Compiled by Laureate na nÓg Eoin Colfer

Published by Little Island Books, available from 15th October 2015 ISBN: 9781910411377, HB, £11.99/€14.99, 224pp.

Laureate na nÓg Eoin Colfer

author of the bestselling Artemis Fowl series, is compiling a new anthology of stories and poems for children that focuses on the special link between story and place in Ireland. Lavish blackand-white charcoal illustrations by award-winning artist and picturebook illustrator P.J. Lynch will make this unique anthology a very beautiful object. Once upon A Place features six new poems by Irish poets alongside stories from many of Ireland’s leading children’s writers including Roddy Doyle, Derek Landy and former Laureate na nÓg Siobhán Parkinson, as well as the first ever story for children by Academy Award nominee Jim Sheridan, director of My Left Foot, The Field and In America. It will also feature new work by Eoin Colfer himself, along with Pat Boran, Seamus Cashman, John Connolly, Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick, Mark Granier, Paula Leyden, Oisín McGann, Geraldine Mills, Jane Mitchell, Kate Newmann, Sarah Webb and Enda Wyley. It will be published by Little Island in October 2015, aimed at 9–12 year olds. In tandem with the production of the Once upon a Place anthology, Eoin Colfer’s Laureate term is also seeing Colfer and a team of storytellers travelling all over the island of Ireland with a tour that began in autumn 2014 and will run until spring 2016. From Hook Head lighthouse in Wexford to a steam train through Fingal in Dublin, to Donegal’s islands and a stunning church in Belfast, this initiative aims to give young people memorable and extraordinary storytelling experiences in magical or inspiring places, and to bring stories to schools and communities that would not otherwise be visited by writers or storytellers for reasons of resources or location. The anthology enhances this project by bringing stories of Irish places to children all over the country and further afield. ‘This is my laureate project with a general aim of connecting today’s screen-centric youngsters to the magic of the country they live in and its rich artistic heritage,’ says Eoin Colfer. Any royalties from the book will go towards the Laureate na nÓg project, which aims to raise the profile of children’s literature in Ireland and internationally and to introduce high quality children’s books to new audiences. Laureate na nÓg is an initiative of the Arts Council / an Chomhairle Ealaíon, which established the honour in 2010 to celebrate excellence in Irish children’s writers and illustrators and to raise the profile of children’s literature in Ireland and internationally. It is supported by Children’s Books Ireland, the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Poetry Ireland and the Department of Children and Youth Affairs. For further information, contact Elaina Ryan, Director, Children’s Books Ireland at 01 872 7475

Children’s Books Ireland Conference 2015

Children’s Books Ireland presents Conceal and Reveal:

