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Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone)

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Snippet Contents:

Information and advice was provided to childcare providers both on Sunday 15th and Monday 16th October. On Sunday the 15th of October at 19.41, an announcement regarding the closure of childcare facilities was released on the PIP Portal. The PIP Portal is an IT system that enables communication with all 4500 services funded by DCYA. Operated by Pobal, DCYAs funding and administration intermediary, PIP is used for all important communications with childcare service providers. This announcement was based on the advice of the National Emergency Coordination Committee. It advised that childcare providers should make safety their priority and that the Department would continue to fund Government schemes despite closure on Monday 16th.
A press release was also issued and shared with key stakeholders who could further share on social media and other platforms This information was also included in the statement released from the National Emergency Coordination Group on Severe Weather on Sunday the 15th of October. The relevant section from this statement is as follows (bold added);
"Because of the duty of care owed to children and to avoid the risk arising from travelling, the Department of Education and Skills is instructing all schools to act on the Department‘s advice and remain closed. Crèches and Montessori facilities should also remain closed tomorrow."
This statement was widely discussed and publicised across all news media platforms and social media networks. On Monday 16 Oct, DCYA released a further statement on the PIP Portal and through the media advising all service again that the safety of children, staff and parents should be the primary consideration and, for services which could not reopen, funding would not be affected for Government schemes on Tuesday 17th of October.
Further communications took place with various organisations including City and County Childcare Committees and these were shared on social media.