Parents Information

Useful and practical information for parents about childcare services, grants and resources in Co. Laois -

Affordablechildcare.ie<http://www.affordablechildcare.ie/> is now up and running.   This is not the Affordable Child Scheme; it is the measures to make childcare more affordable to parents from this September.   The Provider Booklet and Parent leaflet can be downloaded below

Budget 2016: Expansion of Free Pre-School Budget 2016 ECCE FAQs

Need assistance with your childcare costs?? See link 3768_DCYA_CCS-english

A Parents Guide to the National Childcare Funding Programme 2016-2017

a-parents-guide-to-the-national-childcare-funding-programmes-2016-2017

a-parents-guide

 

 

 

 

 

Directory of Childcare Services and Parent and Toddler Groups in Laois

Laois County Childcare Committee has developed a directory of services which outlines if services are community or private and which of the national schemes they offer. The directory is for informational purposes only and is not a recommendation to parents of which service to use. We recommend that parents visit services to choose one that suits their family’s needs.

Download the 2015 Directory of Pre Schools and Parent and Toddler Groups in Laois here  (1mb)

 

Useful Publications for Parents

Choosing a Childcare Service

There are many types of childcare services some distinguished simply by the opening hours or management structures, other by the curriculum of education they use. Services can be privately run or community based. Community based services are operated on a not for profit basis and are run voluntarily by a management committee. Private services are operated by a self-employed service provider.

Quality within childcare service provision has many aspects to it and means different things to different services/parents. Aspects that contribute to quality within childcare services include:-

  • Standard of the building
  • Qualifications of Management and Staff
  • Programmes/activities offered within services
  • Promotion of play within services
  • Policies and Procedures
  • Feedback mechanism to parents etc.

Click on this link to find the NCNA’s publication on 9 steps to choosing a childcare service: 9 steps-a_parents_guide

9 step

 

Where to get advice if I have a difficulty or a complaint about a service

Where to get advice if I have a difficulty or a complaint about a service

  1. Introduction
  2. Who can raise concerns about an Early Years Service?
  3. What should I do first?
  4. How concerns are processed
  5. What to expect
  6. What information should you provide when raising a concern?
  7. How long will it take to deal with my concern?
  8. How to contact us

1. Introduction

The Early Years Inspectorate investigates unsolicited information received that falls within the remit of the CHILD CARE ACT 1991 (EARLY YEARS SERVICES) REGULATIONS 2016. These regulations set out the level of service you can expect when dealing with an Early Years Service.

What is Unsolicited Information? -  Unsolicited Information is defined in the Collins English Dictionary as; ‘Something that is unsolicited has been given without being asked for and may not have been wanted’

Feedback, including comments and complaints, which can be considered unsolicited information provides a valuable source of information by which service delivery standards can be monitored and reviewed by the Early Years Inspectorate.

We want to know when things go wrong, or how you think services can be improved. This will allow Early Years Services to improve how they operate.

All concerns will be treated promptly, fairly and impartially.

2. Who can raise concerns about an Early Years Service?

If you are worried about a child in an Early Years Service or you have concerns about a Service and you have failed to have your concerns resolved by the Service Provider then you should bring these to the attention of the Early Years Inspectorate Complaints Office. Concerns can come from a number of sources including; parents, guardians or relatives of a child attending the service, staff of the service or the general public.

Please note that any information you present about an Early Years Service will not affect any aspect of the quality of service provided to a child or their family.

3. What should I do first?

Before you contact us, you should attempt to solve your issue directly with the Service Provider concerned. You can do this by speaking to the person in charge of the Service. The Service Provider will have a Complaints Policy outlining their procedure for dealing with such matters and this should be used in the first instance. You may also wish to put your concern in writing. In many cases, concerns can be resolved at this stage

If you fail to resolve your issue directly with the Service Provider you should then contact the Early Years Inspectorate Complaints Office.

4. How concerns are processed

If you are not satisfied with the standard of service provided by an Early Years Provider, you can bring this to the attention of The Early Years Inspectorate Complaints Office, who will aim to process your concern promptly, thoroughly and fairly.

We will first make sure that your concern falls within the remit CHILD CARE ACT 1991 (EARLY YEARS SERVICES) REGULATIONS 2016.

We will then decide the appropriate process for investigation and in particular whether your concern will be investigated by the Early Years Inspectorate or referred back to the Service Provider for investigation.

5. What to expect

The Early Years Inspectorate aims to provide a procedure that is accessible, efficient, effective, standardised and fair.

Once your concern has been submitted you will receive a letter of acknowledgement. This letter will outline how your concern will be processed. There are a number of possibilities depending on the nature of your concern as outlined below.

1. Your concern will be investigated by the Early Years Inspectorate. You will receive correspondence outlining the process for investigation you can expect. Your concern may fall into one of three categories;

  • It may require an onsite complaint investigation
  • It may trigger a full inspection of the service
  • It may form part of the next scheduled inspection of the service

2. Your concern will be referred for investigation to the Service Provider in line with their Complaints Policy. The Service Provider will be required to furnish a report of their investigation to the Early Years Inspectorate

3. Some aspects of your concern may fall within the remit of the Early Years Inspectorate and will be examined accordingly. You will receive correspondence outlining the process for investigating the aspect of your concern that falls within the remit of the Early Years Inspectorate which will result in one of the following;

  • It may require an onsite complaint investigation
  • It may trigger a full inspection of the service
  • It may form part of the next scheduled inspection of the service

4. All or part of your concern does not fall under the remit of the Early Years Inspectorate. It may be more appropriate for another agency to investigate your concern and, where possible, contact details of this other agency will be provided to you.

The full content of the Early years Inspectorate procedure as to how unsolicited information including complaints relating to registered services are managed can be here

6. What information should you provide when raising a concern?

When raising a concern, please provide the following details:

  • Your full name, address, telephone number & email address.
  • Your relationship with the Early Years Provider i.e. parent, staff, other.
  • The name, address and contact details of the Service Provider.
  • Time and date(s) i.e. when did the incident occur?
  • Name of child or children involved.
  • Details of any other persons involved.
  • A factual account of what happened.  Please provide as much detail as possible and please enclose copies of any relevant documentation you think might help us.
  • Please state whether or not you have used the Service Providers own Complaints Policy. If you have used the Complaints Policy of the Service Provider please state the outcome. If you have not used the Complaints Policy of the Service Provider please state why.

A complaints form can be accessed here and submitted to us at the contact details below.

7. How long will it take to deal with my concern?

It is not possible to say exactly how long it will take. The time it takes us to investigate your concern will vary from case to case.

We will do our best to resolve your concern as quickly as possible and you will be informed of the outcome of the investigation once completed.

8. How to contact us

If you wish to contact us regarding a concern you have about an Early Years Service you may do so in a number of ways:

eycomplaints@tusla.ie

061 461380