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16 May 2022

Improved funding for Early Learning and Care and School-Age Childcare providers welcomed in Carlow

Improved funding for Early Learning and Care and School-Age Childcare providers welcomed in Carlow

Improved funding for Early Learning and Care and School-Age Childcare providers welcomed in Carlow

Fianna Fáil TD for Carlow, Jennifer Murnane O’Connor has welcomed the announcement of the rates and values for the new Core Funding Scheme and launched an online tool that will enable Early Learning and Care (ELC) and School-Age Childcare (SAC) providers to estimate the potential value of this new €221 million Core Funding Scheme for their service.

Deputy Murnane O’Connor commented:

“The development of Core Funding is a significant milestone on the journey towards a new funding model. It aims to transform the sector and establish a new type of partnership between providers and the State that reflects the importance of ELC and SAC for the public good.”

Core Funding is designed to meet the combined objectives of:

  • Improved affordability for parents by ensuring that fees do not increase
  • Improved quality through better pay and conditions for the workforce by supporting agreement on an Employment
  • Regulation Order through the Joint Labour Committee
  • Supporting the employment of graduate staff
  • Improved sustainability and stability for services

Core Funding builds on the objectives set out in the First 5 strategy, progresses the recommendations in the recently-published report of the Expert Group to develop a new funding model, Partnership for the Public Good, and enables the realisation of goals articulated in Nurturing Skills the workforce plan for the sector.

The Core Funding value for an individual service will be calculated based on the following information:

  • The total service capacity per age range offered 
  • The hours of operation of the service by week and weeks per year
  • The number of ELC graduate Lead Educators in ELC rooms in the service
  • If the ELC or combined ELC and SAC service has an ELC graduate as the service manager
  • The Core Funding Ready Reckoner online tool is accessible to all and is designed to give an idea of what services can expect to receive based on their characteristics and to allow different scenarios of provision to be tested.

Further information on support, guidance and training is available through City and County Childcare Committees.

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