.
The application form for Phase 2 of WSCS process is currently being finalised and will be made available in the coming weeks.
If you have any queries on the application process please contact eypc@pobal.ie.
Early Years Team

20th April 2020

Wage Subsidy Childcare Scheme (WSCS) Funding Agreement Reminder and Factsheet

Dear Service Provider,
As you know, the PAU for your organisation received an email yesterday, 16th April, with a link to the Wage Subsidy Childcare Scheme (WSCS) Funding Agreement.
Payments will be issued on Friday, 24th April to any service provider who has accepted the terms of this agreement and submitted the form to Pobal by 5pm on Tuesday, 21st April.
The application form for Phase 2 of WSCS process is currently being finalised and will be made available in the coming weeks.
Please also find the Wage Subsidy Childcare Scheme Factsheet for your benefit here:
If you have any queries on the application process, please contact eypc@pobal.ie.
Early Years Team

17th April 2020

DCYA Notification – Attention services that experiencing difficulties running payroll under the WSS/WSCS

Dear Service Providers
Please excuse this email late on a Friday evening, but it is in response to several urgent queries received by DCYA today.
 
The Minister for Finance and the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs previously agreed that as part of the Wage Subsidy Childcare Scheme (WSCS), where a staff member’s pre-12 March weekly wage was below the DEASP set rate for the temporary Pandemic Unemployment Payment (currently €350 per week), DCYA will, on a temporary basis, provide funding to employers to be used to top-up eligible employees’ wages to €350.
It is understood that some providers have experienced difficulties processing payroll in line with the DCYA WSCS. It appeared that for some, the payment of €350 to childcare employees who previously earned a lower wage in the pre-COVID-19 period, could not be processed due to an inbuilt taper.
 
DCYA has received confirmation from the Revenue on 17 April that to address this issue, payroll providers should not apply the taper from the payroll system. This will facilitate the payment to be made.
Regards,
Early Years Division.

DCYA.

 

Wage Subsidy Childcare Scheme (WSCS) Funding Agreement Reminder and Factsheet

Dear Service Provider,

As you know, the PAU for your organisation received an email yesterday, 16th April, with a link to the Wage Subsidy Childcare Scheme (WSCS) Funding Agreement.

Payments will be issued on Friday, 24th April to any service provider who has accepted the terms of this agreement and submitted the form to Pobal by 5pm on Tuesday, 21st April.

The application form for Phase 2 of WSCS process is currently being finalised and will be made available in the coming weeks.

Please also find the Wage Subsidy Childcare Scheme Factsheet for your benefit here:

Wage Subsidy Childcare Scheme FactSheet – 17.04.2020

If you have any queries on the application process, please contact eypc@pobal.ie.

Early Years Team

 

16th April 2020

PIP Announcement: Process for applying for the Covid-19 Wage Subsidy Childcare Scheme (WSCS)

Dear Service Provider

As you are aware DCYA are launching the Covid 19 Wage Subsidy Childcare Scheme (WSCS) on Thursday 16th April.   A copy of the Funding Agreement is available on PIP for you to review.

Please do not print and submit the copy which is available on PIP.   The process for applying for the Covid-19 WSCS is a two phased approach, details of Phase 2 are currently being finalised and the application for and the step by step process will be made available in due course.   The process for Phase 1 is as follows:

Process for applying for the Covid-19 Wage Subsidy Childcare Scheme (WSCS)- Phase 1

–         A copy of the Funding agreement is posted on the PIP Portal for review purposes only.

–         Service providers must be registered with Revenue for the COVID 19 Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme.

–         On Thursday 16th April the PAU for each organisation will receive an email to the registered email account with a link to the Funding Agreement.  Once the provider follows the link, they must input the email address and password contained in the email.

–         The service provider will then be brought to the Wage Subsidy Childcare Scheme Funding Agreement, which must be read, required details input and the terms and conditions accepted.

–         Once the required details are completed and the terms and conditions are accepted,  submit the form

Note to Multi Service Organisations:  The PAU will receive a separate email for each facility in the organisation.  The Terms and conditions must be accepted for each.     Pobal will contact the PAU of multi facility organisations only, after funding agreements are submitted as further information will be required.

WSCS Payments

Payments will be issued on Friday, 24th April, to any service provider who has submitted a Funding Agreement by 5pm on the Tuesday 21st April.

System Maintenance

Please note that due to scheduled system maintenance on Thursday 16th, between the hours of 3pm – 6pm Service Providers may experience difficulties in submitting the forms.

