If you are a parent of a young child your Childcare Committee will be able to assist with the following:
Find a Childcare Provider
Choosing the right childcare for your child can be a daunting task for parents. Many factors come into play. The quality of care and education in the service is paramount, whilst other factors such as cost, location and the ethos of the service are often also key considerations when choosing childcare. Your local CCC will be able to assist whether you are searching for childcare for the first time or are thinking of switching your child to a different provider.
Types of Childcare
There are many types of childcare. Your local CCC will be able to discuss the most suitable option with you. The main types of childcare are:
Full Day Care: provides childcare for more than 5 hours per day. Services may offer a morning and/or an afternoon session. These include crèches and nurseries.
Part-Time Day Care: provides childcare for children over 3.5 hours and less than 5 hours per day.
Sessional Care: provides childcare for one or two sessions a day with a maximum of 3.5 hours per session. These include playgroups, Naíonraí and services offering Montessori programmes, etc.
Childminder: is a person who cares for children, usually in the childminder’s own home.
Out of School/School age childcare: A school age childcare service is one that provides care for school going children out of school hours. These can include breakfast clubs, after-school clubs, school holiday programmes, etc.
Drop-In Centres: Services offering day care which is used on an intermittent basis for a period of not more than two hours while a parent/guardian is availing of a service or attending an event. Such services are mainly located in shopping centres, leisure centres or other establishments as part of customer/client service.
Information on Programmes
The government offers a range of early learning and care programmes. Some such as ECCE are free, universal schemes available to all children. Others, such as CCSP or TEC are designed to support families most in need and those returning to work or training. Your local CCC will be able to assist you in explaining your eligibility for these schemes and which childcare providers offer these programmes in your area. Below is a brief description of the main schemes available:
The Early Childhood Care and Education Programme (ECCE) (commonly referred to as the ‘free pre-school year’) is a universal childcare programme designed to give children access to up to two programme years (76 weeks) free pre-school education before they start primary school.
The Community Childcare Subvention Programme (CCS) and Community Childcare Subvention Plus Programme (CCSP) is a support programme for Community and Private based childcare services to provide quality childcare at a reduced rate to parents. It enables community and private childcare services to reduce fees for parents in receipt of certain social welfare payments, Family Income Supplement and holders of medical cards and GP visit cards. Participation in the CCS programme is for both community and private childcare services.
TEC (Training and Employment Childcare)
TEC supports those returning to education or employment by providing subsidised childcare places. The allocation of childcare places under the Programme is managed by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA), via the City and County Childcare Committees (CCCs) and local childcare service providers.
More detail on each of these programmes can be found at www.affordablechildcare.ie
For information on parenting courses available in your area, please contact your local CCC office
Ask a question
If you have a query or concern regarding your child’s experience of early learning and care your local CCC will be on hand to point you in the right direction.
Helping your child reach their full potential
The Access and Inclusion Model (AIM) is a programme of supports designed to ensure that children with disabilities can access the Early Childhood Care and Education Programme in mainstream pre-school settings and can participate fully in the pre-school curriculum alongside their peers.
AIM is a child centred model of supports, involving seven levels of progressive support, moving from the universal to the targeted, based on the needs of the child and the pre-school setting. The model is designed to be responsive to the needs of each individual child in the context of their pre-school setting. It will offer tailored, practical supports based on need and will not require a formal diagnosis of disability.
You can find out more by visiting www.aim.gov.ie or by calling your local CCC.