• Extension to Covid-19 Standard Operating Payment (COSP) Review Process

    Posted on February 11, 2021 by in News Updates

    The closing date for submitting a COSP review request has been extended to close of business on Monday 15th February. This additional time is to allow services more time to check their COSP calculation.

    If you believe your COSP calculation is incorrect (e.g. incorrect Tusla or DCEDIY ref. number used or there is a calculation error), you may request a review – see previous announcement for details on how to submit a review request.

    To seek a review you must provide evidence that the calculation or the figures used to calculate the payment are incorrect; it is not sufficient to claim that you are eligible for a payment. Please note, to date, in most review cases the COSP calculation has been confirmed to be correct.

    Eligibility criteria and the basis for the COSP calculation are as follows;

    Eligibility Criteria

    • Your service must be registered with Tusla, either on the EY or the SAC Register or both.
    • Your service must have at least one child registered on a DCEDIY funding scheme.
    • The total value of DCEDIY funding schemes (ECCE, AIM, NCS, and legacy schemes) allocated to the service in the week ending 13 December 2020 must be less than 45% of the “calculated-income-capacity” of the service. Your service’s “calculated-income-capacity” is determined by the following formula:
      • Maximum number of children the service was allowed to accommodate in December 2020.
      • Multiplied by 0.83
      • Multiplied by the average weekly fee in the county in which the service operates for the service type.

    Maximum number of children the service can accommodate

    This is determined by reference to the figure for “No. of children service can accommodate” as specified on the currently published version of the Register on the Tusla website, which is the December 2020 Register (uploaded to the Tusla website in January 2021). If your service provides ELC (or if it provides both ELC and SAC), the figure is taken from the Early Years Register. If your service only provides SAC, the figure is taken from the SAC Register.

    The Register on the Tusla website is used as it the legal, published Register. In some cases, services have applied to Tusla for a Change in Circumstances in the number of children the service can accommodate, but Tusla has not yet approved the change. Corrections to COSP calculations are only accepted if Tusla has written to a provider stating that the Change in Circumstances has been approved, and if the approval was given before (or in) December 2020.

    Average weekly fees

    These are published in the FAQs of 29 January 2021. The average weekly fee is distinguished by (a) the county the service is located in, (b) whether the service is private or community, and (c) the longest session type for which the service is registered.

    If the service offers both ELC and SAC, it is treated as a full-day service when assessing the average weekly fee. If the service offers only SAC, the average fee used is the fee for holiday periods.

    Calculation

    Where a service is deemed eligible for COSP, the COSP payment is 20.28% of the difference between (a) the total value of DCEDIY funding schemes (ECCE, AIM, NCS, legacy schemes) allocated to the service in the week ending 13 December 2020, and (b) the service’s “calculated-income-capacity”.

    Further guidance on how to check your COSP calculation including case studies can be found in the FAQs of 29 January 2021 – see link above.

    Measures for ineligible services

    The COSP has been designed to be a sustainability support for those services identified as being most likely to face sustainability issues if they do not charge fees for non-attending children. While the COSP is based on objective, verifiable data, it is acknowledged that some services may be deemed ineligible for COSP but face sustainability issues, e.g. if their normal fee level is higher than the average fee level for their county, or if their normal occupancy rate is much higher than the national average. Where a service is deemed ineligible for COSP but faces sustainability issues, the service may apply for support through the Sustainability Fund.

     

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