We regret any inconvenience this may cause.

For support on submitting the form Service Providers should contact eypc@pobal.ie

15th April 2020

PIP Announcement: Letter from Minister Zappone re: Funding Agreement & updated FAQ’s to ELC & SAC providers 15/04/2020

Dear Provider

Please find attached the Funding Agreement for the new Wage Subsidy Childcare Scheme. Payments will be received on Friday 24 April for anyone who has signed up by Tuesday 21st April, close of business. As you are already aware, payments can be backdated to April 6.

Please also find attached some Frequently Asked Questions. These have been compiled to answer questions posed by the sector in recent weeks. We will update them regularly. You may be aware that the Minister for Finance announced some changes to the Revenue’s Wage Subsidy Scheme today, effective from May 4. We will update the FAQs to reflect these over the coming days.

Thank you for your patience as this new Scheme was finalised with other Government Departments and Agencies.

My thoughts remain with you in this very difficult time.

Katherine Zappone

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs

15th April 2020

PIP Announcement: PSP 2019/20 Advance Payment

Dear Service Provider,

As announced on Friday 10th April, to assist with any cash flow difficulties being experienced, DCYA is planning to release 33% of the Programme Support Payment (PSP) you were scheduled to receive in June, to reach your account on 17th April. The PSP for this programme cycle involves a new calculation to include the National Childcare Scheme (NCS) which is being brought into the PSP along with ECCE, CCSP and TEC. The total amount available to providers for 2020, payable now and in June, remains the same as last year at €19.4m, however, funding for individual providers and registrations may differ from previous years.

PSP is calculated based on a period in time referred to as the “snapshot” period. A number of different snapshot periods during the programme year have been used to calculate PSP since it was introduced in June 2017. This year, December 2019 was selected as an equitable point on which to base the ECCE, CCSP and TEC 2020 PSP payment and March 2020 was the base used for NCS, reflecting that it was a new scheme only introduced in November. PSP is calculated as equal to 7 days’ (1.4 weeks’) registrations for ECCE at Standard Capitation, 1 week for NCS, and 12.5 days’ (2.5 weeks’) registrations for CCSP and TEC, in respect of the 2019/20 programme cycle.

An application form to apply for the PSP will follow in May 2020 for this advance and the remaining 66%. To reflect the exceptional circumstances and to assist with cash flow requirements due to COVID-19, this payment is being released in advance of the 2019/20 PSP application form. This payment will be subject to the terms and conditions in this PSP application form, which will mirror the conditions of the 2018/19 PSP application form. If a service does not wish to accept this advance payment, please contact eypc@pobal.ie to make arrangements to return the payment.

Note: If you have more than one contract, you will receive a separate PSP payment relative to each contract, it will not be a combined single payment. Your provider portal and the remittance advice you receive will include a description of each payment.

Early Years Team

14th April 2020

PIP Announcement: AIM Payments

Dear Service Provider,

Childcare employees funded under AIM are included in the Wage Subsidy Childcare Scheme (WSCS).

As a result, there will be no further AIM payments processed.

A reconciliation will be completed to ascertain any overpayments to Service Providers.

If you have any questions in relation to the above, please contact aimteam@pobal.ie.

Early Years Team

10th April 2020

PIP Announcement: Notice from DCYA re: Covid 19 Measures

Dear Providers,

Earlier today you received a statement from the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs and the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform about the Wage Subsidy Childcare Scheme (WSCS). Very good progress has been made on this scheme and the new Funding Agreement should be with you early next week for your consideration. Payments will be received on April 24th by those that sign up to it by April 21st.

Having considered how Exchequer funding can be best used to support the sector, funding for ECCE, NCS, CCSP and TEC schemes will be suspended from today enabling the wider sector to benefit fully from the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS) and the WSCS.

Please find a letter here, notifying you formally of the temporary suspension of the schemes for the period of the COVID-19 Emergency.

Services are reminded that to avail of the WSCS, you must be registered for the Revenue’s TWSS (unless your service has no employees). Those who have already registered for the TWSS, or who register now, can get a payment of €410 per eligible staff member per week, within days of doing so. Registration with and payments made under the TWSS can be backdated to March 26th. The €410 per week per staff member due under the WSS will be reconciled by Revenue with the exact amount owed around April 20th. The WSCS will be backdated to April 6th for those who sign up to the WSCS.

