Tuesday, 17 December 2019

Questions (633)

Anne Rabbitte

Question:

633. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if funding is provided to unregistered crèches through Pobal or other means; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [52623/19]

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Written answers (Question to Children)

The policy of my Department is not to provide funding to services which are not Tusla registered. There has however been a small number of services that were not on the Tusla register, but which had been deemed appropriate to fund and which had a DCYA reference number, enabling Pobal payments and this is detailed in paragraphs 3- 5 below. When the Department is notified by Tusla that a service is deregistered, funding is stopped with effect from the date of de-registration.

Under regulation, registered service providers must notify Tusla of certain "change of circumstances". DCYA continues funding these services unless Tusla deregisters them, in which instance, DCYA ceases payments.  

The registration of early learning and care services was introduced under the Child and Family Agency Act 2013.  Prior to this, preschool services were required to register with the HSE. Montessori schools which provided early years services, and which were registered with the Irish Montessori Education Board (IMEB) were not required to register with the HSE, as these Montessori providers were subject to regulation and inspection from the IMEB.

When the Tusla register was established, Montessori services were to transfer across to the new register; however, due to an administrative error, some of these services did not transfer. My Department and Tusla are correcting this error.

While the IMEB service providers were not Tusla registered, they did have a DCYA reference number, issued prior to the establishment of Tusla, which enabled them to appropriately receive State funds. As holders of DCYA reference numbers, they are subject to inspection by the DCYA commissioned, Department of Education and Skills Early Years Inspectorate and by Pobal for compliance and audit purposes.