So how did we do in Donegal?
Some Donegal statistics!
• There are 157 early childhood services operating in Donegal, 50% of these are privately managed and 50% are community managed. There has been an 8% increase in the number of services since the previous year.
• 6,575 children are enrolled in various childcare schemes, 477 are on waiting lists and there are 882 vacant places.
• The average weekly fee for Full Day Care in Donegal is €167.22; for part time care is €100.98 and for sessional care is €59.92.
• There were 3,900 ECCE registrations in Donegal – 41% of these in community services and 59% in private early childhood services.
• The Community Childcare Subvention programme is primarily aimed at supporting parents on a low income to avail of reduced childcare costs. 7% of registrations for targeted supports (2,734 children) took place in Donegal – recording the third largest share of sub-vented registrations in the country.
• Under the new Access and Inclusion Model (AIM) to support children with special educational needs, 49% of all services in the county received some form of AIM support with 45% of services receiving Level 7 Support which provides funding for staff for an additional 10-15 hours per week.
• 721 staff are employed in the early childhood sector in Donegal. 418 are employed in privately managed services and 303 are employed in community services. 64 people are under employment schemes.
• The average hourly wage for early childhood staff in Donegal is €11.29.
• Donegal recorded the highest level of staff turnover nationally at 33.7%.
• 61% of services in Donegal have undertaken Children First Child Protection Training in the past 3 years. However, 84% of services overall reported that they require further training and support.
• The average rates bill for services in Donegal is €2,382 per year representing 4th lowest rates bill nationally. The gap between the highest and lowest average rates nationally is now 78%.
• As was the case in 2016/17 survey, Donegal has the highest vacancy rate at 13% with a reported 882 vacant places. There are proportionally more vacant places in rural areas of the county.