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Support Point Update 9 April 2019

Support Point – Our information and advice service

September 18, 2018

Support Point is an information and advice service for Early Childhood Ireland members. Using our dedicated phone line and email address, members can speak with Support Point directly. 

Support Point is a vital link between Early Childhood Ireland and our members. The team are available every day, Monday to Friday, to help with any issues or questions you may have in relation to your setting.

The Support Point team also publish weekly articles based on current and upcoming queries. These articles are available on the website, where members can log in to read, and also shared in our Early Times Weekly newsletter, which is sent to all members on Tuesday afternoons.

 

The Support Point team provides accessible, practical information on various aspects of running your service.

So far in 2018, the team has answered over 1,500 calls and 500 emails – and we look forward to answering many more before the end of the year!

 

We respond to member queries as soon as they come in. If we don’t have an answer immediately, we can contact the relevant agency to get to the bottom of a member’s issue.

Sometimes an issue affecting one member may have implications for other service providers across the country and require further action. In this case, we have a process in place for escalating queries that come in to Support Point with our Policy and Advocacy team.

 

Here’s what members had to say about Support Point in our most recent survey:

 

They were knowledgeable, had ‘answers’ for me or pointed me in the direction of someone who did, gave me time and always returned my call if it went to answer machine.

I told my Board about you. I couldn’t have got through this situation without your help and perspective. Thank you.

The information was clear, and I felt I had somewhere I trusted to turn to. Listened, gave practical advice, honest and patient! Great service.

Genuine understanding of issues on the ground and practical strategies to deal with things.

It had just the information I needed, and staff were very helpful. Very important service to have available to members.

Support Point staff listen and endeavour to assist with support and answers to queries.

 

Here are some examples of frequently asked questions to Support Point:

 

Can I claim 4 weeks payment for a child if they cancel their ECCE place last minute before starting in the service?

No. Only children who are registered on PIP and who have started in the service can be registered as a leaver on PIP, and four weeks’ payment claimed for the child. A childcare provider may charge a refundable booking deposit to hold a place for a child. The maximum deposit a provider may charge is equivalent to four weeks’ ECCE payment. If the child does not start the ECCE scheme, the service can follow their own fee policy/enrolment policy as to how they handle the deposit. These policies need to be clearly set out and explained to parents at time of enrolment.

What is recorded for children’s attendance?

Any child who is registered on PIP for a government funded childcare scheme (ECCE, CCSP, CCS, TEC) must have their attendance recorded in the childcare service. The attendance record must match the child’s registration on PIP. Tusla also requires a record of children’s attendance to be maintained. Children’s attendance must be recorded each day. In brief, records must include the following:

  • Child’s full name, as outlined on PIP registration details;
  • Date of attendance;
  • Time of child’s arrival;
  • Time of child’s departure.

What information do we need to record in the sleep log?

The following information should be recorded in the sleep check log every 10 minutes, for all children sleeping in the service:

  • The time of the check;
  • Name of the staff member who carried out the check;
  • The sleep position of each child;
  • The skin colour of each child;
  • The breathing pattern of each child;
  • The room temperature.

 

What are the minimum space requirements in an early years’ service?

The following are the minimum space requirements for full day or part-time care:

Age range  Clear Floor Space
0-1 year 3.5 square metres
1-2 years 2.8 square metres
2-3 years 2.35 square metres
3-6 years 2.3 square metres

 

The measurement of 1.818 square metres (sessional) per child applies to sessional services and full day care/part-time children who avail of the ECCE session for 3 hours.

A full day-care/part-time care child attending an ECCE service can only avail of the 1.818 square metres whilst in attendance at their contracted ECCE session. When the ECCE session is finished, the full day or part-time space requirement applies.

In mixed age groups, the space is dependent on the age of each child and the length of stay in the service.

 

Is an employee entitled to public holidays when they are on certified sick leave?

If a full-time staff member is on sick leave during a public holiday they are entitled to benefit for the public holiday they missed. If a part-time staff member is on sick leave during a public holiday, they would be entitled to time off work for the public holiday provided they worked for the employer at least 40 hours in the previous 5-week period.

However, a staff member is not entitled to the public holiday if they are absent from work immediately before the public holiday, and they have been off work for more than 26 weeks due to an ordinary illness or accident or for more than 52 weeks due to an occupational accident.

 

We are delighted to provide this service for members and are always looking for feedback and suggestions about how we can further support you. Don’t forget to renew your membership this month to continue availing of Support Point guidance.

Please do get in touch if there is anything that you would like to see from Support Point!

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