We are writing to you today in relation to early learning and childcare supports for Ukrainian refugees.
We are aware that many services are keen to help Ukrainian families, and a number have already contacted the Department or their CCC to ask how they can help and if they can offer places in their services to these families. The provision of early learning and childcare will help children to settle into their new communities and help them to recover from the trauma of leaving their homes, and we are very grateful that providers are offering their support.
Ukrainian families are being given Temporary Protection Status and PPS numbers to enable them to access State supports, including the ECCE programme and sponsorship arrangements under the NCS.
We understand that it may take some weeks for all Ukrainian families to be issued with a PPSN. Families can access the ECCE programme immediately, before they receive PPS numbers. Once the PPS number is received and the child registered on the Hive, the Department will backdate the ECCE payment to the child’s start date. The standard ECCE age eligibility rules will apply.
With regard to the NCS, we are consulting with colleagues in the International Protection Division in the Department about fast tracking the sponsorship process, and we will provide further information next week. NCS payments cannot be backdated if the child starts in a service before they are registered for NCS.
The Department is working with other Departments and public bodies to develop supports for Ukrainian families, in particular for those with young children. We are holding a special meeting of the Early Learning and Childcare Stakeholder Forum next week where we will discuss how the sector can work together to support these families.
Finally, if you, or any of your staff are Ukrainian, we would be very grateful if you could let us know, as we hope that they could help as we develop supports for Ukrainian families arriving to Ireland.
We will be in contact next week when we have further information on the supports we can all provide to these families.
Early Years Comms
An Roinn Leanaí, Comhionannais, Míchumais, Lánpháirtíochta agus Óige
Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth