Tuesday, 26 November 2019

Ceisteanna (434)

Brendan Smith


434. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the reason a system (details supplied) is in place; if Pobal will be instructed to address the anomaly; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [48586/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Children)

Officials from my Department have been in contact with colleagues in Pobal who have confirmed that there is no anomaly with the Higher Capitation application system on PIP.

This year, due to data protection limitations, service providers were required to submit all qualifications as part of their Higher Capitation applications, regardless of whether they had been approved in previous years. This requirement had the effect of adding time to the appraisal process as additional checks needed to be performed to ensure that all submitted qualifications were DCYA-approved courses. Previously, DCYA had administered the Higher Capitation appraisal process, but this change was necessary when the process transitioned to Pobal.

In some cases, as part of the process, applications have to be referred back to Early Learning and Care (ELC) providers for a number of reasons including confirmation of qualifications from a third party accredited body or institution. Until these applications are resubmitted with correct details and rechecked, they cannot be approved and paid. Once these applications are resubmitted to Pobal, with correct details, they are dealt with as a priority.

As response to this change and considering the significant pressure on services, the decision was made that ELC providers whose applications had not yet been processed and who were also in receipt of the first preliminary payment on 23rd August 2019, would receive an additional preliminary payment on 1st November 2019. This payment was for a four-week period that took ELC providers to 20th November 2019. The payment was based on a child’s Full Time Equivalent (FTE) numbers for the week ending 18th November 2019 using the max FTE cap for services which were approved for higher capitation last year.

A further preliminary payment was made on 8th November 2019 for any ELC service providers whose application had still not been processed at that stage. This payment was for a four week period that took ELC service providers to the 22nd November 2019. ELC service providers who had not previously been approved for the Higher Capitation rate but had submitted an application for the 2019/2020 programme year that had not been processed, received a preliminary payment on 29th October 2019. This payment was for an eight week period. An additional preliminary payment was also made to these services on 8th November and this payment was for a four week period.