The aim of this page is to help parents make informed decisions when choosing childcare in Laois.  It is important to understand the different types of Early Years Services available in Laois.

Early Years Service Providers

Early Years Services and childminders provide full time care, part-time care, sessional and after-school services. Fees charged are generally at the discretion of the service provider

  • Private Service Providers

Private service providers offer quality childcare services that are run as private businesses. These Early Years services range from small businesses that are operated by sole traders to larger childcare facilities that are operated by companies, some of which may have a number of different services in various locations. Private services may offer the Early Childhood Care and Education programme (ECCE), Community Childcare Subvention (CCS), Community Childcare Subvention Plus (CCSP), Community Childcare Subvention Universal (CCSU), Community Childcare Subvention Resettlement (CCSR), Community Childcare Subvention Resettlement (Transitional) CCSR(T) and the Training and Employment Childcare (TEC) Funding Programmes.

  • Community Service Providers

Community Service Providers (not-for profit) offer quality Early Years services and are managed by a voluntary Board of Management. Community based childcare services may offer the ECCE, CCS, CCSP, CCSR, CCSR(T) and TEC childcare Funding Programmes.

  • Childminders

A Childminder is a self-employed person who provides childcare in their own home. Childminders may offer the National Funding Programmes to parents subject to meeting certain criteria.

Different Types Of Childcare:

Sessional: A sessional service refers to a programme for children for up to 3.5 hours per session. Services may offer a morning and/or an afternoon session.

Part-Time Day Care:A part-time day care service refers to a programme for children over 3.5 hours and less than 5 hours per day.

Full Day Care: A full day care service refers to a programme of activities for children for more than 5 hours per day.A full day service may include sessional and part-time services and School Age Childcare Services for children attending primary school.

School Age Childcare: School Age Childcare refers to centre-based services for school aged children from 4 – 12 years which operate during one or more of the following periods: before school – after school – during the school holidays.

Childminders: Childminding services refers to care for children within a Childminders home. A Childminding service may include sessional and part-time services and School-Age Childcare services for children attending primary school.

Parent & Toddler Groups : Parent and Toddler groups are a great place for parents (both mothers & fathers) but also grandparents, guardians, childminders and carers to get together and provide a fun filled environment in which their children, usually under 5, can play.  Visit our Parent and Toddler page for more information: https://www.laoischildcare.ie/schemes/parent-toddler-groups/

For more information on the different types of funding schemes available to parents please click on the boxes below

The Supporting Parents book has four key goals, to achieve:• Greater awareness of parenting support services• Greater access to parenting support services• More inclusive parenting support services• Needs-led and evidence-informed parenting support services

To download a copy please click here: Supporting Parents

 

 

 


What is the National Childcare Scheme?

The National Childcare Scheme is a pathway to truly accessible, affordable, quality childcare. From October 2019 it will replace all previous targeted childcare programmes with a single, streamlined and user-friendly Scheme to help parents meet the cost of quality childcare.

Supports are available for families with children aged between 24 weeks and 15 years who are attending any participating Tusla registered childcare service, including any Tusla registered childminder.

For further information relating to the National Childcare Scheme please visit https://ncs.gov.ie/parent


AIM Information for Parents:

How to Apply for AIM supports: AIM aspires to help all children, regardless of ability, to access quality early learning and care and create a more inclusive culture in pre-schools. Children and pre-school staff benefit from AIM through universal supports for the sector, and targeted supports for individual children.

Applying for AIM educational advice and mentoring is very simple. If you think your child will need support in pre-school, speak to your child’s pre-school provider, and, with your consent, the pre-school can complete an online Access and Inclusion Profile. It is important to read the application form and complete the consent when starting the application process in collaboration with the pre-school. Once all the information is complete, the pre-school will submit this application to Pobal.

For more information and supports you can visit their new redesigned website: https://aim.gov.ie/


First Five – Parents Section

The First Five Website provides parents with a Preschool at home Hub which has a range of activities to support and encourage children’s interests and aims to keep them playing and learning at home.

Included here are a range of typical activities that happen at pre-school which have been adapted for children to do at home, at a time that suits them and their family.

Remember, when children are playing they are learning. When children are included in everyday household activities they are learning.

Early Learning and Care settings have been asked to connect with families to support the children in their setting during current restrictions.  They may expand on the activities linked here based on the interests of their child, if families wish to engage.

For more information visit the website at https://first5.gov.ie/parents/pre-school-at-home


Parents Information from our Noticeboard

 

Early Childhood Care & Education Scheme (ECCE)

Training and Employment Childcare Scheme (TEC)

Community Childcare Subvention Scheme (CCS, CCSP, CCSR, CCSR(T))

National Childcare Scheme

Provider Quick Reference Guide
Latest Covid information can be found here

https://www.laoischildcare.ie/scheme/covid-19-latest-updates-provider/

To view our Jobs Board section click below

https://www.laoischildcare.ie/jobs-board/

Latest Child Protection Information and Updates click below

https://www.laoischildcare.ie/about/children-first/

Are you a childminder or looking to become a Chilminder? Click below

https://www.laoischildcare.ie/scheme/information-for-childminders-provider/

AIM Information for Childcare Providers

https://www.laoischildcare.ie/about/access-inclusion-model/

Compliance Information

https://www.laoischildcare.ie/scheme/compliance-2019-2020-programme-cycle/

Healthy Eating for 1 to 4 year olds

https://www.laoischildcare.ie/2022/03/11/healthy-eating-for-1-to-4-year-olds/

 

Below are some useful resources for providers:

Policy Development Webinar (below)

 

 

What to do if your service has a Covid-19 Case

What do I do if a child or staff member in my service has symptoms?

  • Advise the parent to keep the child at home/Advise the staff member to stay at home. They should self-isolate and book a PCR test.
  • If they become unwell in the setting, bring them to the isolation space and arrange for them to be collected or to go home.
  • Clean any rooms they were in while they were unwell.
  • There is no need to close the pod or inform other parents.
  • A test is arranged with their GP or HSE. The GP out-of-hours service can be found on https://www2.hse.ie/services/find-a-gp-out-of-hours/
  • If covid-19 is not detected return to the service can occur when GP advises or when symptoms free.

What do I do if a child or staff member in my service is a confirmed case?

  • Advise the parent to keep the child at home/Advise the staff member to stay at home.
  • Carry out cleaning and disinfection of all the areas they were in contact with.
  • There is no need to close the pod or inform parents.
  • If there are adult close contact in your service follow current HSE advice
  • Inform Tusla by emailing them using the notification form. https://first5.gov.ie/userfiles/files/download/34aafd6eea430a67.pdf
  • Contact your local CCC for further advice and support if required.
  • The National Covid-19 Out of Hours helpline is 1800 940341

Useful Links Guidance on the First 5 website, including tip sheets for providers, childminders and parents https://first5.gov.ie/guidance

The comprehensive HPSC guidance for the sector https://www.hpsc.ie/az/respiratory/coronavirus/novelcoronavirus/guidance/childcareguidance/

Isolation quick guide for children and adults available here https://www.hpsc.ie/a-z/respiratory/coronavirus/novelcoronavirus/guidance/educationguidance/Isolation%20quick%20guide%20Adults%20and%20children%20from%20their%2013th%20birthday.pdf

 

Childcare Scheme Information below

Early Childhood Care & Education (ECCE) Programme – Providers

Community Employment and Training Scheme – Providers

Community Childcare Subvention Programme – Providers

National Childcare Scheme – Providers

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