The Federation of Early Childhood Providers would like to put on the public record a statement of our position on several topical funding and policy issues:
The FECP are engaging with Government to secure an immediate €30m investment into ECCE Standard Capitation, raising it to €76 per child per week, from September 2022. This is a measure to stabilise the sector in the context of cost pressures arising from ERO2 and includes all services which operate the ECCE scheme (approx. 90% of all services to benefit). In the absence of additional ECCE Capitation, an increase to the overall Core Funding amount, such that the additional €30m is allocated within the ECCE Session age cohort, creating an equivalent increase per hour per place to be awarded in that category. The Federation is the only provider representative body advocating for such a stabilisation measure.
Employment Regulation Orders
The Federation supports both ERO1 and ERO2 processes.
In line with our Budget 2023 submission, the FECP supports:
- Further Capitation increases over the coming years, targeting our long-held position of €100 Standard Capitation from the current €69. All services providing ECCE to benefit.
- Core Funding increases for all categories and age cohorts starting in 2024. All services operating under Core Funding to benefit.
- Expansion of the AIM program to incrementally achieve full time AIM support for FDC services. All FDC services supporting a child under AIM to benefit.
Government Fee Freezing and Government Fee Setting
In the absence of an agreed benchmarking process, the Federation opposes state interference in the ability of a private service to meet regulatory overheads and cost inflation by the freezing of fees. It also opposes the recent setting of a nationwide fee, regardless of cost base, for the 30-minute extension to an ECCE session. Furthermore, the effective fee setting for new services or for additional/newly created capacity within an existing service is highly objectionable. It is our position that blanket fee structures and restrictions do not reflect the diversity or complexity of operating environments within the sector.
AIM Support Payment
The Federation is pleased to have successfully campaigned for an increase to the Access and Inclusion Model payment, which was raised from €210 per week to €240 per week following extensive engagement with Government.