Pobal conducts compliance visits in respect of participating childcare services under the following three programmes which are funded by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA):
1. Free Preschool Year in Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE)
2. Training and Education Childcare (TEC)
3. Community Childcare Subvention (CCS)
The vast majority of childcare services will already be familiar with the compliance process, which involves a series of standardised on-site checks aimed at ensuring adherence with certain standards set out by Pobal and the Department of Children and Youth Affairs.
- The purpose of the Compliance Visit is to verify:
- That the children who have been registered with the DCYA under one of the Childcare Schemes are actually enrolled in and attending the service
- That the service is implementing the Fee Payment Policy approved by Fingal County Childcare Committee
- That the Fee Payment Policy, Parent Letters (where applicable) and Calendars (where applicable) are displayed in the service and a copy signed by the parent/guardian of each child is on file.
- That records are maintained of optional extra charges, deposits, voluntary donations and/or fees for additional hours and are in accordance with the Approved Fee Payment Policy of the service.
- Evidence of the qualifications of staff working directly with ECCE Children. Services in receipt of the Standard Capitation will have the qualifications of the Room Leader checked. Services in receipt of the Higher Capitation will have qualifications of both the Room Leader and Assistant checked.
While Pobal will continue to conduct unannounced compliance checks on behalf of the DCYA, one importance change for the 2015/2016 cycle is that services are now categorised as either one of two categories i.e. compliant/minor non-compliant or major non-compliant. It should be noted that a compliant/minor non-compliant categorisation may also require remedial action by services, particularly in instances of minor non-compliance where the PIP system needs to be updated to reflect accurate details of child attendances/service levels. Services will be requested to sign-off on the compliance findings on the day of the visit, with formal categorisation notification forwarded in due course to the designated primary contact e-mail address:
Any non-compliance issues identified, particularly in relation to PIP registrations, may have implications for future funding drawdowns, as there is a direct link between the registration/levels of service updated on PIP to the levels of funding received.
In order to minimise the likelihood of non-compliant outcomes arising from the visits, Pobal would remind services of the need to ensure the following records are available on-site for review by the Visit Officers:
- Signed PIP Parent Declaration forms
- Attendance records (in order to speed up the verification process, Pobal request that these records are in a format that facilitate easy review i.e. child’s name and times of attendance recorded in a consistent basis)
- Evidence that all changes in children’s attendance are input to PIP in a timely manner
- Signed Parent Fee Letters
- Fee records
- Evidence of staff qualifications
- Parent Sign-in sheets for TEC services
- CCS FETC calculators (N.B. these are now compulsory and should be completed on a monthly basis form 1st November 2015 by CCS funded services).
- PIP updated with CCS non-funded registrations for replacement children availing of CCS
The Service Provider File Checklist is a valuable tool developed to enable providers to collate all relevant information for their Compliance Folder in advance of receiving an unannounced compliance visit. This will ensure that the compliance visit is completed in an efficient and timely manner and in this regard Pobal request that the relevant staff have access to the Compliance Folder in the event of an unannounced visit.
For more information on Pobal Compliance visits see the Pobal website (http://www.pobal.ie/). Information includes:
- ECCE, CCS and TEC Compliance Forms
- An overview of the Compliance Process
- Frequently Asked Questions. This section outlines what a Pobal Officer will look for when conducting a compliance visit under each of the three schemes.
- A Compliance Checklist