The National Action Plan for Childminding (NAPC)
The aim of the NAPC is:
• to provide greater recognition for childminding and to support childminders in their work of providing high quality early learning and care and school age childcare, thus supporting child development and learning outcomes and helping families. The Action Plan aims to support parental choice and increase availability of flexible and affordable early learning and care and school-age childcare for working parents.
We are currently in Phase 1 of the NAPC, the Preparatory Phase.
Within a 2-3-year period it is intended that:
• New childminding specific regulations – will be drafted
• Training programmes for childminders – will be developed
• Foundation training - will be rolled out.
• Options for the delivery of supports to childminders through new and existing structures – will be considered
• Childminders who meet the current regulatory requirements to deliver the National Childcare Scheme – will be supported
• A childminding stakeholder engagement, consultation and communication strategy - will be developed
In order to achieve the above, 2 advisory groups the NAPC Training & Supports Advisory Group and the NAPC Stakeholder Engagement, Communication and Consultation Advisory Group have been created and have had several meetings. In early 2022 it is expected that a further 2 Advisory Groups will be developed, the NAPC Regulation and Inspection Advisory Group and the NAPC Funding and Financial Supports Advisory Group.
The 4 Advisory Groups will make recommendations to the NAPC Steering Group. The NAPC Steering Group has also been formed and had 2 meetings to date, this Steering Group will in turn after review and debate make recommendations to the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth.
In recent weeks you will have received a letter from the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth (DCEDIY). In addition to Childminding Ireland’s representation on the NAPC Groups, this letter contains the names of the childminders who will also be representing you on the NAPC Advisory and Steering Groups.
It is vitally important that the authentic voices of childminders are heard in these Groups.
Other Childminding Sectorial Updates of Interest
• OECD published its Country Policy Review of Early Childhood Education and Care in Ireland.
The Review is part of the OECD’s wider ‘Quality Beyond Regulations’ project, which has aimed to support OECD member countries to consider policies that can effectively enhance process quality in early learning and care. Ireland is one of six OECD countries (along with Australia, Canada, Japan, Luxembourg, and Switzerland) that opted for more in-depth participation in the Quality Beyond Regulations project. Ireland opted for a full Country Policy Review by the OECD.
The Review included three country missions to Ireland by the OECD international team of experts, with meetings held online due to the current Covid-19 situation. As part of the country missions, the OECD held meetings with a wide range of stakeholders including parents, providers, practitioners, students, employer and employee representatives, and researchers, and had virtual visits to a number of early learning and care settings.
• Additional funding for the childminding sector:
Budget 2022 contained an additional €1.16 million to support the NAPC. The DCEDIY have advised that 6 new Childminding Development Officers (CMDOs) will be recruited, bringing the total to 12 CMDOs nationally. A role has also been created to both manage the CMDOs and to support the National Childminding Co-ordinator Sharon Boles.
• Nurturing Skills: The Workforce Plan for Early Learning and Care and School-Age Childcare (2022 – 2028):
The Workforce Development Plan for Early Learning and Care (ELC) and School-Age Childcare (SAC) has launched. It was created to consider the future needs of ELC and SAC, how those needs may be met, and the challenges and opportunities involved. The Workforce Development Plan was created in collaboration between DCEDIY and the Department of Education. It is being overseen by a Steering Group and supported by a Stakeholder Group. Click here to find out more.
• Partnership for the Public Good, A New Funding Model for the Early Learning and Care and School-Age Childcare Sector, 2022-2028
A new funding model for the sector has just been launched. In its work it has considered existing and future demands as well as best practices for funding ELC and SAC. Click here for more information.
• Review of the ELC Structures
A review has taken place of the structures (including Childminding Ireland) used by the DCEDIY to achieve its ELC objectives. The Review has been looking at the efficiency and effectiveness of current structures and will be making recommendations to the Minister in the near future.
Childminding Ireland will forward on more information, Reports and Reviews as they become available. If you want to stay up to date on information affecting the childminding sector email firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to our circulation database.
If you have any questions or want to find out more about the National Action Plan for Childminding, or anything else please contact us at email@example.com or 01 2878466.
i) Information for Childminders on the National Action Plan for Childminding (2021 – 2028) DCEDIY 2021
ii) Extract Minister O’Gorman welcomes the launch of ‘Strengthening Early Childhood Education and Care in Ireland’ - the Report of the OECD’s Country Policy Review DCEDIY 2nd Dec 2021
iii) Early Learning and Care and School-Age Childcare Towards a New Funding Model Working Paper 7: ELC and SAC Funding Models which Support Provision Quality Katharine Lauderdale and Gillian Paull Frontier Economics February 2021