Written Answers. - Capital Grant Applications.

Michael Creed

Question:

562 Mr. Creed asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform if he has received an application for a capital grant from a person (details supplied) in County Cork; the way in which these applications are being processed; the amount of money available to finance this scheme; the number of applications received; and the evaluation criteria to be used when determining whether an application will be successful. [8245/01]

With regard to the application in question, I have been informed by my Department's equal opportunities child care section that an application for a capital grant for self-employed child care providers catering for not more than 20 children at any one time was received on 2 January 2001. This application was forwarded to Area Development Management Limited on 4 January 2001 and a technical assessment of the application was carried out by ADM Limited prior to referral to the programme appraisal committee.

I am pleased to inform the Deputy that this assessment and appraisal process has been completed and following the recommendation of the programme appraisal committee, I recently approved a capital grant of IR£37,115 to the applicant in question. My Department's equal opportunities child care section has been in con tact with the applicant in relation to the next stage in the process.
Funding of my Department's equal opportunities child care programme 2000-2006 is targeted at services which offer day care facilities and services for pre-school children and school going children out of school hours. The overall budget for the child care measure under the National Development Plan 2000-2006 is £250 million. Funding for the capital grant scheme to which the Deputy refers comes from the national development plan and is co-financed by the European Union and the Irish Government. In October I announced details of further funding from the Government for child care which included a £9 million of Exchequer funds for private sector child care providers catering for more than 20 children.
Up to 14 March 2001, my Department's equal opportunities child care section had received 675 applications for funding under the capital and staffing grant schemes. Of these, 193 were for capital grants for self-employed/private sector providers of child care services. To date I have approved 113 applications for self-employed-private providers of child care to a total value of almost £2.6 million
The general conditions of the grant for self-employed child care providers are that: work must be of a capital nature and directly related to child care provision; the maximum grant available is £40,000; and the applicant must contribute a minimum of 35% of the cost of work.
As outlined in the general guidelines for the funding measures, applications are assessed according to the following criteria: the socio-economic and demographic profile of the area; the quality of the proposal; the capacity of the applicant to implement the project; the level of integration and co-ordination; the costing and value for money of the proposal.
As a general guide, funding is intended for services such as day care, crèches, playgroups, Montessori pre-schools or child minding. A number of factors are considered in assessing applications including the location of the service, the extent to which it will enhance child care provision in disadvantaged areas, the extent to which the project will increase the number of places and the extent to which the service will facilitate parents in accessing training, education and employment opportunities.