Truth and Lies in Children’s Books Children’s Books Ireland Conference 2015 Saturday 12th–Sunday 13th September, Light House Cinema, Smithfield Having established itself as the most significant event for adults interested in children’s books in the country, the 25th Children’s Books Ireland annual conference once again promises a packed two-day programme of discussion and debate. This weekend-long celebration of the very best in children’s books at home and internationally sees a whole array of speakers invited to discuss the numerous and innovative ways in which books and reading can be part of young people’s lives. This year’s line-up showcases both famous names and new talents, featuring authors and illustrators from Ireland, the UK, France and the USA. ‘Conceal and Reveal: Truth and Lies in Children’s Books’ invites speakers to address the balance at the heart of books for children and young adults: when should we tell the unvarnished truth and when are we justified in telling a little white lie? Conference lineup: Mac Barnett Mac Barnett is a New York Times bestselling author of over 18 books for children, including two Caldecott-Honor-winning collaborations with past CBI conference speaker Jon Klassen (Sam & Dave Dig a Hole and Extra Yarn). Mac is a member of the advisory board for 826 Valencia, a creative writing centre for children and young people in San Francisco, networked with Dublin’s own Fighting Words. In Mac’s own words ‘My job is that I lie to children, but they’re honest lies’. Mixing it Up – Young Adult Panel With readers demanding more stories about diverse characters, young adult fiction has an important representative role to play. The Bookseller YA Book Prize winner Louise O’Neill (Only Ever Yours) and nominees James Dawson (Say Her Name) and Kim Hood (Finding a Voice) discuss the power of YA fiction in revealing many and diverse truths. Dr Pádraic Whyte of Trinity College Dublin will be the chairperson for this session. New Voices We welcome new voices to the CBI conference stage with authors Kieran Fanning, E.R. Murray, Nigel Quinlan, Maureen White, Nicola Colton, Geraldine Mills and more to be announced. Each author is invited to read from their work for 5 minutes only! Dedicated to Cracking Reading: Barrington Stoke Far more than just a publisher for struggling, reluctant and dyslexic readers, Barrington Stoke has proven itself an innovative company, working with the best authors and illustrators in the business. Managing Director Mairi Kidd joins us to talk about the art of concealing simple language while revealing an exciting imaginative world. William Grill Kate Greenaway medal winner for 2015 with his title Shackleton’s Journey, William Grill’s picturebook painstakingly recreates every detail of the explorer’s Antarctic voyage. He joins us to talk about the process of creating the book and representing a famous historical event in a truthful way. Breaking Through with Poetry Poetry as a form allows the writer to reveal truths while concealing the true disruptive power of their words. Spoken word poets Steven Camden AKA Polarbear and Aisling Fahey, the Young Poet Laureate for London, explore poetry and its relevance in the lives of young people. Producing Picturebooks How is a picturebook really made? What kind of decisions and sacrifices must be made to produce a beautiful, honest book that appeals to parents and young readers? Walker Books Picturebook Publisher Deirdre McDermott and picturebook creator Yasmeen Ismail discuss the creative process from their different perspectives. Annabel Pitcher Annabel Pitcher, author of My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece, Ketchup Clouds and Silence is Goldfish writes about opening up, revealing flaws and relieving guilt. She joins us to talk about the ‘dark truth’ inside us all, and accessing it via fiction. The Unvarnished Truth? Non-fiction Books for Children Non-fiction is experiencing a renaissance with engaging illustrations and innovative design setting the tone. Authors Jim Pipe and Nicola Davies and Publisher Rachel Williams of Wide Eyed Books and Frances Lincoln Children’s Books discuss creating children’s books without recourse to fiction. What are the challenges and rewards in recreating fact on the blank page? This session is chaired by Juliette Saumande, Reviews Editor of CBI’s Inis magazine. Barroux Renowned picturebook maker Barroux uses linocut, collage with antique paper and lead pencil to create a distinctive, open style, which reveals the truth of his words. Barroux says he believes that ‘life in books is more extraordinary, where dogs can fly and trees are blue’. This session is presented in association with iBbY. Children’s Books Ireland is the national children’s book organisation of Ireland. At Children’s Books Ireland our vision is an Ireland in which books are a part of every children’s life and where meaningful engagement with books is supported by passionate and informed adults in families, schools, libraries and communities all across the country. For further information, or to arrange an interview with available speakers, please contact: Aoife Murray, Programme and Events Manager 17 North Great George’s Street, Dublin 1 Tel. 01 8727475 Email:

CBI Book of the Year Awards 2015, the most prestigious awards for children’s books in Ireland.

