Ratios and Rates
The standard weekly ECCE capitation is €69.00 for the 2021/2022 programme year. Where a child is attending a part-time or full time service the ELC Service provider must reduce the fees paid by the parent/guardian by €64.50 (or €12.90 per day) which was the standard capitation rate in 2017 before the 7% increase was introduced in the 2018 budget to support quality in childcare.
Staff Qualifications/Higher Capitation
A childcare provider must ensure all staff working with children hold, at a minimum, a qualification that meets the requirements of the Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016.
Minimum qualifications for ECCE
Room Leaders must, at a minimum, hold a qualification that meets the grant funding agreement requirements for ECCE Room Leader as set out on the published list of DCEDIY ‘Early Years Recognised Qualifications’ or, hold a Letter of Eligibility to Practice at this level issued by the DCEDIY (see more information relating to qualifications, including the published list on www.dcya.gov.ie).
Higher Capitation is part of the ECCE programme, and is based on ECCE registrations. All rules for ECCE also apply to Higher Capitation and the Higher Capitation rules do not supersede the core ECCE rules. The ECCE higher capitation rate is equivalent to an additional €11.25 per child per week above the €69.00 standard rate. Higher Capitation may be paid in respect of any ECCE room that meets the qualifying criteria (see 2.5.4 for qualifying criteria). It is possible for services with multiple ECCE sessions to be granted higher capitation for qualifying sessions and standard capitation for other ECCE sessions.
Full Time Equivalent (FTE) Higher Capitation
Higher Capitation is paid in respect of the number of Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) children registered to the ECCE programme in the qualifying ECCE session. Children on CCSP (and fee paying children) who attend the higher capitation session cannot be included in the FTE calculation, but must be included in the adult to child ratios.
The adult:child ratios for the ECCE programme must be strictly adhered to (see table below).
Higher capitation eligibility
A childcare provider that has an ECCE session that meets the following requirements is eligible to apply for ECCE Higher Capitation payments for that session:
- a Room Leader with a qualification recognised as meeting the minimum requirements for ECCE “Higher Cap” as set out on the published list of ‘DCEDIY Early Years Recognised Qualifications’ or otherwise be deemed eligible by the DCEDIY as evidenced by a Letter of Eligibility to Practice for ECCE Higher Capitation room leader;
- the same Room Leader has a minimum of three years’ paid experience working in the childcare sector;
- the regulatory adult to child ratio is met;
- a Room Assistant (if required for adult to child ratios), who holds a full and relevant qualification that meets the minimum regulatory standard as set out on the published list of ‘DCEDIY Early Years Recognised Qualifications’ or otherwise be deemed eligible by the DCEDIY as evidenced by a Letter of Eligibility to Practice.
In relation to (iv), it should be noted that a Room Assistant who is working in the service through provision of a ‘grandfathering declaration’, is not eligible for Higher Capitation. Higher Capitation will not be paid where the room assistant is working on the basis of a ‘grandfathering declaration’, regardless of the qualification level of the room leader.
Higher capitation rate and fees
Where a child is attending a part-time or full-time service that is in receipt of the higher capitation rate, the childcare provider must reduce the fees paid by the parent/guardian by €64.50 (which was the standard capitation rate before the 7% increase in the standard capitation rate intended for the benefit of the service provider in the 2018 budget).