Whats next once you have chosen an Early Learning and Care service including School-Age childcare?

When you have visited some services, you may feel you are in a better position to choose the right one for your child and family.

Once you have chosen a service, there are some Simple Steps to take next

  • Contact your provider to begin the enrollment process. If you wish to visit the service again, make an appointment.  
  • When paying a deposit, ask for a receipt and be clear of the criteria around refundable/non-refundable deposits. Please note: Deposits for ECCE only sessions cannot be more than the amount paid to the service by the Government for 4 weeks of ECCE sessions for your child. 
  • If your child’s name is placed on a waiting list, ask for written confirmation of this and enquire of the services procedure in managing the waiting list. 
  • Arrange a start date and settling in period in line with the procedures of the service.
  • Prepare your child for their new experience by talking about the service, what they might do there, about their new teacher and friends they will make. 
  • Share as much relevant information as possible with the staff caring for your child such as illnesses, allergies or medical needs, likes and dislikes, eating and sleeping patterns, etc. Ensure you have enough time to do this. The more information you provide about your child, the easier it is for staff to meet your child’s needs and the easier is for the child to transition from home to the service.
  • Ensure the service is provided with everything they require to care for your child such as nappies, food, bottles, etc.
  • Request a copy of policies and procedures. 
  • If you are availing of a funding programme, ask for clarification on the associated notice period (e.g. if you choose to move to another service, what is the notice period and if the funding stays with the child or with the service in these instances).
  • If you have additional questions, consult with your early learning and care provider.
First 5 Information for Parents

First 5 is a whole-of-Government strategy to improve the lives of babies, young children and their families. It is a ten-year plan to help make sure all children have positive early experiences and get a great start in life.

The First 5 Strategy uses evidence to identify goals, objectives and the specific actions required from across Government to support children (and their families) in the early years of life. First 5 commits to major initiatives on family leave, children’s health services, parenting supports, child-friendly communities and Early Learning and Care services among a broad range of actions. The Strategy will significantly enhance early childhood and make a huge contribution to the lives of young children, society and the economy over the short, medium and long term.

Link to First5 resources: gov.ie – About First5 (www.gov.ie)

If you have any queries related to the Early Learning and Care sector, contact Wicklow County Childcare Committee on 0404 64455 or email info@wccc.ie