For Release 11am Wednesday 11th March 2015

Ten titles will compete for the 25th CBI Book of the Year Awards 2015, the most prestigious awards for children’s books in Ireland. The shortlist for the 25th CBI Book of the Year Awards was revealed today, Wednesday 11th March 2015. Each of the ten titles will compete for the high calibre awards, which includes the innovative Children’s Choice Award, voted for by young readers across the country. The winners will be announced at a ceremony to be held on 19th May at Dublin’s Light House Cinema. The shortlisted titles are: When Mr Dog Bites by Brian Conaghan Apple and Rain by Sarah Crossan Shh! We Have a Plan by Chris Haughton Once Upon an Alphabet by Oliver Jeffers The Apple Tart of Hope by Sarah Moore Fitzgerald Daideo by Áine Ní Ghlinn Only Ever Yours by Louise O’Neill Haiku Más é do thoil é! by Gabriel Rosenstock illustrated by Brian Fitzgerald Primperfect by Deirdre Sullivan Beyond the Stars compiled by Sarah Webb Founded in 1990, The CBI Book of the Year Awards are the leading children’s book awards in Ireland. They are a celebration of excellence in children’s literature and illustration and are open to books for all ages written in English or Irish by authors and illustrators born or resident in Ireland and published between 1st January and 31st December each year. Previous winners include John Boyne for The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas; Sheena Wilkinson for Grounded, Marie Louise Fitzpatrick for There and Hagwitch and Kate Thompson for The New Policeman, Annan Water and The Alchemist’s Apprentice. Ciara Ní Bhroin, chair of the judging panel that read almost 70 titles, said: “The ten shortlisted titles showcase the range of excellent books being created by Irish authors and illustrators. From incredibly vibrant and engaging picturebooks to hard-hitting, thought-provoking novels for teenagers and young adults, this shortlist offers every child a rich and satisfying reading experience. With both the English and Irish language showcased, myself and the CBI Book of the Year Awards judges were enthused to encounter so many books dealing with a range of diverse experiences.” Children’s Books Ireland (CBI), which administers the awards, will again be working closely with reading groups from schools, libraries and bookshops across Ireland. These young readers will choose the winner of the Children’s Choice Award. Five other awards will be made in May also – The Book of the Year Award, Honour Awards for Fiction and Illustration, the Eilís Dillon award for a first children’s book and the Judges’ Special Award. Elaina Ryan, Director at CBI said: “Making books a part of every children’s life is key to what we do at Children’s Books Ireland. With the ten books on this year’s shortlist, CBI is honoured to be able to highlight the very best that Irish authors, illustrators and publishers have to offer, truly world-class books. We know that this shortlist will encourage children and young people around the country to engage with books they will love to read.” This year’s shortlist contains one title from a former CBI Book of the Year Award winner, Chris Haughton whose A Bit Lost took the overall prize in 2011. Three authors are new to the CBI Book of the Year Awards shortlist: Sarah Louise O’Neill for Only Ever Yours,sarah Moore Fitzgerald for The Apple Tart of Hope and Brian Conaghan for When Mr. Dog Bites.

3,370 childcare workers have to sign on dole over summer costing €7.2m to the exchequer

Today, the day the Dail breaks for summer holidays, Early Childhood Ireland reminds TDs and Senators of the unacceptable situation that 3,370 childcare workers have to sign on dole over summer costing €7.2m to the exchequer

With the Dail officially breaking up for summer holidays today, and the Seanad finishing next Wednesday, Early Childhood Ireland is sending a reminder to TDs and Senators that over 3,370 people – that is almost 14% of the total workforce of 25,000 childcare workers in Ireland – had to sign on the live register in the summer of 2014, at a cost to the exchequer of €7.2 million, with similar levels signing on this summer.

Meanwhile, owner/managers of the preschools already closed for the summer are unable to draw down any dole payment and with no money coming into their service over the summer they get no pay for all the paperwork / preparation they do to get ready for the new term starting in September. This is due to the fact that the ECCE (free preschool scheme) contract is not fit for purpose right now in terms of capitation or duration which forces early childhood care and education staff onto the dole over the summer months.

Early Childhood Ireland is urging all politicians to consider this unacceptable situation and what it says about early childhood education as a profession and to take the time over the summer recess to analyse the recommendations of “Footsteps for the Future – Increasing investment in Early Childhood Education” launched this week and available free online at

In a note issued to Senators and TDs today, Teresa Heeney CEO of Early Childhood Ireland says, “There is a lot of work to be done pre budget on moving Ireland to where we should be in terms of investing in this critical area of early childhood education. We certainly won’t stop campaigning over the summer and we will be in touch with all political parties and independent deputies and senators.”

Need to Stall Further Expansion of the ECCE Scheme

Early Childhood Ireland calls on the Department of Children and Youth Affairs to stall expansion of new operators delivering the ECCE scheme until a clear plan has been developed which takes account of current level of oversupply of childcare places, with an estimated 31,500 vacant places nationwide  

Injunction to prevent or stall further expansion of the scheme is being considered by some members

Through a letter to Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr. James Reilly and a meeting with the Interdepartmental Group, Early Childhood Ireland has presented figures on the current oversupply of preschool places, with an estimated 31,500 vacant places nationwide, stating that:

“Every county is showing a significant level of current over supply of childcare places… with 61% of all vacancies in rural areas. (Pobal 2014)

“The Department of Education and Science (DES) would never build a school without knowing that it had a long term need for x number of school places in that area.  Equally, the Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA) cannot on the one hand depend on early childhood settings to run the ECCE scheme for them but do so in such a way which drives them into an unsustainable business model.

