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Guide to the TEC Programmes and Administrative Procedures 2014

 

Childcare Programmes (TEC) (September 2014)

 

The TEC Programmes consist of:


•    The Childcare Education and Training Support Programme(CETS);
•    The After-school Childcare Programme (ASCC); and
•    The Community Employment Childcare Programme (CEC).

This guide details how the TEC Programmes operate from September 2014.

TEC service providers are responsible for ensuring that they are implementing the Programmes correctly. Providers who do not comply with the terms and conditions of the Programmes may not receive payment, and may be required to repay any funding already paid to them.  In addition, their TEC contract with the Department may be withdrawn.

While most of the information in this Guide relates to administrative procedures and is primarily aimed at service providers, parents may find some sections helpful.

 

In this document:

"the Department" means the Department of Children and Youth Affairs,

"Local CCC" means your local City or County Childcare Committee.

A list of the CCCs, together with their telephone numbers, is at Appendix 2.

 "DSP" means the Department of Social Protection.

"Service" means the Childcare Provider.

"ETB" means Education and Training Board

 

IMPORTANT NOTICES

 

Changes to ASCC and CE Childcare

From Monday 14th July 2014, the following will apply:

The payment rate from DCYA in respect of an ASCC place will rise from €35 to €40, while the maximum parental contribution will reduce from €20 to €15.

An afterschool with pick-up option is also being included under the ASCC, for which the DCYA contribution will be €80, with a maximum parental contribution of €15.

Afterschool care for primary school children (up to the age of 13) of CE participants is now available under CE Childcare. The payment rate from DCYA for this option is €40, with a maximum parental contribution of €15. Please note that there is no pick up option available for CE afterschool places. A 10 week holiday allowance for CE afterschool places is also available, at a DCYA rate of €80 per week with a maximum parental contribution of €15 per week.

As a result of these changes, new CE participants are no longer eligible for the ASCC, as their school age children can be catered for under CE childcare.

 

Contents:

1. Overview of TEC Programmes

 

2. How the TEC Programmes operate

 

3. Conditions of the Programmes

 

4. Contracts


5. Parents


6. Payments to Providers


7. Payment Rates


8. Transfers between Childcare programmes


9. Summary


10. Appendices 

 

Please read this document carefully as service providers are required under their contract to comply with the procedures outlined herein.
 


1. Overview of TEC Programmes


The Training and Employment Childcare  (TEC) programmes are administered by the Department of Children & Youth Affairs. The objective of the Programmes is to support parents on eligible training courses and eligible categories of parents returning to work, by providing subsidised childcare places. The allocation of childcare places under the Programmes is managed by the Department, via the City and County Childcare Committees (CCCs) and local childcare service providers. Payments in respect of TEC childcare places are made to childcare services by Pobal, based on information supplied by the DCYA.

The TEC Programmes are:


1: Childcare Education and Training Support programme (CETS)

The CETS Programme formerly catered for FAS and VEC training course participants. Following the establishment of the Local Education and Training Boards, CETS is now administered on behalf of the Department of Education, who have sole responsibility for deciding who is eligible to avail of this strand of the Programme.

There are about 2,500 places in total available at any one time under CETS. Places can be full-time, part-time, afterschool only or afterschool with pick up places.

2: After-School Child Care programme (ASCC)

The After-School Child Care programme (ASCC) is administered on behalf of the Department of Social Protection (DSP). The ASCC provides afterschool care for primary school children for certain categories of working parents. There are 500 places available on this Programme.  

a parent will meet the criteria for the Programme if:

 

3: Community Employment Childcare programme (CEC)


This Programme caters for Community Employment (CE) Participants and is administered on behalf of the Department of Social Protection (DSP). The CEC provides preschool care for children up to the age of 5 and afterschool care for primary school children up to the age of 13. There are 1,200 preschool and 800 afterschool places available on this programme.

Frequently Asked Questions:

CEC and ASCC FAQs

 

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2. How the TEC Programmes operate


Allocation of places:

Allocation of TEC places begins when a parent receives a letter from a relevant agency which states that they are eligible for a TEC place.

To apply for a place in CETS,
parents must obtain a letter of eligibility provided by their local Education and Training Board or Solas.

For ASCC
the letter of eligibility must be provided by the DSP.  

For CEC
the letter of eligibility will be supplied by the CE sponsor organisation.

If a parent has contacted their CCC looking for a TEC childcare place, the CCC may contact a service to ask them to take a child under the relevant programme. Services are entitled to refuse a place if they are unable to take the child.

Alternatively, a parent may come directly to a service seeking a place.

In either case:
The service should make sure the parent has a relevant eligibility letter confirming that the parent is eligible for a childcare place/s.

