• Minister O’Gorman announces substantial investment for Early Learning and Care and School-Age Childcare providers in return for a fee freeze for parents

    Posted on April 7, 2022 by in News Updates

    Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Roderic O’Gorman, has today (April 7) announced the opening of the Transition Fund for Early Learning and Care (ELC) and School-Age Childcare (SAC) providers.

    The Transition Fund will provide up to €6.4 million per month to services for the period of time between the end of the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) in April and the introduction of a strategic new approach to funding the sector from September, Core Funding.

    In return for an agreement that fees will not increase above those which were charged in September 2021, this substantial level of funding will be offered to providers. Services that have increased their fees above September 2021 rates will be required to reduce them to September 2021 rates or below in order to qualify for the funding. This means that parents will not be faced with fee increases, and the full affordability effects of the National Childcare Scheme, and the universal Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) Pre-school Programme, will be felt by parents.

    A weekly value has been determined for each service based on 7% of their calculated income capacity. Providers will complete a simple application form to access the funding. Transition Fund payments will be made in respect of the weeks services are open between 2nd May and 29th August 2022. The funding will support providers following the withdrawal of the EWSS in advance of the transition to the new funding model from September.

    Speaking today, the Minister said:

    “One of my top priorities in Government is to improve affordability of ELC and SAC for parents and I am delighted to be delivering on this commitment linking increased investment in the sector with clear benefits for parents. The introduction of the fee freeze through the Transition Fund begins a significant shift in our approach to fee controls by working in partnership with providers to deliver high quality and affordable ELC and SAC for families, for the public good. Importantly, the funding ensures the stability and sustainability of services as they exit the EWSS and transition to the new funding model which will see substantial additional investment in services.”

    An application form to access the Transition Fund will be open for providers from Thursday, 7 April. Further detail and an FAQ will be available here.

    Providers are encouraged to contact their City or County Childcare Committee (CCC) if they have any questions relating to the Transition Fund.

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