Annual Reports

Governance of Wicklow County Childcare Committee (WCCC)

Wicklow CCC was formed in 2001 and is funded by the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth (DCEDIY) (previously DCYA) to improve the quality and quantity of childcare in Co. Wicklow. It reports to Pobal (funding administrators on behalf of DCEDIY) on an annual and mid-year basis.

Wicklow CCC operate National Early Years Programmes and Policy at a local level on behalf of the Dept. of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration & Youth (DCEDIY), Tusla and Dept of Education & Skills (DES) through i) the provision of administrative support and advice to ensure compliance with administration criteria of National Programmes, ii) supporting Early Years and School Age Childcare Providers/Services in compliance with Childcare Regulations 2016 (inspected by Tusla) and delivery of policy training such as Child Protection & Welfare and Diversity, Equality & Inclusion (iii) supporting and advising services with delivery of childcare funding schemes ECCE, CCSP and NCS.

Wicklow CCC in response to National directives and provider identified needs provide continuous professional development training in the areas of Child Protection, National Early Years Practice Frameworks such as Síolta (Quality) and Aistear (Curriculum), Diversity, Equality & Inclusion. Wicklow CCC tailor cluster training/support sessions based on identified need through the development team’s engagement with services and through the stakeholder survey. Wicklow CCC deliver this training through our development team and external trainers who are experienced in relevant fields.

Wicklow CCC Grant Administration – Childminders and Parent & Toddler Grants are administered and approved in line with criteria guidelines for those that make applications within a set timeframe. Wicklow CCC receive an allocated amount of funding towards these grants, applications are reviewed and appraised through our Grant Administration Sub-committee.

Learner funds, Wicklow CCC administer this funding to support Early Years Practitioners and childminders to progress the ECCE qualifications through participation on accredited training courses such as QQI Level 5, 6 through to third level bursaries for Level’s 7, 8 and 9.

Tusla Inspection preparation and inspection report outcome support, Wicklow CCC development team offer support to Early Years providers who need help in meeting Childcare Regulations (2016) as required.

Dept of Education & Skills (DES) Inspections, support offered to those who want to prepare or following on from an inspection advisory visit.

Access & Inclusion Model (AIM) was introduced by the DCEDIY in early 2016, to support children with disabilities accessing the ECCE programme. Wicklow CCC support services and parents through i) information sessions, ii) extensive promotion of DEI/LINC training, iii) making relevant applications for Levels 4-7 support and iv) collating national data as required.

In 2022, as directed by DCEDIY/Pobal, Wicklow CCC developed and submitted an annual Local Implementation Plan- Statement of Work (LIP), along with a financial budget to Pobal in October each year. This LIP outlines support and core work actions that Wicklow CCC plan to offer for the year ahead to our stakeholders. The LIP is appraised by Pobal and sanctioned approval by the DCEDIY for implementation. Wicklow CCC received an annual budget to ensure the delivery of this plan and effective operations of the organisation. The LIP includes a broad number of objectives and specific actions identified by the DCEDIY and these include supporting the delivery of national childcare programmes, co-ordinating and administering grants, providing support to all childcare service providers in accordance with statutory regulation, national policy and quality standards and providing information and supports to parents. Additional actions in the LIP are informed by both local need and wider national policy on early years, the government’s First 5 – A Whole of Government Strategy for Babies, Young Children and their families 201-2028 and Young Ireland National Policy Framework for Children and Young People 2023-2028.  

Wicklow CCC is a not-for-profit registered charity that is also a company limited by guarantee. Wicklow CCC reports to the DCEDIY (via POBAL), to the Companies Registration Office (Co. No. 364781), the Revenue Commissioners and more recently, the Charities Regulatory Authority (CHY No: 14806 & CRA No: 20049270).

Wicklow CCC is governed by a Board of Directors. This Board is representational in structure – i.e. made up of various stakeholders with an interest in the aims of Wicklow CCC. For good governance any person nominated to join the Board is expected to become a Director of the Board. 