The letter must include all of the following information:

For CETS places:
•    the name of the parent
•    the name of the eligible course
•    the start date of the course
•    the number of weeks of the course and/or the end date of the course
•    confirmation that they are eligible for subsidised childcare under the CETS programme for this course


For ASCC places:
•    the name of the parent
•    the start date of entitlement to childcare support
•    confirmation that the parent is eligible for the ASCC


For CEC places:
•    the name of the parent
•    the name of the CE sponsor organisation
•    the address of the CE sponsor organisation
•    the start and end date of the parents CE placement

 

3. Conditions of the Programme


The conditions of the Programme are set out in the contract, including the Terms and Conditions at Appendix 1 of the contract and in the addendum to the contract in the case of services providing ASCC places. The following should be noted:

•    Services offering Afterschool places only, under Strand 1, must be open for a minimum of 38 weeks.

•    Services offering ASCC places must be open for a minimum of 50 weeks and should be able to provide full day care if needed for 10 weeks of the year as requested by the parent.

•    Services will be considered in breach of contract and non-compliant if they offer a place to a CETS parent but are subsequently found to be closed for a period when the parent is entitled to expect the service to be open.

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4. Contracts

All services which apply to participate in the CETS Programme and which meet the qualifying criteria will receive contracts. However, receipt of a contract does not guarantee that services will be allocated CETS places.

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5. Parents

Parents with queries in relation to the TEC programmes should direct their queries to their local City or County Childcare Committee (CCC) in the first instance. See appendix 2 below for CCC contact details.
 

Parents who qualify for a TEC Programme will be provided with an initial letter from a relevant agency detailing their eligibility for childcare under the relevant programme.

When you have your letter of eligibility and have chosen your childcare service or contacted your local Childcare Committee, you will be given an Application and Declaration form for the relevant programme which you should complete and return to the service with a copy of proof of your PPS number and those of your children who need childcare.  Examples of acceptable proofs are official documents as listed at the top of the application form. Examples of unacceptable proofs are letters from GPs, Health nurses etc.

If you wish to move your child to another TEC service at any time, you must give two weeks’ notice in writing to the first service in order to ensure that you do not have to pay full fees in the second service. (See Appendix 1 for the necessary form.)

For CETS places:


Payment will continue for the duration of your attendance on the course.
 
The childcare service will let you know their fee policy and these can vary from one service to another. The maximum fee you will have to pay is €25 on a full time place, €15 on a part time or afterschool with pick up place, or €5 on an afterschool only place. The fees are only payable on the weeks that your course is on or if you use the service on a week that your course is on holiday.

If you leave the course, payment for childcare ceases immediately.

For ASCC places:

Payment will continue for a maximum 52 weeks if needed.
 
These 52 weeks can be broken and started again if needed, but cannot exceed 52 weeks in total.

The maximum fee payable by parents is €15 per week for a 5 day place. Please see Section 7 for further information.

A full day rate will apply, if required, for 10 weeks of the 52 week entitlement.
If a parent chooses to take a childcare place in a service which is open for less than 52 weeks, parental choice will be facilitated, on the understanding that there is no obligation on the Department of Social Protection (DSP) or DCYA to facilitate childcare elsewhere in respect of weeks the service is not open.

CEC Places:

A CEC Place will be approved for 50 weeks in a 12 month period for a CE participant.  A parent can re-apply for a CEC place after this 50 week period comes to an end, and a place will be approved subject to demand and availability.

If a parent chooses to take a childcare place in a service which is open for less than 50 weeks, parental choice will be facilitated, on the understanding that there is no obligation on the Department of Social Protection (DSP) or DCYA to facilitate childcare elsewhere in respect of weeks the service is not open.

The maximum fee payable by parents is €15 per week.

Documents to sign:

Parents will have two forms to complete:

1. An Application and Declaration form, which, when completed, should be given to the service, which also signs the form. This is then sent by the service to their local CCC, along with a copy of the letter of eligibility, and proof of their and their child’s PPSN.  The service should not keep a copy of this form or the proof of PPSN which you have supplied.

2. A weekly sign-in sheet: This should be kept by the service for Pobal compliance inspections.

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6. Payments to Providers

Payments will be made periodically by Pobal to services with approved TEC places.
 

Pobal will e-mail services with the details of the places being paid for. These details will also be available to the CCCs. Services with queries in respect of the details of a particular payment should contact their CCC in the first instance, and not the Department.

Services will not be paid for places once a parent completes or leaves their CETS course, CE placement or, in the case of the ASCC, their job. Services must inform their CCC if they are aware that such a situation has arisen.

If a child does not use the service for two consecutive weeks, services must request their local CCC to cancel the place. The place can be reinstated if the child returns.

Note: charging parents a deposit for a TEC place is not permitted.

Payments will be withheld or recovered from services which provide TEC places without adequate evidence that the parents are eligible for places.

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7. Payment Rates

The payment rates for the TEC Programmes are set out below.  Services may charge the parent a maximum contribution of €15. All optional extras offered by services for parents availing of TEC places must be detailed in a fees policy approved by the local CCC, and given to the parents.

