Community Early Learning Setting
The KCCC was established by the Kinvara Community Council as a whole of community asset. Unlike private early learning settings, not-for-profit settings are managed by a voluntary board that oversees matters such as governance, finance, health and safety, human resources and fundraising activities.
The KCCC is a community early learning centre and holds legal status as a not-for-profit organisation.
To read more about the differences between community and private childcare settings please click here.
As a community setting, the KCCC is funded by a combination of parental fees, government grants and community donations. As such, the KCCC relies on the generous support of the local community for its fundraising endeavours. Monies raised in support of the KCCC have helped to fund outdoor play areas, toys, play materials and activities.
Regulations and Compliance
The KCCC is subject to strict regulations and legislation under a number of county and national agencies:
- POBAL - the agency responsible for funding not-for-profit early learning centres in Ireland and administers the ECCE (free pre-school)scheme and capital grants. The KCCC is subject to regular inspections from POBAL to ensure that the Centre is compliant with the agency's funding guidelines for the invoicing of childcare fees, child attendance and funding allocation.
- TUSLA - the national Child and Family Agency responsible for (among other things) early years provider inspections and compliance. The KCCC is subject to regular inspections from TUSLA to ensure the Centre is compliant with the Childcare Regulations 2006/Amendment 2016, which includes requirements for heat, lighting, furniture, hygiene, child sleep times and staff training. TUSLA inspectors arrive unannounced and audit staff files, child observation paperwork (which is now recorded in part using the Child Paths system) and other legally required documentation. TUSLA is interested to ensure the needs of each child are being met in the early years setting as part of the child-centred learning model implemented through the Aistear curriculum.
- Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA) - the overall national department responsible for early learning in Ireland. The KCCC would liaise with the DCYA for matters regarding staff qualifications which are now a formal legal requirement.
- Department of Education and Skills (DES) - the national department responsible for ensuring the implementation of curriculum and staff interactions. The KCCC is subject to regular inspections to ensure compliance with national requirements.
Staff qualifications and training
From 1 January 2017 all early learning providers throughout Ireland must ensure staff meet a minimum qualification of FETAC Level 5 in Early Years or Childhood Studies. ECCE Room Leaders are required to have a minimum FETAC Level 6 in Early Years or Childhood Studies. Room Leaders with a Level 7 qualification or higher can achieve a higher capitation (additional funding) for their Centre. At the KCCC, two Room Leaders have achieved higher capitation for the Centre - Claire Shaughnessy, ECCE Room Leader in Educare (Bachelor of Early Childhood Studies) and Mary Collins, ECCE Room Leader in Playschool (Bachelor of Applied Social Studies Social Care - Honours).
All staff must also undertake compulsory training in manual handling, pediatric first aid, fire training and child protection training. Staff must also be Guarda vetted and achieve two validated references before their employment can be confirmed.
To learn more about the KCCC team please click here.