Newsletter week ending 28th May 2021

Dear Colleagues,

Here are the deadlines, important dates, and announcements for the week of 24 – 28 May 2021.

DEADLINES/IMPORTANT DATES: Friday 28 May 2021

  • April FIR submission deadline
  • NCS survey closes (see below for further details)
  • 2021/22 programme readiness tasks available (see below for further details)

Thursday 3 June
NCS and Savers non-attendance form closes (see below for further details)

FOR YOUR INFORMATION:
2021/22 programme readiness task
All of the important programme readiness dates will be on the Hive announcements calendar which can be found here https://earlyyearshive.ncs.gov.ie/announcementscalendar/
Before any of the other tasks can be completed, your PAU must log on to the hive and do the following:

  • Confirm Organisation details
  • Confirm Service provider details
  • Confirm PAU
  • Confirm Portal users
  • Confirm Bank account (ECCE and NCS only)
  • Confirm TUSLA registration
  • Create a 2021/22 Service calendar
  • Create a 2021/22 Fees list
  • Activate the Funding Agreement**For NCS and ECCE, services are required to create their 2021/22 service calendar and fees list before they can activate the NCS 2021 funding agreement.

NCS and ECCE are both administered on the Hive. The readiness tasks and guides on how to complete them can all be found in the Resources – Help and Support section of the Hive, which can be found here: https://earlyyearshive.ncs.gov.ie/how-to-guides/

The CCSP saver programme remains on PIP. We have attached the guides for the PAU/Organisation certification process and the fees lists and calendars.

The TEC saver Programme will merge with the CCSP Saver Programme at the end of this programme year. The remaining TEC participants will be registered as CCSP (TEC Final Year) savers on the CCSP programme for 2021/2022. CCSP (TEC Final Year) Savers will automatically be approved for a Band A subsidy on their registration for the remainder of the 2021/2022 programme year.

NCS and Savers non-attendance for more than 4 weeks
You are being asked to record the number of NCS or saver programme registered children who have not attended for more than 4 weeks since the full reopening of services on March 29 2021. You need to complete a form that can be found here https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/VGGLD2V
The form asks the following questions:

  • How many NCS preschool (session, part-time or full-time) children have not attended more than 4 weeks?
  • How many NCS school-aged children have not attended more than 4 weeks?
  • How many Savers preschool (session, part-time or full-time) children have not attended more than 4 weeks?
  • How many Savers school-aged children have not attended more than 4 weeks? The registration of children who have not attended between March 29 and July 2 can be kept open if they are counted on this form. The form can’t be printed, so keep a list of the children you included in the numbers for compliance. Any child who isn’t included in the count will be subject to the normal attendance rules.

The form has to be completed by close of business on Thursday 3 June. Should you need any additional support, you can raise a request on the Hive:
Request Type: Non Attendance
Request Type Detail: Non Attendance

Updating Aistear
NCCA is beginning the process of updating Aistear and the first phase is a consultation. All of the details are on the NCCA website here: https://ncca.ie/en/early-childhood/early-childhoodeducation-developments/updating-aistear/ There you will find the links to the survey, the paper setting out the rationale and process for the update, and details on registering for the online consultation seminars being held in the Autumn/Winter.

Grandfathering Declarations
Recently you would have received communications from the DCEDIY with regard to grandfathering declarations and an extension to the deadline. We have attached copies for your convenience. Back in 2014, when the minimum qualifications for working in childcare were introduced, those who were close to retirement, and subsequently anyone else, who did not wish to undertake the necessary training to obtain a level 5 qualification could sign a declaration exempting them from the requirement on the understanding that they would have retired from working in childcare by 1 September 2021.Previously we have been in contact with those services whose staff had signed a grandfathering declaration. We will be in touch in the coming days to confirm if the remaining grandfathered staff are leaving the sector by September, or if they want to take advantage of the extension by signing up to a training course.

NCS survey update
The NCS survey has been updated with an additional question. The survey should take less than 10 minutes to complete and will be used to inform the review of the programme.

The survey can be found at:
https://ec.europa.eu/eusurvey/runner/NCS-Provider-Survey

Covid Case Support Helplines
There are two helplines available to services who have a suspected or confirmed case of Covid-19 in their service.The HSE have a helpline to advise service providers if they have been informed of a Covid-19 case in a child or a staff member. The number is 01 511 9777 It is open Monday – Friday 8.30 – 4.30 and 10 – 4.30 Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays.For those services who need support on engaging with the relevant authorities due to a suspected or confirmed case of Covid-19, there is an out of hours helpline. The number is 1800 940 341. Theservice will be available Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holidays from 10.00 – 13.00 and 13.30 – 16.00.

Kind regards
Westmeath County Childcare Committe 

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