The rates of payment for CETS places are:


•    Full-time: €145 per week

•    Part time: €80 per week

•    Afterschool: €45 per week

•    Afterschool with pickup service: €80

Pro rata amounts are paid for places of less than 5 days duration

The maximum amounts that services may charge parents per week for  CETS places are:

Full-time: €25 per week
Part time: €15 per week
Afterschool: €5 per week
Afterschool with pickup service: €15


The service must obtain a copy of the course calendar from the parent, as weekly/daily fees cannot be charged to parents where the course is not being held.


The rates of payment for ASCC places are:

€40 per week for a 5 day afterschool place, with a maximum parental contribution of €15 per week.
€80 per week for a 5 day afterschool with pick-up place, with a maximum parental contribution of €15 per week.

A full day rate of €105 per week is payable for 10 weeks out of 52 weeks where full day care is required during school holiday periods, with a maximum parental contribution of €15 per week.


Please note the following:

•    Parents are entitled to a maximum of 52 weeks on the scheme, regardless of how many days a week they may avail of. In other words, if, for instance, a parent avails of 3 days p.w. for 52 weeks, there is no further entitlement to support under the scheme.

•    Services will be paid for 52 weeks in total.

•    Where eligible parents require childcare for morning periods before the child starts school, rather than afterschool hours, this can be accommodated under the scheme. The same rates apply as outlined above.


CE Childcare Places:

Payment for CE childcare places is on the basis of a weekly part-time rate of €80 per week for each CE preschool childcare place and €40 for each CE afterschool place..  

The maximum that a CE participant can be charged is €15 per week for their childcare place. If a parent requires additional childcare hours over and above those provided for under the Programme, services may charge for those additional hours.

A holiday rate of €80 applies for 10 weeks for CE afterschool children who require additional childcare during school holidays

Note: there is no provision for a participant to continue to access a CE childcare place if they are absent from CE.

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8. Transfers between Childcare programmes


Transfer from one TEC service to another TEC service:


Parents may choose to transfer their children from one service to another at any stage.  However, in order to exercise this option, the parent must give written notice of the transfer request to the first provider and the CCC at least 2 weeks in advance of the date of transfer. (see link below for form) If the parent is moving from one CCC to another CCC, it will be treated as a new request and parent will be asked to supply relevant documents again.

The advance notice of 2 weeks is not required where a parent finishes a course and leaves the scheme OR where the parent starts a new course.

TEC service to TEC service Transfer Form

 

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9. Summary


Summary of the role of the CCCs in relation to the TEC programmes

•    Point of contact for eligible parents & services
•    Allocating places, collecting parent’s Application Forms and verifying all the information needed to request a place
•    Sending information to the Department and getting approval
•    Informing parents and services of the approval of TEC places
 
Summary of steps to be carried out by parent
•    The eligible parent gets a letter from the relevant agency regarding their eligibility for a TEC place, and contacts a provider and / or the CCC to get a suitable TEC service
•    Once they start an ETB/Solas course, the parent will provide a letter to the service from ETB/Solas saying they have started the course
•    The parent completes a TEC Application and  Declaration form and gives it to the provider with the necessary documents
•    The parent signs the weekly sign-in sheet, which is held by the service for Pobal compliance inspections.
 
Summary of steps to be carried out by service

•    The service applies to participate in the TEC programmes and signs their contracts and returns them to the Department
•    The service applies to the CCC for places for qualifying parents as the need arises
•    The service keeps the original letters from the parent confirming their eligibility and participation in courses.
•    The service sends on the TEC Application and Declaration form to their Local CCC with the necessary documents
•    The service gets the parent to sign the sign in sheet every week and keeps the sign in sheets on site for Pobal compliance inspections

Summary of Department’s role

•    Sends the service the draft contracts, co-signs the signed contracts and sends one copy back to the service
•    Approves requests from the CCCs for new places and re-allocation of existing places
•    Checks the PPSN information in a sample of the TEC Application and Parent Declaration forms for control purposes
•    Provides relevant information to Pobal in order to trigger payments to services
•    Maintains responsibility for finance, audit, terms and conditions etc of the TEC programmes.


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10. APPENDIX 1 - Forms referred to in the text

Application and Declaration Form
This is available from the childcare service and is given to the parent when a childcare place is requested.  The completed form, including copy of the documents needed, is forwarded to the Local CCC by the service to request a childcare place.

Sign in Sheets
The sign in sheet is signed in the service by the parent for the weeks that they use the service. If a parent is not using the service through illness, or child’s illness, or holidays, leave that time unsigned. If parent does not use the service for two consecutive weeks, contact the Local CCC to cancel the place, it can be reinstated if the parent returns.
The sign in sheet is kept on site by the service for Pobal inspections. This is a change to previous years when the sign in sheet was returned to the Local CCC but this is no longer necessary.

 

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APPENDIX 2 - City/County Childcare Committees (CCCs)

Contact Details

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