“Further, there is reasonable growing concern about the entry of schools into the scheme.  As set out in a recent DES discussion document, schools are opening ECCE rooms, many with scant regard to the existence of other settings in the local area. There’s an unspoken expectation regarding future enrolment.  We have both anecdotal and factual evidence of schools displacing existing services and the question of unfair competition is raised.

“Without a strategic, long term need for expansion of the number of ECCE places, it is insupportable for the DCYA to accept applications for new entrants to the ECCE scheme in that area.  The DCYA depends on existing operators to work in partnership with them to deliver the ECCE programme.  To welcome new entrants, and thereby potentially drive existing operators out of business, or into an unsustainable enterprise where they can neither pay themselves nor their staff properly, is not the hallmark of partnership but the opposite.

“We are aware that some of our members are so concerned about potential new entrants to the ECCE scheme in their local area and the ensuing impact on their livelihood that they are considering an injunction to prevent or stall same.  This will cause further expense on already hard pressed people and organisations and can be avoided.”


Tusla Must be Held to Account

Statement from Teresa Heeney CEO of Early Childhood Ireland –

Tusla, the Child and Family Agency agency charged with inspection of preschools, must be held to account for too few inspectors, too few inspections and too little progress in delivering a robust, consistent and regular inspection process.

This is according to Teresa Heeney CEO of Early Childhood Ireland who was reacting to front page headlines in the media today regarding the inconsistent preschool inspection process in Ireland.

She said that:

“Despite the evidence that the preschool inspection process is clearly fractured, a new inspection regime by the Department of Education is about to be introduced to this sector. It just doesn’t make sense in the face of the history of underinvestment in this sector.

“A key concern, which is only accentuated by media coverage today, is whether Tusla, which is first and foremost a child protection agency, is the agency that should be charged with preschool inspection.  In fact, Tusla CEO Gordon Jeyes is on the record saying just that.

“In particular, the lack of progress in terms of the childcare registration system, the revised preschool regulations, and the publication of quality standards is unacceptable and we need clear action and deadlines to make this happen. Registration, revised regulations and quality standards were all promised by then Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald as part of the 8 point Quality Agenda following RTE Primetime’s ‘Breach of Trust’ programme. We are still waiting for movement on these developments.

“Some progress has been made on the introduction of mentoring and the provision of a fund to support the upskilling of staff in the sector, and we welcome the announcement of the development of an ICT (information communications technology) system for the preschool inspection process, which we look forward to discussing with Tusla.

“However, the investment is too low and the negative headlines again regarding inspections are alarming for parents and de-motivating for those working in the sector.

“This sector can be characterized by underinvestment and over inspection, with Tusla, the Department of Education and Pobal all  involved. Proper inspection is essential, is in everyone’s interest, and something we have for a long time been calling for, on behalf of our 3,500 members running preschools and crèches supporting over 100,000 children nationwide.

“Unfortunately, our inconsistent inspection process is failing children, parents and the sector today.  A consistent, equitable, national system of inspection of early childhood education is what is required, and it should be a sure thing, not a lottery system depending on location. We must address this area with the priority and investment needed. An effective inspection process provides peace of mind for parents, a stamp of approval for the early childhood educators delivering a quality experience for children and a wakeup call for those who aren’t, with a view to raising standards and quality across the board.”

Rise Up for children in 2016

02 Sep 2015 in Press Releases, Advocacy, Featured

Ending child inequality and poverty must be 2016’s priority. As we launch our pre-election campaign, Rise Up, we’re calling on all of the political parties to prioritise children in their manifestoes.

Fergus Finlay, Barnardos CEO, said, “The Taoiseach recently said the elimination of child poverty was a moral imperative for any government. Yet child poverty rates in Ireland are a national scandal. One in eight children live in consistent poverty and nearly two in five experience deprivation – this means these children are going hungry, are without a waterproof coat or live in a poorly heated home.

