Programme Updates 26th June 2020
Dear Service Provider,
Capital Grant Update
As you are aware, Pobal on behalf of the Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA), launched the online application process for the ‘COVID-19 Capital Grant’ on Monday, 22nd June. The ‘COVID-19 Capital Grant’ is a once-off reopening grant of €18million for centre-based providers. Applications are managed through an online system known as HIVE and applications will remain open for early years providers to submit an application until Friday, 28th August 2020. Pobal will be making grant payments up to Friday 11th September 2020.
Pobal can confirm the HIVE system for online applications is fully operational. Besides a small downtime on Monday 22nd June to activate the new application process, HIVE metrics show the system is fully available and accessible to early years providers. On Monday and Tuesday, a small number of issues that affected some early years providers were raised with Pobal’s Early Years Provider Centre and these were resolved in an efficient and timely manner.
Within the first 3 days of the application process, Pobal has seen high volumes of successful applications created by early years providers on the system as illustrated in the table below:
Numbers of daily applications received:
Monday, 22nd June 2020 895
Tuesday, 23rd June 2020 423
Wednesday, 24th June 2020 296
Of these, 1,152 applications were approved by close of business Wednesday 24th June. All of these applicants will receive funding by Friday 26th June to a total value of €3.9m.
Pobal will continue to receive, approve and pay applications under this scheme on an ongoing basis over the coming weeks.
Early Years Service Providers have a further 9 weeks to submit an application under the COVID-19 Capital Grant. However, the figures above illustrate that already 25% of providers have commenced their applications and have successfully engaged with the system.
Reopening Grant Update
Please note that further to feedback from childcare providers the following provision will not be a precondition for the Enhanced Reopening Support Payment (RSP) - “That there is at least one child registered for a DCYA ELC and SAC programme and attending regularly between 29 June and 23 August.”
Additionally, the following provision will not now be a precondition for the standard Reopening Support Payment (RSP) - “That there is at least one child registered for a DCYA ELC and SAC programme and attending regularly between 29 June and 16 October 2020”
Instead, all providers will be required to notify their local CCC immediately prior to re-opening, confirming their re-opening date. Providers are reminded that they must be open and providing a childcare service within the terms of the funding agreement for respective grants.
Please refer to the FAQ at the following link https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/22329-faqs-version-1-reopening-funding-package-for-childcare-services-12062020/
Please see below some important reminders in relation to TWSCS.
Pobal would like to confirm that we have agreed with the DCYA that any overpayments arising for providers on the TWSCS will not be recouped from the Capital Grant or the Reopening Support Payment.
We are also working closely with the DCYA to agree on the method and manner of recoupment in a way that minimises impact and financial disruption to providers.
• You may have already received a call or an email from the Pobal Early Years Provider Centre in relation to your TWSCS Application.
• Further to this, we would like to bring your attention to the following common examples that may be affecting your TWSCS calculations which may need to be updated – see below.
• Please note, the deadline to complete amendments, should you need to do so is close of business on this coming Tuesday, 30th June.
• Pobal are unable to verify that any changes to the application forms are correct until another verification check is performed with Revenue. This is scheduled for the week ending 3rd July
• Any delays experienced with the Revenue TWSS cannot be resolved by Pobal and service providers must liaise with Revenue to resolve these issues.
There are a number of scenarios covered in the Amending a TWSCS Application Form + Viewing TWSCS Payment Calculation guidance document and steps on how you should correct these issues.
Gross pay figure
In order to calculate your overhead payment we have asked you for the Average Gross Weekly payroll costs for January and February. The figure you have provided must be in line with the Net Weekly Pay information for employees.
As previously instructed, to calculate this figure take the total gross pay value for all childcare staff for January and February and divide by 9.
Submitting all individual service applications for multi-service organisations
Organisations were directed to ‘complete an application form for each service’. Please ensure that all application forms for each service in your organisation have a status of submitted (even if blank) when all updates are complete.
Separating monthly or fortnightly employee payments for payment weeks 1-4
Payments made in April should be divided into individual weekly amounts to reflect amount paid to Revenue.
• This is done in the Employee section of the application form.
• Please see Section 2 of the above mentioned guidance document on how to edit an employee’s information.
If an employee was paid fortnightly or monthly on 4th April – 3rd May (payment weeks 1-4 on the application form) then you are asked to treat each PRSI week as an individual payment.
If you paid an employee €800 on 22nd April that related to 2 PRSI weeks; you should input
• Payment Date 1: 22nd April Payment Value: €400
• Payment Date 2: 22nd April Payment Value: €400
Pobal continues to work hard to assist and support all ELC/SAC providers, acknowledging the challenges experienced by the sector due to COVID-19 and the significant efforts the sector is now undertaking to prepare for reopening facilities on 29th June. We would like to take this opportunity to offer our best wishes to all services reopening over coming weeks as well as a big welcome back to the children in your care.
Early Years Team