Pobal has released it’s Annual Survey of the Early Years Sector (2012) and the findings are very positive in terms of the satisfaction of childcare providers with their local City/County Childcare Committee. Here in Wicklow we are striving to offer supports, information, training and advice that are relevant, clear, affordable and accessible. We are always keen to hear the input of our providers and local parents and suggestions on how to improve our supports further. Do not hesitate to ever contact me or any of our staff if you have any questions or suggestions, we are always happy to help in any way we can.
– Eugene Waters (County Childcare Coordinator)
The 33 City and County Childcare Committees are the local implementing agencies for the DCYA’s funding programmes. In the course of their work, CCC staff are involved in providing a range of supports, advice, information and training to childcare services in their local areas.
98% (2,596) of respondents to the survey reported that they had had some contact with their local CCC.
The Pobal questionnaire asked services to indicate, in the first instance, whether they had had any contact with their local CCC, and then (if so) to rate that interaction on a 5-point scale (poor / fair / good / very good / excellent).
Of the 2,329 services that reported having received information from their CCC, 91.8% rated that information as good, very good or excellent.
Given the large numbers of respondents, this survey represents by far the largest body of feedback gathered to date from childcare services on the support work provided on the ground by the 33 CCCs. The fact that the questionnaire is submitted anonymously is also notable as this should lend itself to an honest appraisal of the CCCs from the user perspective.
In line with previous years, the survey represents a very positive statement from childcare services about the supports provided to them by their local CCCs. The importance and quality of the CCC as a local conduit for information is very clear.
The categories of support rated highest were “printed information” and “help preparing service returns”. Although not specified in the question, it is likely that the information provided focussed largely on issues such as the conditions and requirements of DCYA funding programmes, the quality and curriculum frameworks (Síolta and Aistear), and so on.
Also rated very highly (as it has consistently been over a number of years) is the training that is provided by (or with the support of) the CCCs; 90.6% of respondents gave a positive rating to CCC training.