Training and Employment Childcare (TEC) Programme (CETS, ASCC, CEC)

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The objective of the TEC Programmes is to support parents on eligible training courses and eligible categories of parents returning to work, by providing subsidised childcare places.

The TEC Programmes are:

Childcare Education and Training Support programme (CETS)
The CETS Programme formerly catered for FAS and VEC training course participants and now provides childcare on behalf of the Local Education and Training Boards.

After-School Child Care programme (ASCC)
The ASCC is administered on behalf of the Department of Social Protection (DSP) and provides afterschool care for primary school children for certain categories of working parents and parents on DSP employment programmes (not including Community Employment).

Community Employment Childcare programme (CEC)
The CEC is administered on behalf of the Department of Social Protection (DSP) and provides childcare for children of parents who are participating on Community Employment schemes.

For further information on the programmes, please consult TEC Programme Guide below.

How the TEC Programmes operate

Allocation of places:

Allocation of TEC places begins when a parent receives a letter from a relevant agency which states that they are eligible for a TEC place.

To apply for a place in CETS, parents must obtain a letter of eligibility provided by their local Education and Training Board or Solas.

For ASCC the letter of eligibility must be provided by the DSP.

For CEC the letter of eligibility will be supplied by the CE sponsor organisation.

If a parent has contacted their CCC looking for a TEC childcare place, the CCC may contact a service to ask them to take a child under the relevant programme. Services are entitled to refuse a place if they are unable to take the child.

Alternatively, a parent may come directly to a service seeking a place.

In either case:
The service should make sure the parent has a relevant eligibility letter confirming that the parent is eligible for a childcare place/s.

The letter must include all of the following information:

For CETS places:
• the name of the parent
• the name of the eligible course
• the start date of the course
• the number of weeks of the course and/or the end date of the course
• confirmation that they are eligible for subsidised childcare under the CETS programme for this course

For ASCC places:
• the name of the parent
• the start date of entitlement to childcare support
• confirmation that the parent is eligible for the ASCC

For CEC places:
• the name of the parent
• the name of the CE sponsor organisation
• the address of the CE sponsor organisation
• the start and end date of the parents CE placement

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Parents

Parents with queries in relation to the TEC programmes should direct their queries to their local City or County Childcare Committee (CCC) in the first instance. See appendix 2 below for CCC contact details.

Parents who qualify for a TEC Programme will be provided with an initial letter from a relevant agency detailing their eligibility for childcare under the relevant programme.

When you have your letter of eligibility and have chosen your childcare service or contacted your local Childcare Committee, you will be given an Application and Declaration form for the relevant programme which you should complete and return to the service with a copy of proof of your PPS number and those of your children who need childcare. Examples of acceptable proofs are official documents as listed at the top of the application form. Examples of unacceptable proofs are letters from GPs, Health nurses etc.

If you wish to move your child to another TEC service at any time, you must give two weeks’ notice in writing to the first service in order to ensure that you do not have to pay full fees in the second service. (See Appendix 1 for the necessary form.)

For CETS places:

Payment will continue for the duration of your attendance on the course.

The childcare service will let you know their fee policy and these can vary from one service to another. The maximum fee you will have to pay is €25 on a full time place, €15 on a part time or afterschool with pick up place, or €5 on an afterschool only place. The fees are only payable on the weeks that your course is on or if you use the service on a week that your course is on holiday.

If you leave the course, payment for childcare ceases immediately.

For ASCC places:

Payment will continue for a maximum 52 weeks if needed.

These 52 weeks can be broken and started again if needed, but cannot exceed 52 weeks in total.

The maximum fee payable by parents is €15 per week for a 5 day place. Please see Section 7 for further information.

A full day rate will apply, if required, for 10 weeks of the 52 week entitlement.
If a parent chooses to take a childcare place in a service which is open for less than 52 weeks, parental choice will be facilitated, on the understanding that there is no obligation on the Department of Social Protection (DSP) or DCYA to facilitate childcare elsewhere in respect of weeks the service is not open.

CEC Places:

A CEC Place will be approved for 50 weeks in a 12 month period for a CE participant. A parent can re-apply for a CEC place after this 50 week period comes to an end, and a place will be approved subject to demand and availability.

If a parent chooses to take a childcare place in a service which is open for less than 50 weeks, parental choice will be facilitated, on the understanding that there is no obligation on the Department of Social Protection (DSP) or DCYA to facilitate childcare elsewhere in respect of weeks the service is not open.

The maximum fee payable by parents is €15 per week.

Documents to sign:

Parents will have two forms to complete:

1. An Application and Declaration form, which, when completed, should be given to the service, which also signs the form. This is then sent by the service to their local CCC, along with a copy of the letter of eligibility, and proof of their and their child’s PPSN. The service should not keep a copy of this form or the proof of PPSN which you have supplied.

2. A weekly sign-in sheet: This should be kept by the service for Pobal compliance inspections.

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