ECCE Information for providers

Minimum size of service

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.


Staff Qualifications

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.


Tax Clearance

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.


Programme Implementation Platform(PIP)

What is PIP 
The Programmes Implementation Platform(PIP) is a new online system which will streamline the administrative processes of ECCE,CCS and TEC. 

What will PIP do forme? 
When PIP is fully functioning, services will be able to log-on, complete and view all their service details in one accessible place. Some of the functions PIP will cater for will allow services to:

  • Register children for each applicable funding programme
  • Check whether places have been approved
  • Appeal decisions
  • Register transfers
  • Submit Tax Clearance Certs (TCCs)
  • View payment status

PIP will be rolled out incrementally. The first stage of PIP will allow services to complete the annual service return, now known as the ‘Child Register’ for all Programmes. The ‘Child Register’ process will open for each of the funding programmes on specific dates, which will be notified to service providers electronically. The dates will be also advised on the Pobal website

Services will be instructed how to log into the PIP Portal and what steps to take when completing the ‘Child Register’. All other processes will stay the same until they are phased into the PIP system.At each step services will be given clear instructions in relation to each process,prior to its implementation on PIP.


Support & Assistance

Support and guidance will be available to all services before, throughout and beyond the introucdtion of the new PIP system.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your local City/County Childcare Committee


Settling-In Period

A“Settling-In Period” is allowed at the beginning of each contract period. During this period a parent may remove his/her child from a service and either defer the place to the following year or transfer the child to a different service provider. Associated documentation must be completed, signed and dated by all parties. The Settling-In Period covers the first four weeks of the September term only.