Minister O’Gorman announces ELC/SAC Core Funding values and Ready Reckoner
The DCEDIY have announced in a Press Release from Minister O’Gorman that further information on the Core Funding stream which will be available from later this year.
As you will know, Core Funding is a new funding stream for Early Learning and Care (ELC) and
School Age Childcare (SAC) services introduced in Budget 2022 and informed by the work of the
Expert Group to develop a new funding model for ELC and SAC, outlined in Partnership for the
Public Good: A New Funding Model for Early Learning and Care and School-Age Childcare.
Core Funding is a payment to providers designed to meet the combined objectives of:
Improved quality through better pay and conditions for the workforce;
Supporting the establishment of an Employment Regulation Order through the Joint
Supporting the employment of graduate staff;
Improved affordability for parents by ensuring that fees do not increase; and
Improved sustainability and stability for services.
Core Funding will address some of the existing disparities in funding levels across ECCE and nonECCE provision, providing funding proportionate to the age ratio of children being cared for and
supporting the employment of graduate Lead Educators across Early Learning and Care
provision. While Core Funding will operate in addition to and alongside ECCE, AIM, CCSP and
NCS, it replaces ECCE Higher Capitation and incorporates funding previously allocated to the
discretionary Programme Support Payments (PSP) from September 2022.
Core Funding begins the transformative change envisaged for the sector under First 5 and
Partnership for the Public Good to the benefit of the children, parents, providers, the workforce,
the State, and society overall. Core Funding aims to facilitate a new partnership between
providers and the State that reflects the importance of ELC and SAC for the public good. This
new approach will offer better financial sustainability to providers in the context of this shift to
a partnership relationship between providers and the State.
Today we are sharing further details on Core Funding, including full details of the funding
formula and announcing the launch of the Ready Reckoner, a key milestone on this journey.
Important note: In order for Core Funding to proceed as outlined in this notice, an
Employment Regulation Order must be agreed by the Joint Labour Committee and in effect
in advance of the first payments1
Timeline for Core Funding this year
The key dates in preparation for Core Funding becoming operational for the 2022/2023
programme year are:
Today: The online tool (Ready Reckoner) becomes available to provide approximate
estimates of potential Core Funding values for individual services
Stage 1 of the application process opens in April:
▫ Begins with the Sector Profile and Income & Costs Survey, which is a prerequisite for application for Core Funding
Stage 2 of the application process opens in June:
▫ Providers define their service’s profile and their capacity in detail in an online
▫ Core Funding value is communicated to providers (subject to final verifications
▫ The provider contract will be published so applicants can review what they will
later be asked to sign
Stage 3 of the application process opens in August:
▫ Individual contracts will be made available to applicants for signature
▫ End August: payments to providers commence. Payments will be made monthly
in advance throughout the programme year.
Please read the following documents for a full explanation of the Core Funding and Ready Reckoner