Tuesday, 27 January 2004

Questions (772)

Gay Mitchell

Question:

894 Mr. G. Mitchell asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform if his Department will assist the application for a child care facility at Pearse Park, Crumlin (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1701/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform)

I understand that this group recently withdrew their original application under the capital measure of the equal opportunities child care programme 2000 — 2006 as they are drawing up plans for a development on a new site.

The day-to-day administration of the programme is carried out by Area Development Management Limited on my behalf and I understand that the group has been in contact with ADM in relation to its planned application for funding.

The group may also contact Dublin city child care committee for advice and information on the development of their project. As the Deputy may be aware, city and county child care committees were established to develop and deliver a child care strategy to meet the child care needs of their respective areas.

All applications for grant assistance undergo a thorough assessment and appraisal process by Area Development Management Limited. On completion of the assessment process, applications are considered by the programme appraisal committee, chaired by my Department, for a recommendation before I make a final decision.

There has been considerable demand from community based groups for capital grant assistance under the programme and every county has benefited from significant grant commitments to provide new and enhanced community based child care facilities.

My Department is currently carrying out an extensive review of the programme's capital commitments to date to ensure that those grant commitments previously entered into will in fact be realised by the groups on the ground. At the same time, it is also reviewing the different budget lines under the capital programme to ensure that the most effective use is made of all remaining capital funding in accordance with the objectives of the programme.

All applications for capital grant assistance are appraised in accordance with the programme criteria in order to ensure that those projects which best meet the aims and objectives of the programme receive the capital grant assistance which will enable them to provide quality child care in areas where there are service deficits.