“2016 is the centenary of the 1916 Proclamation and, crucially, the centenary of all it promised – including the fundamentally symbolic commitment to cherishing all children equally. Even before we celebrate that centenary, Ireland will see a general election. We cannot let the election pass without demanding concrete action to address the moral imperative of child poverty. We cannot celebrate the centenary without challenging the many inequalities that allow child poverty to flourish.

“There are many things which need to happen to challenge inequality. Barnardos is calling for concrete action in five areas of a child’s life;first year of life, early years, education, health and housing. We are demanding change that will have an immediate and real impact on lives as part of a broader strategy to end societal inequality that unfairly affects children.”

Mr Finlay added, “The economy is growing, unemployment is falling, tax cuts are promised in the next Budget. Why, against this background, should we tolerate for a moment longer the kind of choices that are perpetuating poverty and deprivation among Ireland’s children?”

June Tinsley, Head of Advocacy, Barnardos, said, “In Ireland today one in six children are facing food poverty, children from low income families are waiting far longer for essential health treatments and the number of children becoming homeless just keeps rising. This is setting a cohort of children a series of unfair and often insurmountable challenges – effectively telling them they are not worthy enough to have the same hopes, dreams and aspirations as other children.

“That is simply unfair and it is time we said enough is enough. 2016 must mark a turning point for children in Ireland. It must be the year politicians make the decision to support all children and take concrete steps to end child inequality.”

Notes to editors

Barnardos is launching its Rise Up for children campaign today. In the run-up to the General Election we will be releasing research and analysis highlighting the impact of inequality on children and demanding action from political decision-makers.

Rise Up key campaign objectives

1.    Politicians must promise to safeguard the first year of a child’s life

Invest sufficiently in Tusla, the Child and Family Agency

2.    Politicians must increase investment in early childhood care and education

Increase spending on early years to meet the international average of 0.8% of GDP

3.    The State must provide free primary education

This would require an annual investment of €103.2m, equating to just €185 extra per pupil

4.    Politicians must guarantee access to primary care services for all children when they need it

Guarantee one fully operational Primary Care Team for every 1,500 children

5.    Politicians must promise to ensure a secure home for all children

Stabilise rents over time by linking rental prices to the Consumer Price Index and raise rent supplement levels to help struggling families now

As part of this campaign, Barnardos is looking to start a public conversation about child inequality in Ireland. With our campaign website, we are telling stories of child inequality in Ireland and building political pressure by inviting people to contact those key politicians and political leaders who can make a difference. The website will be developed further with stories of inequality as the campaign continues. For more information, visit

Key facts

  • One in eight children are living in consistent poverty
  • Two out of every five children are experiencing material deprivation
  • One in six children are now experiencing food poverty
  • An estimated 10% of people in Ireland own around 60% of the total wealth
  • 1,318 children were reported homeless in June – an increase of 52% since January
  • Children aged three years from the poorest households are 62% more likely to not get treatment due to waiting list delays than children from the wealthiest households

Water Charges may ‘curtail Childminding’

Water Charges may ‘curtail Childminding’

”Water Charges may ‘curtail Childminding”

Irish Examiner

Childcare services in homes used by low-income families face being closed or having to curtail their services because of financial pressures from the new water charges.

Anti-poverty charities have also called for exemptions for children over 18 who live at home but are still in education.


The concerns are in submissions to the Energy Regulator from advocacy groups.


One group also want water bills delayed until February due to financial troubles families face after Christmas.


Childminding Ireland say its members are self-employed, work from the family home, and typically mind four children at any one time. The group say minders are “core to each local economy, providing flexible childcare to allow parents to return to work”.


It adds: “They often provide services for below minimum wages, and therefore cannot afford this additional expense.”


The group say there are 37,900 childminders in Ireland who care for over 51,000 families with pre-school children.


The St Vincent de Paul has also told the regulator that free allowances should be extended for children over 18 who are still at home and finishing secondary education.


The charity wants “leniency” with Irish Water’s first bills and says payment should be in February, as opposed to January, as the post-Christmas period is “one of the most difficult periods” for household budgets.


Focus Ireland want a special cap on charges to be applied to “those moving on from homelessness,” in a similar way to how special allowances will apply to those with medical conditions.


The agency suggests allowances for vulnerable households should be added to welfare payments or through other allowances covering a broader category of people such as the fuel allowance.


It says allowances should be provided for adult children at home and in education up until the age of 23.


