I presume the Deputy is referring to my Department's Equal Opportunities Child Care Programme, 2000 to 2006. Child Care was identified as a priority area for investment in the National Development Plan, 2000 to 2006 which provides £250 million to my Department's equal opportunities child care programme. The funding is being invested in the following child care measures: capital grants to community groups and not-for-profit organisations for building, renovating and upgrading child care facilities; staffing grants for the community based child care services; capital grants for self-employed child care providers catering for not more than 20 children at any one time; grants towards the development of local childcare networks; support for local training models to assist in the enhancement of quality childcare provision; supports to enhance the development of the national voluntary child care organisations and support for innovative projects identified over the course of the national development plan.
On 28 April 2000 I launched the capital and staffing grant measures. Since then my Department has received 290 applications for funding. I have approved 94 grants to the total value of £8.34 million. This includes £5,537,629 paid over three years for staffing grants for community based child care services.
Question No. 934 taken with Question No. 925.