Tuesday, 10 February 2004

Questions (331)

John Perry


407 Mr. Perry asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the progress made on the capital grant and staffing application submitted by a group (details supplied) in County Sligo; when the necessary funding will be allocated; the amount that will be sanctioned; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3635/04]

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

An application for capital grant assistance from the Equal Opportunities Childcare Programme 2000 — 2006 was received from this community based group in August 2002.

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 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 inareas where there are service deficits. As the group's application for staffing grant assistance relates directly to the capital grant application, it will be considered following the completion of the appraisal process of the capital grant application.