At the time of writing we are just entering a nationwide Level 5 response to Covid-19. Whilst this will naturally be a time of uncertainty and change, hopefully the measures will ensure a reduction in incidents of the virus and more freedoms ahead.
COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP)
Many childminders currently receiving the PUP payment, are concerned about returning to work in case they won’t be receiving a pre-Covid-19 level of income and may risk losing the PUP. Childminding Ireland has been in contact with The Department of Social Protection PUP Helpline (1890 800 024) and have been advised that as legislation is not in place there can be no guarantees. However, there is nothing to prevent someone on a reduced income remaking an application if their income is significantly reduced due to the Pandemic. As each case will be different it is important to find out how your own circumstances affect PUP by contacting Social Protection on 1890 800 024.
Clarification on the care of children during current Covid-19 restrictions
The Department for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth (DCEDIY) have provided the following update clarification on the care of children during current Covid-19 Level 5 restrictions:
Update on childcare services during Covid-19 Level 5 restrictions
The list of essential services has been updated as of 22 October. Section 15(t) of the list (https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/c9158-essential-services) includes “childcare services”. The term encompasses both early learning and care services and school-age childcare services, and both centre-based services and childminders. Childminding services are not restricted to the children of persons providing essential services.
Childminding Ireland are pleased to see this update which is in line with the public messaging that schools and childcare services would remain open. From the feedback received we know that many childminders had concerns with the previous guidance, and these concerns were shared with DCEDIY.
Please keep in touch and let us know how you are managing, we are stronger together.
As you will be aware we have a new Minister, Roderic O’Gorman who was appointed Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth in June 2020. The Minister is an Irish Green Party politician. He has been a TD for the Dublin West constituency since 2020 and previously served as Chairman of the Green Party from 2011 to 2019.
Before becoming a TD, the Minister previously worked as a law lecturer, a member of Dublin City University’s Brexit Institute and he also served on Fingal County Council.
Minister O’Gorman sent the following video message for childminders attending the Childminding Ireland AGM in September. Click here.
Childminding Action Plan
The Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth (DCEDIY) have advised that work is underway on reviewing the Draft Childminding Action Plan (DCAP), considering the feedback from the public consultation process and making amendments as necessary. When this work is completed, the DCAP will be finalised and submitted to Minister O’Gorman for approval.
If Minister O’Gorman approves the DCAP, it will be finalised for publication as the Childminding Action Plan. The DCEDIY are expecting the Childminding Action Plan to be published before year-end 2020.
The Childminding Action Plan will outline the Government’s vision for childminding into the future. It will be necessary to make changes to legislation in order to make sure the system is appropriate and proportionate, providing supports and access to the funding that childminding need.
Childminding Ireland will continue to work hard to ensure that we capture your issues and properly communicate them to the DCEDIY, in as far as possible, to ensure the best outcome for childminding and the families using childminding services.