Newsletter week ending 13th November 2020



Another very short bulletin. Here are the deadlines, important dates, and announcements for the week of 9 – 13 November 2020.



Friday 18 December

  • CCSP/TEC saver window reopens


Thursday 31 December 2020

  • Final date for expenditure under reopening and capital funds



NCS: CHICKs/Awards ending on the Early Years Hive

November marks one year since the launch of NCS. As such, some 52-week CHICKs/awards on NCS will be ending soon.


To check the end date of your NCS registrations’ CHICK/award, log into the Early Years Hive portal and follow the below steps:


Go to the Registrations menu and select NCS Registrations

Check the ‘Claim Until’ date of your active registrations as an indication to when a CHICK may be ending (if you did not register all weeks on the CHICK/award, then there may be further weeks to claim)

Expand the yellow arrow on the registration you want to review and click on View

The ‘Subsidy End Date’ on this page tells you when a CHICK is ending (if there is more than one segment related to a CHICK, this will be the last date under subsidy end date)

To ensure that payment under NCS is not affected as a result of an expired CHICK, you are encouraged to contact the parents of any children with awards ending soon to discuss their continued childcare needs. Parents will have received a notification on their applicant portal, please remind them of this and see if they need to apply for a new CHICK. This should be done as soon as possible.


In the case of Sponsor CHICKs: the Sponsor will need to complete a new referral, having assessed the continuing need. When Pobal receives a new referral, a new Sponsor CHICK will issue. The parent of the Sponsored child cannot renew the CHICK.


For further advice and support, please see the Resources section of the Hive or raise a Request.


Parents can contact the Parent Support Centre at 01 906 8530.


2020/2021 Compliance Announcement - Desk based checks

On the direction of the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth (DCEDIY) formerly DCYA, the Pobal Compliance team are commencing compliance activity on programme funding currently administered to Early Learning and Care (ELC) and School Age Childcare (SAC) services.


Compliance checks will be undertaken in respect of some or all of the following Programmes i.e. 


Community Childcare Subvention Plus Savers (CCSP including CCSU & CCSR)

Training and Employment Childcare Savers (TEC)

Free Pre-school Year in Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) Programme

For the 2020/2021 cycle, the ECCE programme is administered on the Hive on the Early Years Platform (EYP). The CCSP/CCSU/CCSR & TEC Saver programmes are administered through the Programme Implementation Platform (PIP).  To assist in meeting compliance requirements, it is important that participating services on any of the above programmes familiarise themselves with the following:


Relevant  programme funding agreements

  • Relevant rules documents

  • “How to Guides”

  • Quick Guides

  • Information contained in PIP announcements and resources on PIP and the Hive.

  • Compliance approach during COVID-19 pandemic


As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact the country, the compliance process has been temporarily revised to take account of the current public health situation and guidance available. As compliance activity recommences, the safety of children and ELC/SAC/Pobal staff in settings remains paramount.


Therefore, the following approach will apply to compliance activity until further notice:


On- site compliance visits to services will be postponed temporarily (However, Pobal reserve the right to conduct an on-site visit at its discretion, but in keeping with public health guidelines).

Compliance desk based checks will be undertaken by Pobal compliance staff to verify the accuracy of registrations on PIP and the Hive.

For each service, a sample of PIP Portal or the Hive Registration IDs will be selected for review.

Copies of original service attendance records will be reviewed as a priority.

What will services selected for compliance desk based checks need to do?


For each service provider selected for compliance desk based checks, the compliance team will issue an email to the primary authorised user (PAU) as per the Hive outlining the DCEDIY programme/s selected for review.

The email will include an attached Compliance Requirements List (CRL) for submission. The CRL will outline the detail of the selected PIP Portal/Hive Registration ID’s. The service provider will be required to submit copies of original attendance records, showing the selected children, for the period of the children’s complete attendance.  (A generic CRL template is available on PIP/the Hive and contains further detail of the information requirements. Please note this will be modified and issued to the services selected for desk based checks). (A copy is attached for your convenience)

The service provider should not redact/delete the records/information that relate to other DCEDIY funded children that are not within the initial selection requested. Pobal reserves the right to review the attendance patterns of DCEDIY funded children recorded within the attendance records submitted for compliance purposes.

To meet GDPR legislation, the service will however be requested to redact the names of any non- DCEDIY funded children from the attendance records for rooms/sessions being submitted.

The CRL contains a self-declaration that is required to be signed by the provider (PAU) to confirm that all of the attendance records submitted are copies of the original records completed by staff in each room/session.

A timescale for submission of the information will be outlined in the initial email.

A follow up email will be issued to the service which will contain a secure link to a Pobal OneDrive folder. Once the link is opened the service will be able to save and upload the attendance records and signed declaration to the folder within a specified timeframe.

The service provider (PAU) will be contacted by phone following the issuing of emails to confirm that the emails have been received and to discuss the process and provide any required clarifications.

Once the deadline for submission of information expires the link will be closed.


What is involved in the Pobal compliance desk based checks process?

The desk based checks undertaken on records submitted will take account of any flexibility of DCEDIY programme rules notified to providers through announcements on PIP and the Hive.

The procedure for reviewing registrations and attendance records will be the same as per on-site visits to ensure adherence with DCEDIY requirements.

Following receipt of the document submission, the visit officer will endeavour to minimise disruption to the service operation. However, the service may receive a further phone call(s) and/or e-mail if clarifications are required on the chosen sample of registrations and the format of records submitted.


How will a service be notified of the compliance outcomes?

Following a review of the format of attendance records and the accuracy of PIP/Hive registrations for the selected sample, a compliant/ non- compliant outcome will be applied. In line with communicating outcomes to services following an onsite visit, the compliance team will continue to issue 1)  an email notification of outcomes and 2) where applicable, an additional email identifying PIP /the Hive registration updating requirements.

Please note that being selected for a desk based compliance check does not preclude a service from being selected for an onsite visit at a later date. There will be a further PIP announcement to advise when unannounced site visits will recommence.


Compliance Guides for Service Providers/Checklists

The Compliance Guides for Service Providers relating to standard onsite compliance visits have been revised for this cycle and are being finalised for publication. A further announcement on these documents will follow shortly at which time the documents will be uploaded to PIP and the Hive systems for information purposes.


Saver Management Windows (SMWs)

The compliance checks on CCSP/CCSU/CCSR and TEC Saver registrations take account of Saver Management Windows (SMW) timelines as outlined in the relevant rules and announcements on PIP. ELC and SAC service providers are reminded that any CCSP/CCSU/CCSR and TEC Saver registrations that require updating to meet compliance with the relevant programme rules should be updated on PIP during the applicable Saver Management Window.


National Childcare Scheme (NCS)

A further update will be issued in advance of checks commencing on NCS. It is important that all required documentation is maintained from the commencement of registrations under this scheme.


CCCC working remotely

All Westmeath County Childcare Committee staff are all still working remotely. Please use email instead of posting documents to either of the offices as during Level 5 we cannot get to the offices and at other times, staff are only checking for post once or twice a week.


If you have any queries or require any clarifications, please don’t hesitate to contact us on 0449335454 or email your development worker.

Westmeath County Childcare Committee.