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Second Update from ACS Meeting with DCYA

Initial Update: Affordable Childcare Scheme Meeting with DCYA

December 14, 2016

Pictured: Teresa Heeney, Breda Joyce, Valerie Gaynor, Paula Hilliard, Gillian Murphy, Caroilin Callery and Amy McArdle


Initial Update on the Affordable Childcare Scheme Meeting with DCYA, Thursday 8th December 2016

We want to pay a big thanks to all the members of the Policy and Implementation Panel who attended ECI’s meeting with DCYA on Thursday 8th December to discuss the development of the new Affordable Childcare Scheme (ACS).


In advance of the meeting, ECI sent DCYA a Submission outlining our initial response to DCYA’s Policy Paper; our general and overarching concerns about the proposed scheme; and highlighting some of the specific issues identified by our members at the recent regional meetings. An important outcome of the meeting for ECI was to get an assurance from DCYA that this was the first step in a period of meaningful and collaborative consultation with the sector to ensure that the ACS, when commenced, represents a move toward a model of childcare in Ireland that can deliver: the best quality care and education for children in the most formative years of their development; viability and sustainability for both early childhood services and their staff; and access and affordability for parents to childcare facilities and services.  We stressed that this will only happen where the voice, opinion, and input of the sector is fully incorporated into the continuing development of the scheme. Your voice and perspective is so important and we are delighted to see that recognised in DCYA’s commitment to further consultation with our members and other interested parties through a Working Group and possible smaller groups on technical issues where appropriate. We will strongly recommend that members of our Policy and Implementation Panel have seats on these groups and will keep you posted on this.


The meeting went very well. DCYA was both open and receptive to our concerns. We appreciate the clarity we received on a number of issues, for example that the scheme in no way intends to suggest or encourage a move toward drop-in or by-the-hour childcare provision. DCYA was clear that both the level and structure of fees is to be decided by the provider. The rationale behind publishing an hourly rate was to help parents calculate their savings more easily. However, DCYA will look again at how it communicates this to parents and ensure there are no misconceptions about the types of services parents are entitled to.


Please click here to read our submission.


Please stay tuned for a further update from the meeting with DCYA in next week’s Weekly.

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