Written Answers. - Child Care Services.

Frances Fitzgerald

Question:

793 Ms Fitzgerald asked the Minister for Social, Community and Family Affairs the amount allocated by his Department to assist in the development of child care places in 1999 and 2000 to date. [20516/00]

Frances Fitzgerald

Question:

794 Ms Fitzgerald asked the Minister for Social, Community and Family Affairs the number of applications received to date for the development of after school child care services; the amount allocated in 2000; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20518/00]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 793 and 794 together.

The Department of Social, Community and Family Affairs has a £5 million annual allocation to support the provision of out-of-school hours child care services by community based groups in disadvantaged areas.

The £5 million annual funding for the out-of-school hours child care scheme will be made available to the projects funded by my Depart ment under the following programmes: community development programme; family and community services resource centre programme; core-funded community and family support group programme. Funding will also be available to other local initiatives subscribing to a self-help. community development ethos.
It is expected that the provision of this funding to less well off communities will address a number of issues, for example, the provision of low cost out-of-school child care for parents who are in the paid labour market, practical support for children who need additional support to maintain their interest in school, the promotion of parental and community involvement in engaging young people in school and community life and the provision of additional community based services for families.
Since the commencement of the out-of-school hours child care scheme in May 2000, there have been three separate rounds of funding with closing dates for receipt of applications as follows: 26 May 2000, 30 June 2000 and 22 September 2000.
A total of 196 applications have been received from community groups by the final closing date of 22 September and funding totalling approximately £.7 million has been approved for 25 community groups. Some of the applications received were not eligible for funding and some were appropriate to the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform which has overall responsibility for child care. The remaining applications are currently being examined in my Department and it is not possible at this stage to state the exact amount that will be approved for funding in 2000.