Additionally to support cash flow, DCYA is planning to release a proportion (33%) of the Programme Support Payment you were scheduled to receive in June, to reach your account on April 17th. We will provide further detail re this on Tuesday.

DCYA acknowledges the significant distress COVID-19 has caused for everyone in Ireland and particularly for those operating businesses, including those running ELC and SAC services and employing staff. DCYA has worked intensively over the last four weeks to deliver a package of measures to assist the sector. We have been collating your many questions and preparing answers in collaboration with colleagues in Revenue and elsewhere. We will be issuing answers to those questions early next week alongside the publication of the WSCS Funding Agreement.

Wishing you a safe and happy Easter

EY Divsion

Department of Children and Youth Affairs

Log onto your PIP Portal to view announcement click here.

10th April 2020

PIP Announcement: WSCS-Joint Statement from Ministers DCYA & DPER/Finance

Dear Early Years Service Provider,

Earlier today an important update was issued by the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, and Minister for DPER/Finance on measures for Childcare Sector during Covid-19. The update can be found here

As per the latest information available, the Early Years Provider Centre will reopen on Tuesday 14th April 2020 at 8am.

Service Providers can contact the Early Years Provider Centre by emailing eypc@pobal.ie or by submitting a Service Request on the Early Years Hive.

Log onto your PIP Portal to view announcement click here.

9th April 2020

Letter to Providers from Minister Zappone re: Wage Subsidy Childcare Scheme

A letter from Minister Zappone regarding the Wage Subsidy Childcare Scheme was issued to all providers on the 9th April.

More information on the Wage Subsidy Scheme is due to follow soon. In case you missed it please see letter here: Letter to Providers re: Covid 19 measures

6th April 2020 

PIP Announcement: DCYA update on payments and the Wage Subsidy Childcare Scheme 

Dear Early Years Provider

Approximately €5m in payments will issue from Pobal to relevant providers on Wednesday 8 April 2020 and should be in providers bank accounts on Thursday 9 April 2020.

ECCE, CCSP and TEC

Payments to contracted ELC and SAC services will be calculated based on current child registrations and the calendars submitted by the provider to Pobal on or before the closure of services on 12 March 2020.

It should be noted that payments will only be made to services that had 6-10 April marked as a payable week on their calendar on the date of closure, 12 March 2020. Payments will therefore reflect the amount that would have been expected by services, and committed by DCYA before COVID closures, for the week Monday 6 April to Friday 10 April.

NCS

The two weeks of 30 March to 5 April and 6 April to 12 April will be paid on 9 April. Where a provider may have opted for an unpaid week in either of these payment periods, this payment will be treated as a paid closure and reconciled when services have reopened.

Wage Subsidy Childcare Scheme

DCYA continues to work closely with our Government partners regarding the Wage Subsidy Childcare Scheme.

Early Years Division, DCYA

Log onto your PIP Portal to view announcement click here.

4th April 2020

PIP Announcement: DCYA update on Wage Subsidy Childcare Scheme Update and Payments for ELC and SAC Programmes on an ex-gratia basis up until 10 April 2020 

Dear Service Provider,
further to previous communications that have issued in recent weeks, DCYA has been working intensively on the new Wage Subsidy Childcare Scheme to support the Early Learning and Care and School-Age Childcare sector at this extremely difficult time.

We are working closely with Revenue and other partners across Government on how the Revenue’s Wage Subsidy Scheme and the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protections’s Pandemic Unemployment Payment will interact with the DCYA Wage Subsidy Childcare Scheme.

We have made significant progress, but unfortunately the DCYA Wage Subsidy Childcare Scheme is not yet ready to launch.

In the interim, as a sustainability measure and pending the finalisation of the new scheme, DCYA will continue to make payments for ELC and SAC programmes based on service calendars on an ex-gratia basis up until 10 April 2020.

Services continue to have access to the Wage Subsidy Scheme and other Government supports listed in our recent FAQs.

We regret the delay in finalising this complex new scheme and thank you for your patience at this challenging time. We are however, as stated, making significant progress and we will continue to work on this over the weekend.

We will revert to you as soon as possible.

Log onto the PIP Portal to view this announcement click here.

 

31st March 2020

PIP Announcement Information and FAQ’s on COVID 19 Measures for providers and staff of Early Learning and Care and School Age Childcare Services

Dear Service Provider,

Please see the attached letter from Minister Katherine Zappone and FAQs document in relation to the Government’s new Wage Subsidy Childcare Scheme for the childcare sector. (See below for attachments)

The FAQs provide details on what the Scheme means for providers, the qualifying criteria for the Scheme, and the operational procedures on how the Scheme will be rolled out. They can also be found on the DCYA’s website here
Information relating to the Scheme is still evolving and accordingly the FAQs will be updated as additional information becomes available.

