This week in childcare

Dear Colleagues,

These are the deadlines, information, and announcements for the week 16th to 20th January 2023.


Friday 27th January 2023 @ 5 pm

Deadline for submission of December 2022 (FIR’s) The Finance and Impact returns

Monday 30th January 2023 *Extension*

Irish-medium education Phase 1 consultation – Final date for written submissions 

Thursday 2nd March 2023

Deadline for all NCS Parental Agreements to be updated


The Finance and Impact returns (FIRs) for December 2022 are available for completion on Pobal Online.

The DCEDIY wants to emphasize the importance of all community services to continue completing and submit FIRs to Pobal. These returns provide essential information that allows DCEDIY and Pobal to identify and help services to resolve problems. They also act as an informative tool for services in the effective planning of their financial future.

The deadline for submission for December 2022 FIR’s is 5pm on Friday the 27th January 2023. If you require any assistance in completing the return, please complete a service request on the HIVE, selecting the FIRs as the category and sub-category of the request.

Consultation on a new policy for Irish-medium education outside of the Gaeltacht *deadline change*

The Department of Education is carrying out a consultation process to inform the development of a new policy for Irish-medium education outside of the Gaeltacht, including early learning and care settings, primary schools, and post-primary schools. Irish-medium early learning and care settings (e.g., naíonraí) may have a particular interest in this consultation.

You are invited to have your say on issues such as:

· How opportunities for children and young people to access Irish-medium education can be increased.

· How the supply of staff with a high standard of Irish can be increased.

· What additional supports would be useful for the Irish-medium sector.

Following a several requests from stakeholders, it has been decided that the closing date for written submissions will be extended until Monday 30th January 2023. Written submissions can be sent to

For more

Update re Parental Agreement and Co-Payment tool

Now that the subsidy uplift has taken place, providers will be aware of the need to update their Parental Agreements. These need to be completed by 2 March.

Please note the calculations produced in the Co-Payment tool and/or the semi-automated Parental Agreement are based on the basis of registration information entered by the Service Provider for the child. It does not take into account any NCS closure periods. Providers should review the calculations produced to ensure they apply to their service’s particular circumstances. If providers have additional unfunded days, you may need to adjust the calculations/contract accordingly. 

Pobal are currently working to add unfunded NCS closure date functionality and to make the Parental Agreement editable by providers.

Flu Vaccine Walk-in Clinics for Children Aged 2-17 this week

The HSE issued a memo this week with information on the free Flu Vaccine Walk-in Clinics for Children Aged 2-17 that are running this week. All children aged 2-17 can get the free flu vaccine. The nasal flu vaccine is still available in Ireland for children aged 2-17. It is given as a spray up the nose, there is no need for an injection. This is in response to rising numbers of both flu cases in children as well as the significant number of children who have been hospitalised with flu this winter and very low vaccination rates. Flu can be serious in children.

A number of community vaccination centres across the country are now offering walk-in flu vaccination clinics for all children aged 2-17. No appointment is necessary and the vaccine is free of charge. The full schedule of clinics is available on

The vaccine is also available from participating GPs and pharmacists. Parents can find details on pharmacies offering vaccinations in their area using the pharmacy finder tool on

The nasal spray flu vaccine is only available until Monday, 23 January. After this date, only children with medical conditions which put them at risk of serious illness from flu will be able to get a flu vaccine given as an injection.  (See attached memo from HSE)

Record numbers of families now benefitting from subsidised early learning and childcare

The DCEDIY issued a press release this week regarding the announcement that over 105,000 children are now benefitting from supports under the National Childcare Scheme, an increase of 95% since the same period in 2022. Families welcome positive impact of recent changes to the National Childcare Scheme on their engagement in work or study and on family finances.

Covid case advice

ELC and SAC providers and Childminders that have positive cases and require support can contact the HSE ELC/SAC dedicated helpline on 01 511 9777.

For general Covid-19 queries you can contact HSE live on 1800 700 700 or 01 240 8787 or visit the First 5 website for the most up to date information and guidance. (

Should you have any queries on any of the above, please do not hesitate to contact us on 0449335454 or

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