Unannounced compliance visits are commencing on ECCE and the Transitional targeted childcare programmes. Visits will continue for the duration of the programme cycles. Note: Services operating ECCE only sessions will not be visited outside of the ECCE programme cycle.
As previously, the compliance process will involve a series of standardised on-site checks aimed at ensuring adherence with certain programme rules and contract conditions as set out by the Department of Children & Youth Affairs (DCYA). Attendance records will be reviewed as a priority during compliance visits.
To ensure compliance with each programme’s requirements, services must familiarise themselves with the following:
· Relevant programme Funding Agreements
· DCYA Rules for ECCE programme
· Transitional Rules for DCYA Targeted Childcare Programmes (including Attendance record rules and Appendix 2 “Good Practice Guide – Attendance records”)
· PIP “How to” Guides
· Announcements available on the PIP Portal (and Pobal and DCYA websites).
Compliance visits will comprise checks on records held on site in respect of the following Early Years Programmes i.e.
· Free Pre-school Year in Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) Programme
· Community Childcare Subvention Plus (CCSP) (Including Universal Subsidy (CCSU))
· Community Childcare Subvention Resettlement (CCSR)
· Community Childcare Subvention Resettlement (Transitional) (CCSR(T))
· Training and Employment Childcare (TEC)
It is advised that services prepare for an unannounced compliance visit by collating relevant information for review e.g. in a Compliance Folder/File which can be made readily available to the Visit Officer on arrival. This will ensure minimum disruption and expedite the compliance visit. It is acknowledged that some services file their records in alternative ways which is acceptable, but it should be noted that records must be available to enable the Visit Officer to complete the compliance visit in a reasonable timescale. In this regard we request that the person in charge on site has access to the Compliance Folder / records in the event of an unannounced visit. Please only maintain compliance related information in the Compliance Folder.
This cycle, a new Compliance Guide for Service Providers is available. This document describes the compliance visit process in relation to the ECCE and Transitional programmes as outlined above and provides guidance and assistance to service providers when preparing for a compliance visit. Please see the relevant link here to the document and also on the PIP homepage and PIP Portal. The Compliance Guide for Service Providers includes as Appendix 1 –the Compliance Checklist for Service Providers for the 2019/2020 cycle, to assist services in collating the relevant information to meet compliance requirements. Please note that this checklist contains a separate section for each of the Early Years programmes. In addition, Appendix 2- Compliance Categorisations, includes the compliance categories assigned for each programme reviewed at a visit i.e. Compliant, Minor non-compliant, Moderate non-compliant and Major non-compliant. Further detail of the possible issues identified under each of the non-compliant categorisations per programme is also included in this Appendix.
Following the commencement of the National Childcare Scheme (NCS), to accommodate service providers in meeting PIP registration updating responsibilities, in line with the relevant DCYA programme rules, there are “proposed dates” for CCSP ‘Saver Management’ windows in the 2019/2020 cycle. These were previously included in a PIP announcement dated 30/09/19 “CCSP and TEC closing dates”. Please note the dates for the “Saver Management” windows are subject to change – refer to PIP Announcements for updates.
A further update will be issued in advance of checks commencing on the new National Childcare Scheme (NCS). It is important that all relevant information is maintained from the commencement of registrations under this scheme.