Alot of parents and childcare providers have been in touch in relation to childcare plans.
The Department of children released details of measures to support both providers and parents last night.
⭕️Parents are not required to pay childcare fees during this Covid crisis, but will maintain their childcare places.
The measures are as follows:
1. Revenue will reimburse childcare employers by 70% of their pre-Covid-19 staff costs.
2. In addition, the Department of Children and Youth Affairs will reimburse childcare employers by 30% of their pre-Covid-19 staff costs.
3. The Department of Children and Youth Affairs will pay a retention top-up so that all staff earn a minimum of €350 per week net.
4. The Department of Children and Youth Affairs will fund Childcare Providers with 15% of staff costs during the closure period to assist with their ongoing costs.
These measures will apply for up to 12 weeks.
Childcare Providers will be required to sign a new Covid-19 Emergency Agreement. This will require providers to agree to a number of conditions that will include:
• Not charging parents for childcare fees from this month onwards.
• Assure parents that their childrens’ places are as secure as they can be post Covid-19.
• Agree to ensure staff are paid at pre-Covid-19 levels, plus, where they earned less than €350 per week, the balance up to €350 (which is the February 2020 wage or €350, whichever is the greater).
• Take active steps to reinstate their staff that have already been laid off on the same terms as above (with staff reinstated on pre-Covid terms and conditions).
• Staff would use this time for Continuous Professional Development (CPD) and other professional activities. Employers will use this time to catch up on administrative tasks and familiarise themselves further with the National Childcare Scheme (NCS) and any other resources, including new resources which will be developed in the coming weeks.
• Give consent to Revenue to provide evidence of staff costs to allow the Department of Children and Youth Affairs to process payments to providers.
State income is already in place for Childcare Providers until the end of this week.
The Department of Children and Youth Affairs will roll out these measures as quickly as possible.
I have also contacted the Department of Children & Youth Affairs seeking an urgent update regarding whether the ECCE payment will be paid to Childcare providers.
Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Housing, Darragh O’Brien and Spokesperson on Transport, Tourism and Sport, Marc MacSharry have called on the government to tackle decisive action to protect the viability of Aer Lingus and Dublin Airport.
The Covid-19 crisis has devastated the aviation industry and its associated jobs with flights dramatically scaled back and airports effectively empty.
Deputy MacSharry said: “Ensuring a smooth supply chain in terms of medical and other essential supplies, as well as food, has never been more important to Ireland. While passenger air travel must be avoided, Ireland will still need to use air transport for these essentials. I believe that the state should work with Aer Lingus to use their wide body aircrafts to offer cargo services, which will provide much-needed support to the airline while benefitting Ireland’s efforts against the virus.”
Deputy O’Brien added: “It’s vital to Ireland as a small open economy to preserve a functioning aviation public infrastructure supporting good quality jobs. We need to take action to protect Aer Lingus and Dublin Airport as well as other regional airports and ensure they are in a position to recover once this crisis has passed. This is crucial in maintaining vital supplies during the crisis and re-building our economy once it passes.”
“I and my party have been strong supporters of the Airport’s continued development and growth, and we won’t be found wanting at this difficult time for the airport.”
“I am calling on Minister Ross to engage with Aer Lingus, CityJet, and other airlines, as well as the DAA and regional airports to set out a clear plan to save jobs and protect our vital connections across the globe. We need to see actions such as ensuring enough financial support and aid is immediately available to Aer Lingus and Dublin Airport, as well as other regional airports in Ireland to prevent insolvency.
“We need to work at an EU level to ensure appropriate supports are in place to ensure the aviation industry is capable of a full recovery and to review specific financial support for all those employees in the aviation industry that goes above the Pandemic Payment.
“Now is the time for clear action to protect lives and the long term strengthen of our economy,” Deputy O’Brien concluded.
-New FF Bill will empower Minister to introduce a rate freeze for 12 months compared to current deferral until May-
Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Business, Enterprise, and Innovation Robert Troy TD has published a Bill to introduce a rates moratorium for struggling businesses.
The Bill allows the Government to designate businesses impacted by COVID-19 exempt from Local Authority rates for up to 12 months. Businesses currently pay up to €1.5bn in rates each year. Current Government plans have seen a deferral of rates, up until May, to be implemented by each individual Local Authority on a case by case basis.
Commenting on the Bill Deputy Troy stated, “First and foremost this is a public health crisis, but it also has unprecedented economic consequences. The economy is in deep freeze for the foreseeable future but businesses are still facing crippling bills. We need to give struggling businesses a chance by taking financial pressure off them and giving them the space to get going again once this crisis has passed.
“The current government policy for a three-month rates deferral are nowhere near enough for sectors that are in complete free fall and are being introduced ad hoc by each Local Authority. We need a longer period of up to 12 months and clear legislative guidance on eligibility to provide complete certainty.
“We need to show the same type of ambition and action undertaken to secure our health to supporting our businesses through an unbelievably difficult period. We can’t be afraid of bold actions to save jobs and protect livelihoods.
“This Bill would allow the government to designate affected businesses and give them a break for up to a year from paying rates. Other businesses that are doing well would continue to pay rates to help fund vital local services. Combined with an aggressive stimulus package this will help business such as hotels, restaurants and pubs to survive then bounce back. I am calling on all parties to support the Bill and proceed with it as quickly as possible,” concluded Deputy Troy.
Special Arrangements in place for Scheduled Appointments at Intreo Centres for SAFE Registration & Allocation of PPS Numbers
The Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina Doherty has announced today that, in line with the latest HSE and WHO advice around social distancing and in order to fight the spread of the COVID-19 virus and to get people into payment as quickly as possible, the Department has taken the decision to temporarily postpone all SAFE registration appointments with immediate effect to reduce footfall to offices in the best interests of customers and staff.
Over the last number of days the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection has experienced unprecedented levels of demand on our services.
In particular the online appointment services for SAFE registration in connection with the authentication of a person’s identity and the issuing of a Personal Public Services Number (PPSN) as well as a Public Services Card (PSC) have been in high demand. Fulfilling these appointments involves a visit to its offices and a face-to-face interview with an officer of the Department.
The online appointments service is being temporarily postponed on mywelfare.ie.
The Department is making arrangements to email each customer who have an appointment, to advise them their appointment has been postponed.
Minister Doherty stated:
“We are currently facing an unprecedented challenge with Coronavirus but my Department is determined to meet it with agility and flexibility to ensure we get assistance to all who need it. The measures we are taking today will re-enforce social distancing in line with HSE and WHO guidelines.”Temporary process for PPSN allocation
Customers who require a PPSN can apply directly to the Department via email.
The customer will be required to submit scanned images or photographs of the each of the following:
Alternatively, scanned copies or photographs can be posted to
PPSN Allocation, CIS Registration, DEASP, Shannon Lodge, Carrick on Shannon, Co Leitrim, N41 KD81.
Customers should ensure that all the documents they are sending are legible.
The Department will issue the PPSN by post to the customer’s address.
Authentication of mobile phone number
This service is available to people who have previously authenticated their identity in a SAFE interview and, as a result, have already been issued with a Public Services Card and want to set up a verified MyGovID account.
The telephone number for this service is 1890 927 999.
Public Service Cards
Where a person has lost their Public Services Card, they can still request a replacement card by calling 1890 837 000.
Customers who already hold a Public Services Card and become entitled to Free Travel will continue to receive their new card by post.