Thursday, 11 July 2019

Questions (862)

Thomas Pringle


862. Deputy Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs further to Parliamentary Question No. 231 of 27 June 2019, the reason the number of children in a given facility that can be funded under the community childcare subvention programme is based on a snapshot window in September and October (details supplied); if parents are alerted to the fact in order that they can plan for same; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [31232/19]

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Written answers (Question to Children)

As the Deputy will be aware the Community Childcare Subvention (CCS) Programme is only available through participating community not-for-profit childcare services. CCS is determined based on a snap shot of children registered in services contracted under CCS during a particular snapshot period and eligibility for approval of funding is based on the parent and/or child meeting the CCS eligibility criteria in that snap shot period.

The snapshot (which initially was for one week only and subsequently got extended to a four week period) is in place to assist the managing of the process for verifying client eligibility with DEASP and as a budget control mechanism. Funding is approved to services, for the full programme year based on the level of service provision as submitted through the child registrations and the final 'CCS band approval'. Funding is committed to the services for the full programme year on the basis that if a child leaves the services before the planned childcare end date, the service can retain the funding but should make all efforts to provide the CCS funding subsidy to another child who may not have been registered in the services over the snapshot period but who may otherwise have been eligible for CCS funding. Funding is approved for the full programme year to allow the service the ability to determine their annual budgets for the year and manage on this basis.

However, the Community Childcare Subvention Plus (CCSP) scheme which was introduced in 2016, and is not based on a “snapshot” period. It allows for greater flexibility with start dates and a child can be registered at anytime during the 52 week programme year. Community services can be in contract for both CCS and CCSP.

To assist with the transition to the National Childcare Scheme (NCS) the CCS programme will be streamlined for this coming 2019/20 programme year. The CCS Scheme will be merged with the CCSP scheme once the current programme year comes to an end in August 2019. All CCS eligible children must be registered on CCSP for the new programme year 2019/20. As CCSP has identical eligibility criteria, levels of service and band rates to CCS, this will have no impact on the levels of funding to parents.