As the Deputy may be aware, child care has been highlighted as a priority for investment in the national development plan with £250 million being allocated under my Department's equal opportunities child care programme, 2000 to 2006, to support the provision of child-care in the voluntary, community and private sectors over the next seven years.
In April last, I launched a number of child-care measures which will be supported under my Department's equal opportunities child care programme, 2000 to 2006, including: capital grants for community based groups and not-for-profit organisations for the establishment, renovation or upgrading of child care facilities; staffing grants to support staffing costs for community based child care facilities; capital grants for self-employed child care providers catering for not more than 20 children at any one time, to build, renovate or upgrade child care facilities.
With regard to Busy Bees Day Care and Family Centre, Gurteen, County Sligo, applications for capital and staffing grants under my Department's equal opportunities child care programme, 2000 to 2006, were received from the centre on 29 June 2000.
On 18 September 2000, I approved the award of £30,000 in respect of this group's capital grant application and £150,000, over a three year period, in respect of its staffing grant application. My Department's equal opportunities child care section has been in touch with the centre in relation to drawing down of the funding and the next stage in the process.