The organisation structure of Wicklow CCC is as follows:

Wicklow CCC is committed to implementing the Charity Regulators Governance Code which is a Framework of Principles to assist organisations, the five main principles being:

  • Leading the Organisation
  • Exercising Control over the organisation
  • Being transparent and accountable
  • Working effectively
  • Behaving with integrity

The Board of Wicklow CCC oversee the governance of the organisation. The Board of Wicklow CCC comprises of representatives from the community, voluntary and statutory sectors. Members include representatives from County Wicklow Partnership, IFA (Irish Farmers Association), Co Wicklow Public Participation Network, Trade Union (Forsa), Bray Area Partnership, Kildare/Wicklow ETB and Wicklow County Council.

The Board is guided by the Governance Code and have regular monthly meetings and an AGM held in April/May each year. At present there are 7 board members. In the interest of good governance Wicklow CCC have replaced nearly all outstanding Board members (those serving over 6 years) and have introduced a process where Board members appointed from September 2017, can serve a maximum of six years. All new Board members receive an induction pack and a Committee handbook.

Wicklow CCC are constantly updating and developing their policies and procedures and once completed they are presented to the Board for review and approval. Wicklow CCC have also engaged extensively with GDPR compliance and this continued to be a priority in 2023.

Wicklow CCC currently has 7 paid staff; a Manager, Programme & Finance Officer, Training and Information Officer and three Childcare Development Officers and a Childminding Development Officer. The Manager manages the day to day operations of the organisation with input from the Board. The Manager works very closely with the Chair of the Board.

Virtually all monies into Wicklow CCC come from DCEDIY via POBAL. In 2023, our budget for core work was €386,360 with an extra budget of €21,195 for Access and Inclusion Measure (AIM) supports and Childminding Development Officer €36,500.

In 2023, the core budget was spent on staffing and programme costs (which includes actions such as delivery of training, organising information sessions and overheads such as rent, rates, insurance and utilities). Funding was also allocated for the delivery of actions under the Access and Inclusion Measure (AIM), Childminding, Ukrainian Response, NSAI and EDI.

Wicklow CCC’s work, procedures and financial compliance is audited both externally by Doyle Fielding Accountants and on behalf of the DCEDIY by POBAL.

Wicklow CCC prides itself on collaborating with a wide range of stakeholders to maximise the impact of its work, avoid duplication of government resources and achieve the best possible outcomes for children and young people. It works both nationally and locally to implement the annual LIP.

Wicklow CCC comes under the umbrella of Childcare Committees Ireland (CCI), CCI is a National network for all CCC’s to come together once every 6/8 weeks to i) coordinate workload and share information, ideas and strategies, ii) participate in the development of National strategies, policies and programmes in ECCE within a strategic framework, iii) respond to national directives in a consistent manner, iv) to communicate and strengthen the position of CCC’s at a national level within the Early Years Sector (EYS). CCC’s nominate representatives onto external interagency committees and establish relevant working groups to ensure we have a voice at a National level in ECCE developments. In 2023 WCCC worked closely with neighbouring CCC’s and provided support in crisis situations as required.

Childminding – Wicklow CCC has a Childminding Development Officer.

Wicklow CCC worked closely with DCEDIY and Pobal and the Manager is a member of the national PPOP (Programmes, Policy, Operations and Planning) sub committee.

Wicklow CCC are a key partner at interagency level working collaboratively with all relevant agencies within the County who have a remit to supporting the development of Children, Youth and Family Support Services. Wicklow CCC have representation at committee and working group level of the Wicklow Children & Young People Services Committee (CYPSC). Wicklow CCC collaborate with SETU in promoting access to Early Childhood Education and Care Courses at the outreach campus in Clermont and also in the main campus in Carlow. Wicklow CCC work closely with Wicklow County Council, Skillnet and KWETB on various developments within the sector.

Examples of the work includes:

  1. County Wicklow CYPSC – on various subgroups, assist with actions which impact on the lives of children and families,
  2. Wicklow Co Co – Refugee resettlement programme, collaborating with Library service with project supporting literacy and numeracy with babies and toddlers, planning section re planning requirements for re-registration and also need for facilities in county
  3. Partnership companies – promoting childcare schemes,
  4. KWETB – training of Level 5 and 6, providing information for trainers and students with regard to early years and school age, (national schemes, AIM, Quality Development Service)
  5. SETU – promotion of Levels 7,8 and 9,
  6. ABC Project in Bray –supporting preschools with regard to quality
  7. Co Wicklow PPN – promotion of childcare schemes and information on AIM
  8. Liaising with Tusla Early Years Inspectorate as necessary