Written Answers. - Child Care Facilities.

Frances Fitzgerald

Question:

709 Ms Fitzgerald asked the Minister for the Environment and Local Government the Government policy regarding planning and development of child care facilities; and if new guidelines are necessary. [20484/00]

Government policy on child care is to increase the number of child care places available and to improve the quality of child care services for the community. In relation to the land use planning aspects of child care facilities, in May this year I published draft guidelines for planning authorities on child care facilities for a two month public consultation period.

The draft guidelines are intended to ensure a consistency of approach throughout the country to the treatment of planning applications for child care facilities. It is anticipated that they will also assist planning authorities in their efforts to make suitable provision for child care in their development plans. A wide range of interested bodies, including local and other statutory authorities and non-governmental organisations, availed of the opportunity to comment on the draft guidelines. These submissions are being considered in my Department and final guidelines will be issued as soon as possible, taking into account the views expressed during the public consultation process.