My Department funds 30 City/County Childcare Committees (CCCs) to act as its local agent in the delivery of the national early education and childcare programmes and the implementation of Government policy. The CCCs were assigned by the National Childcare Strategy (2000) as the key local component in the development of a co-ordinated approach to quality childcare and to advance the provision of childcare facilities in their local areas.
The role of the CCCs is to provide support and guidance to local service providers and parents in relation to the various childcare programmes, and support quality in keeping with national frameworks and policy objectives. CCCs are often the first port of call for both parents and childcare providers when trying to access information on early learning and care and school-age childcare initiatives. My Department, Pobal and the CCCs also work collaboratively via a case management process to closely support contracted services experiencing challenges. CCCs are therefore a key component in the suite of supports made available by my Department to the early learning and care and school-age childcare sector.
Each Committee has a distinct legal identity and board of directors. 29 of the 30 CCCs are Companies Limited by Guarantee (Mayo CCC comes under the remit of Mayo County Council). The Board are the legal entity and governance structure of the CCC and are mandated by the CCC's own Memoranda and Articles of Association or Constitution, as required by the Company’s Registration Office (CRO) and, where applicable, the Charities Regulator. Members of CCC Boards individually and collectively as company directors and as a legal entity are subject to governance responsibilities and accountabilities under common law in general and the Companies Act 2014.
CCC Boards are well established. Boards ensure their memberships are of a size and composition that supports effective governance, operation and continuity. The range of skills held by Board members is paramount, with members selected on the basis of their skills rather than the constituencies they represent.
My Department sets the key objectives and actions for the CCCs on an annual basis. Pobal, on behalf of the Department of Children and Youth Affairs, manages the funding of CCCs, oversees their work and provides development supports. Each CCC must submit quarterly reports to Pobal in respect of their progress in delivering/implementing the actions as set by my Department. My Department liaises closely with Pobal in this regard. Pobal further undertakes audit and verification visits to CCCs ensure the investment by DCYA is appropriately accounted for.