Focus Ireland wants pay-as-you-go-meters installed as soon as possible.


Early Childhood Ireland say services for its members “cannot operate without generous allowances of water to support children’s learning and development”.


Any new charges for its members who operate crèches and childcare facilities, some which are linked to homes, would result in job losses and closures, it warns.


The pleas were made ahead of today’s budget which will include further relief for water charges for low income families and the unemployed.

© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved

By Juno McEnroe
Political Correspondent

Department of Children and Youth Affairs DCYA Funding Opportunities

DCYA is not in a position to operate a National Lottery Scheme in 2015

National Lottery Scheme 2014

A list of organisations funded during 2014

Youth Capital Funding Scheme 2014/2015

The Government has allocated funding to the Department of Children and Youth Affairs for a Capital Funding Scheme. Under the scheme staff led youth projects and some youth organisations funded by the Department may apply for grants to undertake small to medium capital projects in 2014 and 2015.

The is open to applications from Department of Children and Youth Affairs funded projects under the Special Projects for Youth Scheme (SPY), Youth Information Centres (YICs), Young People’s Facilities and Services Fund (YPFSF) and Local Drugs Task Force (LDTF) (21 mainstreamed projects). As a once-off exceptional measure the scheme is also open to a number of national youth organisations.

Further details can be found on the Youth Capital Funding Scheme 2014/2015 page of the Departments website.

DCYA Research Scholarship Programme

The Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA) Growing Up in Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship in partnership with the Irish Research Council

The Research and Evaluation Unit of the Department of Children and Youth Affairs, in partnership with the Irish Research Council, invites applications for the DCYA Growing Up in Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship. This scholarship is administered by the Irish Research Council as part of the Irish Research Council Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship Scheme under their strategic partner themes.

Further information.

Childcare Capital Programme 2013

The Department of Children & Youth Affairs (DCYA) wishes to maintain progress in improving and reinforcing quality of early childhood care and education services provided to children. A range of capital investment programmes have supported this progress to date including the Equal Opportunities Childcare Programme; the National Childcare Investment Programme and the Childcare Capital Programme 2012. DCYA has secured €2,750,000 for a Childcare Capital Programme 2013.

Objectives of Childcare Capital Programme 2013:

  • To improve the quality of service to children
  • To provide for critical works that ensure that childcare facilities are ‘fit for purpose’

The 2013 funding scheme covers four strands:

  • small grants to purchase equipment or carry out small maintenance work
  • grants to improve accessibility of services for children with disabilities
  • grants to provide natural outdoor spaces that promote active outdoor play and
  • grants towards critical works to ensure that buildings are fit for purpose under the childcare regulations (open to community/not for profit  services only).

The scheme will be administered by Pobal on behalf of the DCYA and the scheme will be administered online.  Full details of the Programme and instructions are available on the Pobal website.

The applciation process is now closed (as of Tuesday 30th April 2013).


Youth Café Capital Funding Programme 2013

Funding of up to €1 million is available from the Department of Children and Youth Affairs for fit-out, refurbishment works or building enhancement projects for the startup of new Youth Cafés. One of the core functions of a youth café is that it offers support to young people, ranging from practical support to advice through their participation in activities that are of interest to them and that are varied and on offer at times that suit their normal activities. In awarding funding, the Department will endeavour to ensure that there is a geographical spread of youth cafés from the funding commensurate to existing provision in the area.

“Youth Cafés in Ireland: A Best Practice Guide” which was launched in April 2010 by the Office for the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs. The document contextualises the youth café model in Ireland and is an important towards informing your application. Applicants should also read the toolkit devised on behalf of the DCYA in relation to setting up a youth café.

Pobal is assisting the Department of Children & Youth Affairs in managing the Youth Café Programme 2013.

The Application Guidelines aims to explain the purpose and process of the Youth Café Programme 2013 and to assist applicants in making a valid application under the programme.

The application process is now closed (as of 12th April 2013).

More information on Pobal website


Community Childcare Subvention (CCS) Programme

The programme supports disadvantaged parents and provides support for parents in low paid employment and training or education by enabling qualifying parents to avail of reduced childcare costs at participating services
Who can apply?

