Early Childhood Ireland’s Early Years Employer Service (EYES) can be contacted Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm, by phone on (01) 405 7103 or by email on firstname.lastname@example.org. The EYES team is here to help with a range of issues related to the running of an early years and school aged service. If you have a query outside of these hours, please send us an email and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
Enhanced Illness Benefit
Over the last few weeks, the EYES team has fielded a number of queries on benefits available to providers and their staff should they be designated a close contact of a confirmed COVID-19 case, be diagnosed with COVID-19 or be medically advised to self-isolate or restrict their movements. In such cases, the Enhanced Illness Benefit may be available.
You can apply for enhanced Illness Benefit if you:
- Are suspected of having COVID-19 and are told by a doctor or the Health Service Executive (HSE) to self-isolate or
- Are diagnosed with COVID-19
To get the payment, you must have a medical certificate called a ‘Certificate of incapacity for work’ from your own doctor or have a letter or text notification from the HSE telling you that you have been identified as having contact with someone who has COVID-19.
The rate for the Enhanced Illness Benefit is €350 and is payable for 2 weeks, which can be extended for another 2 weeks, in the case of close contacts. If diagnosed with COVID-19 you can receive the payment for up to 10 weeks.
Applications for the Enhanced Illness Benefit should be made online at www.mywelfare.ie. All applicants should contact the Department of Social Welfare regarding their own personal circumstances.
Publicly displayed information in settings
Throughout the year, there are general queries regarding what should be displayed on the noticeboards in settings. According to the Quality and Regulatory Framework, information on the following topics should be displayed:
- Tusla certificate
- Emergency contact details (doctor, poisons, fire, etc.)
- Registered provider name and contact details
- Fire evacuation procedures
In addition, the following should be displayed as a matter of best practice:
- Child safeguarding statement
- Statement of purpose and function
- Complaints policy
- Menus and nutrition details of any meal services in the setting
You should also consider displaying the details of your roster, and cleaning schedules. In the current context of the COVID-19 pandemic, settings should also display information on social distancing, good respiratory hygiene, hand washing and hand sanitising, plus any other measures in place in the setting. Posters for display can be found here.
European Traffic Lights approach to travel launched
Over the weekend, the government formally adopted the EU ‘Traffic Lights’ approach to travel, which applies to all EU/EEA (+ UK).
In general, you are requested to restrict your movements for 14 days if you arrive in Ireland from another country. This applies to all travellers entering the state, including Irish citizens coming home and people with no symptoms.
In line with the EU Traffic Lights approach, travellers from green regions, or those arriving from Northern Ireland, are not asked to restrict their movements.
Currently, all passengers entering Ireland from orange, red, and grey regions are requested to restrict their movements for 14 days. There are a number of exemptions to this, which you can read about here.
We would advise all members to remind parents and staff who may be travelling in the future to keep themselves up to date with the latest travel and public health advice, and the colour of the region they are travelling to. Families, providers, children (over 6) or staff who have been travelling and subsequently have to restrict their movements should not come to the setting.
Please note, according to the above advice, children under 6 years old do not need to restrict their movements. However, each situation should be subject to a risk assessment. Providers can also formulate their own policies on this matter.
Do you have a question for the Early Years Employer Service team?
Please submit your question below and see it featured in upcoming EYES updates in Early Times Weekly.
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