• Department of Children and Youth Affairs launch the expansion of the Community Childcare Subvention (CCS) Programme to Private Providers

    Posted on February 22, 2016 by in News Updates

    Background

    dcya logo largeThe Community Childcare Subvention (CCS) Programme supports disadvantaged parents and provides support for parents in low paid employment and training or education by enabling qualifying parents to avail of reduced childcare costs at participating community childcare services. Participation in the
    Programme is currently restricted to community/not-for-profit childcare services. There are currently approximately 913 community/not-for-profit childcare services nationwide participating in the CCS Programme, catering for up to 27,000 children annually.

    Due to economic constraints, Budget 2012 closed the CCS Programme to new applications from community/ not-for-profit childcare services wishing to enter the CCS Programme. This restriction was lifted in October 2015.

    Budget 2016 – CCS Expansion

    Under Budget 2016, Dr.James Reilly, Minister for Children and Youth Affairs announced a major package
    of strategic investment in affordable, quality and accessible childcare. Part of this package involved expansion of the CCS Programme, to be rolled out in phases:
    Phase 1:

    Lifting the Full Time Equivalent (FTE) Places cap within existing CCS services (with effect from
    October 2015) Notice in relation to the lifting of this restriction was issued in October 2015 and services in contract under the CCS Programme were advised to register all eligible children in attendance in the service in time for the CCS snap-shot week (5th – 9th October 2015).

    Phase 2:

    Expansion of the CCS Programme to Community/Not-for-Profit childcare providers (with effect
    from November 2015) Community/Not-for-Profit Services actively in contract with the DCYA under at least one of the other childcare funding programmes (ECCE and/or TEC) were invited to submit expressions of interest to join the CCS Programme. All services in contract under the CCS Programme were provided with the extended period for child registration to be submitted up until Friday 29th January 2016.

    Phase 3:

    Expansion of the CCS Programme to a targeted number of private childcare providers (with effect from early 2016)
    An extra €16million was allocated in Budget 2016 to provide for the expansion of the CCS Programme to private childcare providers in order to make CCS funding more accessible to families and children. When considering how to best target the expansion to private providers, data in relation to services currently contracted to provide the CCS Programme and Census 2011 data was analysed to consider the levels of deprivation by Electoral Division (ED) area against the areas in need of access to Community Childcare Subvention.
    On review of the data it was difficult to identify specific areas to determine a targeted roll out of CCS to private providers. The data indicated that, while there are many ED areas with relatively high numbers of children aged 0-12 (some of which have been identified as being ‘disadvantaged’ or ‘below average’) across all CCCs that are currently not serviced by CCS, in ED areas identified as being ‘above average’ or ‘affluent’ there are significant proportions of the population in the lowest social classes. Therefore, the roll-out of CCS to private providers in areas identified as being ‘disadvantaged’ or ‘below average’ only could still miss a significant number of children in need of CCS provision.
    On this basis, it was determined that all private providers should be invited to deliver a CCS Programme, and, if children in their service meet the CCS eligibility criteria, they can be subvented on a ‘first come first served basis’ (to the maximum budget capacity of €16m over 2016).
    In the interest of managing the ‘first come first serve’ process fairly, the €16million budget will be distributed by City/County Childcare Committee (CCC) area, on a pro rata basis.
    Appendix 1 sets out allocated distribution of the CCS Budget, for private providers, by CCC area based on the estimated proportions of children aged 0-12 in each CCC area. This allocation is open to change in the event that significant need in specific areas is identified.
    The Department of Children and Youth Affairs now invites Private Childcare Providers, actively in contract with the DCYA under at least one of the other childcare funding programmes (ECCE and/or TEC), to submit expressions of interest to enter into contract to deliver CCS.

    Other terms:

    Administration of the programme shall be the responsibility of Pobal, on behalf of the Department of Children and Youth Affairs, via the Programmes Implementation Platform (PIP). The Term of the
    contract shall be from February 2016 to August 2016, after which new contracts will be agreed inconjunction with the official programmes contracting period in 2016.
    Participating services must demonstrate tax compliance.

    Participating services must agree to use grant funding received under the Community Childcare Subvention programme to reduce, by the subvention amount received, the childcare fees charged to
    qualifying parents of children attending the service.

    Parents will qualify for reduced childcare fees where they meet the CCS criteria (as at the date of registration/childcare start date), outlined in the DCYA Childcare Funding Programmes Information
    and Frequently Asked Questions.

    CCS Funding will be granted to cover childcare, as per the level of service registered and approved on the Programme Implementation Platform (PIP), from the childcare start date to the childcare end date or until the child leaves the service if earlier than the initial childcare end date registered.

    Services will be required to complete all contractual requirements and have a counter-signed contract in place with the DCYA before registering children for the CCS Programme for private providers.

    All approved providers will be required to submit for approval, a Fees Policy to their local CCC which demonstrates that the appropriate reductions in childcare fees for qualifying parents will be applied.
    This is not required to happen before contracts are made active.

    Providers must be aware that the registration process and eligibility validation process takes a period of time after initial registration to confirm approval of funding. While a provisional payment will be made to the service provider based on proposed eligibility, this funding is subject to being refunded to the DCYA where approval is not confirmed. Therefore, service providers should satisfy themselves of proof of eligibility before passing on the subvention to the parent or charge the normal fee until such time as funding has been approved. Once funding has been approved the parent must be refunded back-dated to date from which funding is provided.

    How much does the DCYA pay for CCS funded places and what is the eligibility criteria?

    Details of CCS eligibility criteria including, Band types and weekly funding amounts may be found on the
    DCYA Website (www.dcya.ie) or PIP Homepage (www.pobal.ie) under ‘DCYA Childcare Funding Programmes Information and Frequently Asked Questions’.

    * Different to that of CCS provision in the community sector is that for private providers the eligibility criteria is based as of the date of the child’s registration/childcare start date on the PIP system rather than the ‘snap-shot week’ used for the community sector. Funding approval is on a ‘first come first serve basis’ within the limits of the assigned budget (or redirected budget) for private providers by CCC area.

    How will I register children for the CCS funding?

    Once a CCS (Private) Contract has been countersigned with the DCYA, the DCYA will make the CCS Private (CCSP) Contract active on the PIP System, which will allow CCSP registration forms to be completed. You will already be familiar with the PIP system from the ECCE and/or TEC Programmes. A ‘CCSP How to Guide for Service Providers’ (which will be available from the PIP Homepage) will detail instructions on how to register children for CCSP funding on the PIP system.

    I want to apply! What do I do next?
    Send an e-mail to express your interest in applying for a CCS (Private) Contract to CCSPrivate2015@dcya.gov.ie with the following information:

    – Name of your childcare service
    – Existing DCYA Reference No. (e.g. 12DY00XX)
    – Current postal address of your childcare service
    – Proposed CCSP session types to be offered (full-time, part-time, etc.)
    – The number of CCSP children you expect to be able to register

    If your service already has a contract with the DCYA to run the ECCE and/or TEC Programmes, an
    application form will be issues, along with a CCSP Contract for completion and signing.
    Your completed application form and CCSP Contract will be processed upon their return to the DCYA.
    Contracts will only be countersigned on receipt of all required information.

    reillyClick here to read Appendix 1 – County by County breakdown of additional CCS places (at the end of the document)

    Read the Minister’s Press Release by clicking here

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