Early Years Team

Log onto your PIP Portal to view announcement

To view the FAQ document click HERE

To view the letter from Minister Zappone click HERE

 

26th March 2020

PIP Announcement DCYA notice to Service Providers: National Covid-19 Temporary Wage Subsidy

DCYA is continuing to work with other Government Departments to ensure the future of the early learning and care and school-age childcare sector. DCYA can confirm that good progress is being made on introducing the Government’s new wage subsidy scheme and measures for the childcare sector. We understand that the lack of detailed specific childcare information is very frustrating at this time. We are currently drafting specific FAQ’s for the sector. As the DCYA measures significantly mirror the National Covid-19 Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme and other national business supports, it is necessary for us to await detailed information on the Wage Subsidy Scheme and other national business supports, it is necessary for us to await detailed information on the Wage Subsidy Scheme before issuing our sector specific FAQ’s.

In the interim, DCYA can confirm that payments for the various schemes have either already been paid up to 3rd April (as in the case for the ECCE, CCSP and TEC schemes) or will be paid (as in the case for NCS) up to 3rd April. We will revert to you as soon as possible.

Log onto your PIP portal to view announcement.

 

25th March 2020

Minister Katherine Zappone announces measures to support Childcare Providers and Parents during Covid-19 closures 

Following the announcement yesterday of sustainability measures in response to Covid-19 by the Government, Minister Katherine Zappone, has provided further details to support the Childcare sector.

For full announcement click HERE

 

20th March 2020

Minister Zappone writes letter to ELC & SAC Providers re: Covid-19

Click HERE to view

 

14th March 2020

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Information for Childcare Providers

Click HERE to view

 

13th March 2020

Frequently Asked Questions from the Department of Children and Youth Affairs that issued to ELC & SAC providers on 13th March 2020

Frequently Asked Questions Re.Covid-19

PIP Announcement COVID-19 Notice

Dear Service Provider,

In light of the recent communication from the Government regarding the closure of childcare facilities until 29th March, 2020 due to Covid-19, we wish to inform you of the following service delivery. The announcement includes the service delivery of Pobal and Better Start and information on AIM and NSAI training. It also provides information on payment and Force Majeure. Log onto your PIP Portal to view announcement in full.

 

12th March 2020

Letter from DCYA re: Closures of creche’s and preschools

Click HERE to view.

 

12th March 2020

Statement by An Taoiseach

The following measures will come into effect from 6pm today until 29th March.

Schools, colleges and childcare facilities will close from tomorrow (Friday inclusive).

See full statement HERE

 

11th March 2020

DCYA Guidance to Preschools on COVID-19 Updated 11th March 2020

Click HERE to view.

 

10th March 2020

Letter update on the policies of the Department of Children and Youth Affairs with regard to Covid-19

Click HERE to view.

The Department of Children and Youth Affairs will keep providers informed of childcare specific developments via a number of channels:

  • PIP and EYP Hive notices directly to providers, and
  • Emails directly to providers

 

9th March 2020

Guidance for staff in childcare and educational settings, including language schools about novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) V1.1.05.03.2020

Click HERE to view

 

Announcements from Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (DEASP)

24th March 2020

Increase in Pandemic Unemployment Payment of €350 Click Here

 

20th March 2020

Update to the Employer Refund Scheme Click Here 

 

19th March 2020

Minister announces two weeks entitlement in a single payment Click Here

 

18th March 2020

Minister Doherty announces details of the COVID-19 Employer Refund Scheme

Also provides update on demand for the new COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment click HERE

 

COVID-19 Information for Employers and Employees

The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection have a range of measures to provide income support to people affected by COVID-19 (Coronavirus) click HERE

 

15th March 2020

Covid-19 Introduction of simplified Unemployment Payments for employees and payments possible through employers – Minister Doherty click HERE

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) DEASP Additional Customer Information to download click HERE.

COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment

This new payment will be available to all employees and the self-employed who have lost employment due to a downturn in economic activity caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Click here to view.

 

12th March 2020         

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Information for Employers and Employees

The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection are introducing measures to provide income support to people affected by COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Click HERE to view.

 

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