Services are expected to have a minimum enrolment of at least 8 eligible children to participate in the programme,and a service that does not have this level of participation has no entitlement to be funded under the programme.
Exceptions to this minimum requirement will be considered where, for good reason, a service which is an appropriate setting for the pre-school year has:
(a) an enrolment of at least 8 children of whom at least 3 qualify for the programme and the remainder will qualify in the following year.
(b) is a smaller service which has an enrolment of not fewer than 5 children in their preschool year.
All staff working with children in early year’s services will have to have a minimum Level 5 on the National Qualifications Framework qualification in early years care and education, or an equivalent qualification by December 2016.
In addition, by December 2016, Preschool Leaders delivering the free Pre-School Year programme will have to have a minimum Level 6 qualification, or equivalent.
Services are required to demonstrate tax compliance by providing a valid, up-to-date Tax Clearance Certificate (TCC) from the Revenue Commissioners when returning their application form to the CCC. The TCC must be in the name of the provider or the service; certificates in the name of another person will not be acceptable. Services which are already participating in the programme are required to ensure that a renewed TCC is provided to the Childcare Directorate when it falls due. Contracts will not be issued to a service until the TCC is received by the Childcare Directorate. No payments in respect of ECCE services will be issued in the absence of an up-to-date Tax Clearance Certificate.