Force Majeure: Early Learning and Care and School-Age Childcare services over 11-31 January 2021
Service Providers wishing to submit a force majeure application are asked to refer to questions 31 – 37 in the FAQ document issued by DCYA.
DCEDIY has directed that in addition to normal Force Majeure eligibility, Force Majeure will only be approved on the following two grounds in relation to the closure period:
- Service Providers which are directed to close by public health, due to Covid-19 or other reasons. Evidence of formal instruction to close must be included with the application.
- Service Providers who cannot open because they have evidence that there is no demand for their service from essential workers and vulnerable children.
Please note the following:
- Service Providers who are closing due to no demand for the service from essential workers and vulnerable children must:
- Contact all registered parents in their service advising them that the service is available for vulnerable children or children of essential workers. The responses from parents should be kept on file at your service.
- Contact your local CCC to inform them that you intend to close.
- Where there is no demand, write to all parents in the service advising them that the service is closed as there is no demand for the service from eligible children. A sample letter is available here. This letter should be submitted to Pobal along with a completed Force majeure application form. Pobal cannot process requests for force majeure due to no demand unless a completed application form along with the letter issued to parents has been submitted.
- Providers who have applied for Force Majeure before 14 January, i.e. in advance of the receipt of this guidance, do not have to re-submit their application, unless requested to do so by Pobal.
- Force Majeure applications for lack of demand must be submitted on a weekly basis.
- Service Providers who have more than one facility and propose closing one or more facilities, and moving the children in the closed facilities to their sister facilities:
- Should only do so if it is convenient for parents
- Should contact their CCC in the first instance and inform them if they intend to do so
- Should not re register children in the new facilities. The old registrations can remain.
- Must keep correct local attendance records for the open facility
- Must submit a force majeure application for the closed services, ticking the ‘Covid closure – Full Service’ box on the application form and giving a brief explanation in the ‘additional information’ section.
- Non-ECCE only services that close without an approved force majeure application will have their NCS, ECCE, CCSP and TEC funding withdrawn for the period 11 January to 31 January, including recoupment of any funding already made in advance.
- Services are not required to submit a Force Majeure application form for the week commencing 4th January.
Please submit the Force Majeure application form to Pobal by attaching it to a Service Request on the Hive and entering ‘Force Majeure’ in the summary heading and selecting category ‘programme request’ from the drop down menu.