This week in Childcare

Dear Colleagues, 

These are the deadlines, information, and announcements for the week of 15th -19th April 2024 


Wednesday 1st May  

A link to the Nurturing Skills Learner Fund will be available.  

Tuesday 23th April, 2024

AIM parents information session @7pm

Friday 26th June 2024 

Deadline for submission of Core Funding Financial Reporting  


Pilot Nurturing Skills Learner Fund (NSLF)

The new Nurturing Skills Learner Fund (NSLF) pilot, launched by Minister O Gorman in December last year, will open for Early Years Educators to make applications in May 2024, for the academic year 2024/2025. Those wishing to make an application in May must be working in an ELC/SAC service for the last 6 months (before their application), be employed in a Tusla-registered ELC/SAC service (working with children) finally the service must have a current Core funding contract with the DCEDIY.   

Applicants must have a current application/offer for 2024/25 entry to a Level 7/8 Degree course approved by the Qualification Advisory Board (QAB) eligible for Nurturing Skills Learner Funding. Eligible courses for the academic year 2024/2025 can be viewed on the Nurturing Skills Learner Fund website at  

The Nurturing Skills Learner Fund will open to applicants in early May, to create an account and upload employment details. Applicants should email Pobal, at to request a link to the Nurturing Skills Learner Fund Student Portal.  This link will be available from the 1st of May 2024. 

The full application process will open in early June, with applicants notified of a decision in early July. Further updates and information regarding the Nurturing Skills Learner Fund and the application process will be available, in due course, on the Nurturing Skills Learner Fund website at   

Nurturing Skills Learner Fund Registration and Employment Record

You and your staff are invited to attend sector training on the Nurturing Skills Learner Fund (NSLF) Registrations and Employment record.

N.B. It is very important for staff to be made aware of this training as the new Fund aims to assist early years educators to pursue early learning and care (ELC) qualifications.

The training has been scheduled for Thursday 25/04/2024. Please see below the links to register with Go To Webinar.

Nurturing skills Learner Fund Registrations SP1

Thursday 25/04/2024 @ 2:30pm – 4:00pm

Nurturing skills Learner Fund Registrations SP2

Thursday 25/04/2024 @ 6:30pm – 8:00pm

As part of this training, we will be demonstrating the following:

  • What is the Nurturing Skills Learner Fund (NSLF)
  • Registering for the NSLF portal
  • Completing your Employment Record

A recording of one of the webinars will be made available on the HIVE along with the PowerPoint slides once the training has been complete.

We kindly ask that questions asked on the day are kept to the topic of the NSLF.

Please ensure all staff are made aware of this training and the relevant times and dates.

Core Funding Reporting Requirement Year 1

The Core Funding Reporting Requirement for year 1 consists of an Income and Expenditure report.The completed report will be submitted on a new portal which will open in two stages. 

 Stage 1 – Providers register to link their nominated accountant on or before the 29th of April 2024  

 Stage 2- The portal will be open on or before the 31st of May to accept completed Income and Expenditure report templates.  

Submitting the completed Income and Expenditure report template deadline is 26th June 2024. Further information is available on Hive> Resources> Programme Documents> Core Funding documents> Core Funding financial reporting requirement year 1. 

If you have any queries in regards to Core funding reporting requirement you can contact the office on 0449335454

Vacancy Survey

A nationwide vacant capacity survey is now taking place through the Childcare Committees. The survey is designed to gain valuable information on where there are vacant places and capacity across the country.

The survey (which should take between 5  minutes of your time) aims to capture two categories of data:

1. Do you currently have any vacant places and if so in which age categories. (A vacant place means availability five days per week)

2. Are you currently operating at your Tusla registered capacity, and do you expect this to change by September 2024 and if so why.

We would be grateful if you could take the time to complete the survey, even if you are operating at full capacity and have no vacancies, we would appreciate you making a return, as this will give us a true picture in Westmeath .

AIM Level 7 Compliance Inspections 2023 2024 Programme Call

Pobal has announced that compliance checks will commence on AIM Level 7 payments from the week beginning 22 April 2024.  These are standardised checks on AIM Level 7 approved capitations relating to additional assistance in the pre-school room and the maintenance of reduced ratios and confirming adherence with AIM Level 7 rules and contract conditions as set out by the Department of Children Equality Disability Integration & Youth (DCEDIY). 

Please ensure that the person in charge on-site has access to the following records to present to the Visit Officer for review at unannounced compliance visits: 

  • The child attendance records for each of the ECCE sessions attended by child/ren benefitting from AIM Level 7 
  • The Staff Qualifications for staff working in these ECCE session/s  

Pobal have uploaded additional compliance support documents to the Hive to assist services in preparing for a compliance inspection. The documents, listed below, are available under the Resources section and can also be accessed through this link 

  • AIM Level 7 Approved Provider Compliance Checklist 2023/2024 
  • AIM Level 7 Compliance Guide for Approved Providers 2023/2024 
  • AIM Level 7 Rectification Actions Guide 2023/2024 

New Applications and CIC Applications – Tusla

Tusla has published a notice on their website for the timeframes for new applications and CIC applications for submission and approval prior to September 2024. This is the link to the notice on the main Early Years Inspectorate webpage or you can access it directly here 

Information on Increased Cost of Business Grant

The Department is writing to remind you of a Government support package you may be eligible to apply for. This Increased Cost of Business grant (ICOB) is a grant available through the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment to certain businesses eligible for commercial rates.

Childminding News

Barnardos ChildLinks Journal

Please see below the  link to ChildLinks Issue 1: Childminding which is free to download

This issue of ChildLinks, considers the challenges faced by childminders and policymakers alike in balancing regulation and reforms with the preservation of the unique individuality that defines childminding.

Draft Childminding Regulations Consultation

What will childminding look like in the future? Make sure you have your say over the next few weeks and take part in the consultations on the draft regulations.  The consultations will close on Thursday 2nd May.

To make a submission. Click on the link below:

If anyone needs any assistance completing a submission please feel free to contact Michelle by email / (044)9335454

 Upcoming Workshops, Events and Information Session

AIM Information Sessions for Parents & Providers

This information session is for parents of children already in ECCE or will be starting ECCE in September 2024.

Booking through Eventbrite –  

(See attached Posters to share with parents who would like more information on the AIM  model.)

ISPCC Free Webinar

What is Coco’s Law? An information session for parents/ carers and practitioners 

Under the Harassment, Harmful Communications, and Related Offences Act, Coco’s Law created new offenses which criminalise the non-consensual distribution of intimate images prohibiting the sharing of intimate images without the original poster’s consent. 

This important webinar on Tuesday 30th April 2024 will focus on: Awareness and understanding of Coco’s Law Recognition of the issues that it covers Guidance on how to avail of its provisions  

Use this link to book a space  

Covid case advice 

Please find below links to information from the HPSC concerning Covid-19 and information from the HSE for ELC and SAC providers on preventing the spread of COVID-19 and children returning to ELC and SAC settings. We would be grateful if you shared this information with parents, guardians, and staff. Preventing the spread of covid 19 in school or childcare – HSE In addition, please find the link to the Management of Infectious Disease in Childcare Facilities and Other Childcare Settings (2012)    For general Covid-19 queries you can contact HSE on 1800 700 700 between 8 am and 8 pm Monday to Friday and 9 am – 5 pm Saturday and Sunday or visit the HSE website HSE Covid 19 

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

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