Donegal County Childcare Committee has welcomed the Pobal Annual Early Years Sector Survey 2013 and in particular key findings in relation to supports provided to childcare services’ by local CCCs.
The report notes that ‘… in line with previous years, responses represent a very positive statement from childcare services about the supports provided to them by their local CCC … CCC’s are providing valued supports across the whole sector …’
Donegal County Childcare Committee supports over 150 early childhood services across County Donegal and is the first point of contact for service providers seeking approval for childcare places under childcare programmes administered by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA).
In addition to this, DCCC staff provide a wide variety of services locally including; a range of supports, advice, information and training to new and existing childcare services, parents and students in their local area.
The questionnaire which provided the results is considered to be an honest appraisal of CCC’s from the perspective of childcare services as responses were submitted anonymously.
Childcare service providers were asked to rate supports provided by their local CCC in a variety of areas including preparing service returns to the DCYA, training, information meetings and printed information, sustainability and financial planning, fee payment policies and site visits. The annual report highlighted that 90% of childcare services surveyed had received at least one form of support from their local CCC during 2013.
Every category of support or interaction between service providers and the local CCC was rated positively by over 92.5% of early childhood services who responded. 95.6% of services who had received training from their local CCC gave the training a positive rating with 63.4% stating that they had made changes to their service as a result of the training provided.
Donegal County Childcare has played a fundamental role in supporting childcare services to prepare annual service returns to DCYA, and this was reflected in the survey results where 94.5% of respondents gave a positive rating to the support provided by the local CCC in this area with 93.8% stating that they would feel more confident completing an online return next time around. A similar high level of support was reported in relation to fees policies, with 95.8% of services providing a positive rating around support to develop a fee payment policy.
Avril McMonagle, Manager of Donegal County Childcare welcomed the survey as an important monitoring mechanism of trends and changes in the early childhood sector in Ireland.
“I am delighted that the important and high level work of Donegal Childcare at local level has been acknowledged. Overall, it is clear that the local focus and knowledge held by DCCC means that local structures are well positioned to support the development and sustainment of early education and childcare services across County Donegal’.