Programme is restricted to Community/Not-for-profit childcare Services

Application process

Service are eligible to apply through the City/County Childcare Committees initially and approvals are granted by Pobal and Department of Children and Youth Affairs however no new applications are being accepted at this time.


Further Details 
Further details can be found here.


Childcare Education and Training (CETS) programme

The programme supports parents on certain eligible FÁS and VEC courses by providing subsidised childcare places.

Who can apply?

Both Private and Community Based/not for profit childcare services

Application process

Service are eligible to apply through the City/County Childcare Committees initially and approvals are granted by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs.

The deadline for applications for entry or re-entry to the CETS Programme for the academic year will normally be 30th March of that year.

Further Details 
Further details can be found here.

Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) programme

The ECCE programme is designed to give children access to a free pre-school year of appropriate programme-based activities in the year before they start primary school.

Who can apply?
The programme is available to both private and community based / not for profit pre-school services.

Application process?
Services are eligible to apply through the City/County Childcare Committees around February / March of each year in advance of the September pre-school year.

Application process
The deadline for applications for entry or re-entry to the ECCE Programme for the academic year will normally be 30th March, prior to the commencement of the pre-school year. No new service applications are accepted at this time.

Minister Reilly publishes Adoption Information and Tracing legislation

27th July 2015
The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Dr. James Reilly has today published the General Scheme and Heads of the Adoption (Information and Tracing) Bill. The bill was considered at Cabinet last Wednesday and the government has agreed to refer the bill to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children for pre-legislative scrutiny.
The new legislation, which will provide a statutory basis for the provision of information related to adoption, will be both prospective and retrospective. Efforts have been on-going for many years related to the provision of a statutory entitlement to identity information and this new legislation represents a key step forward.
Speaking at the launch Minister Reilly said “Today marks a major breakthrough in dealing with the complex challenge of providing a statutory entitlement to identity information for adopted persons. The Bill will give an adopted person aged 18 years or over, who was adopted prior to commencement of the Bill, a statutory entitlement to the information required to apply for his or her birth certificate, following a request to the Tusla, the Child and Family Agency.
The Minister stated “In drafting the legislation we faced a particular challenge in the attempt to reconcile an adopted person’s request for information about his or her identity with the right to privacy of his or her birth parent.  We recognised that adopted persons are a unique part of this process and the information that they are seeking is about their own identity. A birth certificate is an important piece of identifying information that is shared by an adopted person and his/her birth parents. We are distinguishing it from other identifying information which can be more readily characterised as belonging to one or the other.”
The new proposal includes a contact preference mechanism that will operate alongside a undertaking by adopted persons not to contact his/her birth parents. In addition there will be an offer of guidance and support from Tusla social workers to both adopted persons and birth parents.
There will be an initial period of one year after commencement of the Bill for an awareness campaign, to publicise the provisions of the Bill and to allow birth parents to indicate on the Register if they want “No contact at present” or otherwise, before the adopted person will have a statutory entitlement to their birth certificate under these provisions.

The Minister emphasised
“While this Bill is about providing a right to information it is critical that birth parents’ constitutional right to privacy is protected. I believe that by allowing birth parents an opportunity to specify the extent of contact, if any, in addition to the other safeguards to be put in place will ensure that this important right is protected.”
The Bill also provides for a copy of a birth certificate, an adoption order and other information to be provided to an adopted person whose adoption was effected after the commencement of this Bill, following application by that person.  It provides for the sharing of information about a child who was adopted, between birth parents and adoptive parents, where both parties agree. In addition, it provides for information to be given to an adopted person whose adoption is registered in the Register of Intercountry Adoptions.
The Bill provides that persons who were the subject of “informal adoptions” and “wrongful registrations”, and birth parents of these persons, may avail themselves of information and tracing services and be provided with information, where such information is available.

The Bill provides for the establishment of the Adoption Information Register and for the safeguarding of all adoption records to be operated by Tusla, the Child and Family Agency.

The Minister said “I have been working in cooperation with the Attorney General to develop this scheme. The draft Heads now prepared involve a scheme that will greatly improve access to information, including provision of an adopted person’s birth certificate, with appropriate protections and an appeal mechanism to protect the rights of all parties.  The proposals are the result of an intensive effort to identify a means of dealing with the significant legal and practical challenges that arise.”