Contract awarded to deliver IT system for the Affordable Childcare Scheme
Another major milestone achieved in the creation of a new scheme of entitlements for parents towards the cost of childcare
System reflects new frontier of innovative, joined-up and user-friendly public services
Monday 9th July, 2018
The Minister today (6th July 2018) awarded a contract for the development of the IT system to support the introduction of the Affordable Childcare Scheme. The contract has been awarded to Codec, an Irish company with global reach, which was successful following a rigorous public procurement process.
Awarding the contract, the Minister noted:
"Last Monday, President Michael D Higgins signed the Childcare Support Act 2018 into law, providing the legal basis for the new Affordable Childcare Scheme. Today the contract for the scheme's IT system will be signed. This is certainly a momentous seven days for childcare-bookended by major progress as we put both the legal platform and the IT platform in place for this new scheme. Block by block we are building a solid foundation for a scheme which will help to transform our childcare system from one of the most expensive in the world to one of the best, and which should help generations of families to come.
I know the burden that childcare costs can be for families. Access to quality, affordable childcare can transform the situation of many families and that is why I am unwavering in my commitment to increasing investment in childcare."
Once launched, the Affordable Childcare Scheme will provide financial support to help reduce the cost of childcare for parents. Through this financial support, the scheme aims to improve access; assist families to return to work and training; reduce child poverty; and improve outcomes for children.
The IT system is a central element of the new Affordable Childcare Scheme as it will allow people to apply online for a childcare subsidy and, in the vast majority of cases, be automatically assessed and approved in a timely, user-friendly way, without any need to collect, collate and submit documentary evidence. As such, it is intended to support busy parents to access the support they need in the easiest possible way.
The system will be developed by Codec, working in close collaboration with the Department of Children and Youth Affairs and Pobal, who will act as the scheme administrator.
Note to Editors
The Affordable Childcare Scheme (ACS) was announced as part of Budget 2016 Measures. The ACS will replace the government’s existing targeted childcare subvention schemes with a single, streamlined scheme. It will contain both universal and enhanced income-based supports for families.
The Affordable Childcare Scheme will:
· ensure that access to affordable childcare is not a barrier to labour market participation, including female labour market participation;
· promote positive child outcomes;
· narrow the gap in attainment between more and less advantaged children by enabling all children to access high quality, affordable childcare;
· drive quality across the sector and, crucially;
· through the above objectives, contribute to poverty reduction in Ireland.
The Childcare Support Act 2018 establishes the Affordable Childare Scheme in law. The scheme provides for both income-related financial support, allowing the targeting of support towards parents who face the greatest financial difficulty in affording childcare, and non-income related financial support, allowing a level of support for all parents with children of a prescribed age who use registered childcare services. In addition, the scheme allows for additional support for families where there is an identified need for childcare on grounds of child development or child welfare.
The Childcare Support Act 2018 provides the legal basis for the establishment of an income assessment process that will largely be carried out on an automated basis through data-sharing arrangements with other Government Departments and agencies, thus improving user-friendliness and administrative efficiency, and streamlining application and registration procedures for parents and for childcare service providers. Under the auspices of the legal framework, the new IT system will bring this automated assessment system to life.
Codec is an Irish, Full Stack Solutions consultancy founded in 1985 and headquartered in Dublin with offices in Cork, Galway, Belfast, Cologne and Warsaw. Employing just over 200 staff, Codec is growing rapidly. Codec is Microsoft Ireland Country Partner of the Year 2018 and has been Microsoft Ireland Dynamics 365 Partner of the Year for 6 of the last 7 years and Oracle Hyperion partner of the year UK & Ireland for 5 of the last 6 years.