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Support Point Update 26th Sep 2017

Support Point Update 18th April 2017

April 18, 2017

Support Point Question of the Week:


Is the Affordable Childcare Scheme going ahead?

According to the DCYA -Yes.

Massive work is underway developing the various technical, legal and IT elements of the Affordable Childcare Scheme. As part of the consultative process with stakeholders the DCYA received feedback from the childcare sector cautioning against launching the Scheme without all IT systems fully developed. With this in mind, the DCYA have decided to wait until they are satisfied that all of the above aspects are in place before launching the Scheme fully.

See the DCYA press release and FAQ document for more information.


Support Point Topic of the Week:


Early Years Capital 2017


The Early Years Capital 2017 application process closes at 3pm sharp this Friday 21st April.  Applicants should apply through their online PIP Portal.

There is also an FAQ document.

And as an extra support to members, remember that you can also avail of supplier source (further details below).

Strand 3


Does Supplier Source cover Horticultural Products?

Yes. Three Suppliers that cover all provinces, have a current up to date profile on Supply-line and appear to supply the majority of the products listed are below:

  1. Forestry Services Ltd,, 056 7702242.

  2. Goldcrop Ltd,, 021 4882800.

  3. McLoughlin & Sons Hardware Ltd,, 01 8239200.

See our Early Childhood Ireland Outdoor Play page for inspiration for Strand 3:

And for reflective spaces:

School Aged Childcare Capital 2017


The School Aged Capital 2017 application process opened on Friday 7th April and will close at 3pm on Friday 5th May 2017.  

See the pobal website for more information.



HR Topic of the Week:


What should an employer do when he/she becomes aware that that an employee is pregnant?


There is a useful booklet from the Workplace Relations Commission about Maternity Leave rights.

This booklet is useful for both employers and employees and covers information on time off for appointments and classes, health and safety leave, maternity leave and so forth. Employers should ensure that there is a section in their staff handbook on maternity leave. Please see our template staff handbook on our policies and procedures page (Please note: Member login is required to view this page).

The following recommendations below are from the Health and Safety Authority regarding Risk Assessment for employees who are pregnant:


Risk Assessment


Once an employer becomes aware that an employee is pregnant, they must assess the specific risks from the employment to that employee and take action to ensure that she is not exposed to anything, which would damage either her health or that of her developing child. 


What does assess the risk mean?


This means determining:

  • to what hazards  the pregnant woman is exposed
  • how often the exposure occurs and for how long


Explanation of General and Specific Hazards?


What are the main hazard types to which a pregnant or breast feeding employee can be exposed?

The main hazards types are:

  • General hazards
  • Hazards specific to pregnancy
  • Hazards specific to breast feeding


What do General hazards include?

  • Physical shocks – including direct blows to the abdomen
  • Vibration – of whole body, there are guidelines on vibration
  • Handling a load – there are guidelines on handling of loads
  • Noise – there are guidelines on noise
  • Excessive heat or cold
  • Movement and postures which are abrupt or severe or give rise to excessive fatigue
  • Ionising radiation
  • Non-ionising radiation
  • Biological agents – including viruses, bacteria etc.
  • Chemicals – including substances, which cause cancer, mercury, anti-cancer drugs and carbon monoxide.
  • Stress and/or bullying


What are the hazards specific to pregnancy?

Unless the risk assessment indicates that there will be no injury to the employee or the developing child, pregnant employees must not work with:

  • Pressurisation chambers
  • Rubella – unless adequately immunised
  • Toxoplasma
  • Lead and lead substances
  • Underground mine work
  • Certain physically demanding tasks – heavy lifting, for instance

There is also information below from the ‘Guide to Infection Prevention & Control for Childcare Facilities: An Information Booklet for Childcare Workers’ :


Pregnant Staff

If it is important to remember that the greatest risk of Infection to a pregnant woman is from her own children rather than the workplace. However: Chicken pox can affect the pregnancy if the woman has not already had the infection.

Shingles may also cause infection in a pregnant worker who has not been infected with chicken pox. If a pregnant woman develops a rash or has been in close contact with a potentially contagious rash, she must attend her doctor.

Pregnant Staff who have come into contact with:

German Measles (Rubella) 
Hepatitis A 
Hepatitis B 
Tuberculosis (TB) 
Slapped Cheek Disease 
Chicken Pox


Must report exposure to family doctor / antenatal clinic.

It is recommended that all child care staff have up to date vaccinations e.g. Seasonal flu jab.
Compliance with infection control requirements should be considered an essential contractual prerequisite for all employees. It is recommended that all staff working with children have evidence of immunity to measles, mumps and rubella, either through natural infection or vaccination with two doses of MMR:

n.b. Visits to pet farms must be well planned, children and pregnant workers should avoid contact with sheep and lambs during the lambing season:


For more information:

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