Core Funding Application Process Opens 2:00 p.m., Thursday 28th July 2022.

Core Funding is a new strand of funding to Early Learning & Care (ELC) and School-Age Childcare (SAC) services which will form part of the new funding model as recommended by an Expert Group Report, Partnership for the Public Good, and approved by Government in December 2021.

The Core Funding Ready Reckoner was published in March 2021 to give prospective applicants an approximate indication of potential values for Core Funding. Since this time the Ready Reckoner (RR) has been used in excess of 32,120 times. The RR will continue to remain available.

The Core Funding application process consists of three stages:
• Stage 1: completion of Sector Profile
• Stage 2: completion of Service Profile and Core Funding Application Module
• Stage 3: completion of Core Funding Partner Service Funding Agreement

Stage 2 is available to complete from Thursday 28th July 2022. The application process is designed to ensure that applicants have time to complete each stage in order to be part of the first payment run.

Stage 1 of the Core Funding application process opened in April with the Annual Early Years Sector Profile (AEYSP), the completion of which is a pre-requisite for application to Core Funding. The initial data collection window for the AEYSP closed at the start of May, however for services which could not complete the survey over this period, this will not prevent them from entering into Core Funding. The AEYSP reopened on the 13th June 2022 and it will remain open so that services can complete the AEYSP and apply for Core Funding throughout the whole programme year. To date, 3,886 surveys have been completed by ELC and SAC providers – a response rate of almost 90%

The Core Funding Partner Service Funding Agreement was published on the 29th June 2021, which contained the Core Funding conditions, as well as details of the exact formula and values for the allocation.
Stage 2 of the application process will be available online from 2:00 p.m., Thursday 28th July 2022. Please consult the Core Funding Technical Guidelines and Applicant Guidelines to assist with this stage of the process.

In stage 2, applicants will be required to define their service’s profile and their capacity in detail on the Early Years Hive through the Service Profile and Core Funding Application Module. This is a two-part process with the service level details and staff details recorded in the Service Profile and the staffed capacity detail and age ranges captured at the room/session type level in the second section – The Core Funding Application Module.

The funding award displayed will be calculated on the information provided by the applicant and is provisional until such a time as it is appraised (where applicable) and approved, and the Core Funding Partner Service Funding Agreement is signed.

Applicants should take all the time and care needed to ensure that the data they provide for the Service Profile and Core Funding Application Module is accurate, as they will be unable to edit this application after it is submitted.

Stage 3 of the process will commence in August. The Core Funding Partner Service Funding Agreement will be made available for electronic signature on the Early Years Hive prior to payments being made.

Additional supports:
• If your service requires support in completing your application, Donegal County Childcare Committee (CCC). Individual support sessions can be organised and CCCs are available to guide services through the Core Funding application process.
• If you are experiencing a technical difficulty, you can raise a ticket with Pobal’s Early Years Provider Centre via . For queries relating to technical support, accessing and using the Early Years Hive and / or questions regarding Sector/Service Profile or Core Funding Application Module queries please raise a ‘Service Request’ on the Early Years Hive, email or call 01 5117222. The Early Years Provider Centre is open Monday to Friday, 9.00am – 5.00pm.
• Pobal will also be hosting training webinars for services on navigating and completing the Core funding application process from Thursday, 28th July. Please check your notifications on the Early Years Hive for more information on session times.
• Please also consult the Core Funding Technical Guidelines and Applicant Guidelines
• Please also consult the Departments FAQs

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