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We continue to have calls and emails from providers and staff looking for the legal implication of the protest and we refer again to our HR Tip of 14th January 2020 fo the HR clarification.

In addition, the DCYA has published FAQ relating to the childcare protest. Below is a brief overview of two of the FAQ issued, specifically regarding the childcare protest.

If a Service closes will the receive normal ECCE and other scheme payments?

Following legal advice, the DCYA has confirmed that if a service loses for the protest day, or if they do not provide a service to a children and parents on that day then the DCYA will not be in a position to provide funding for that day. The DCYA confirmed this in line with providers existing contracts and that protests are not covered by ‘force majeure’.

DCYA confirms that an alternative day will not be funded in the event that services propose to make up the time lost due to the protest.

What do services need to do if they are going to close or reduce their service on 5th February?

If a service partially of fully closes as a result of the protest providers must submit, in advance of any closure, their revised calendars to Pobal.

Services are required to notify Pobal that they have partially or fully closed on 5th February. This is so payments are adjusted accordingly. DCYA confirm that this is in lien with Funding Agreements.

Pobal will publish a form in early February on PIP. Providers should use this form to notify Pobal of the closure. The form will clarify the required timeframe for the notification.

We continue to support the hope that a balance can be struck between the needs of parents and children and employees and employers who may wish to participate and that empathy and understanding prevail given the circumstances.

The link to the full DCYA FAQ is below https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/769eb5-department-of-children-and-youth-affairs-faqs-on-the-proposed-early-/