Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Questions (993, 998, 999, 1008)

Finian McGrath

Question:

993. Deputy Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs his views on correspondence (details supplied) regarding a child care service in Dublin 17. [22282/14]

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Clare Daly

Question:

998. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if Darndale Belcamp Integrated Childcare Service Limited will remain open, particularly as it is a critical service for families in the area and its closure would result in the loss of 55 jobs and a number of community employment, TÚS and training positions. [22508/14]

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Lucinda Creighton

Question:

999. Deputy Lucinda Creighton asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the causes of Darndale Belcamp Integrated Childcare Service's funding crisis, which could lead to its closure; if he will confirm the reasons cuts were imposed to the levels highlighted by the service; if he will confirm the salaries of the senior management at the service; the action that can be taken to try and keep the service open; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22516/14]

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Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

1008. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if the funding difficulties at a community crèche (details supplied) in Dublin 17 have now been resolved; if the organisation has been assisted to address the large deficit in funding for 2014 in order that the crèche may continue to operate and provide a vital service to 260 children on a daily basis. [22909/14]

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Written answers (Question to Children)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 993, 998, 999 and 1008 together.

I am happy to provide an update for the House on the position in relation to Darndale Belcamp Integrated Childcare Service Ltd. The Centre has been experiencing widely reported cash flow difficulties over recent weeks. The Centre incurred expenditure of €2.022m in 2013 and received funding amounting to €1.96m, resulting in a deficit of €62,000. Projections by the Centre show that income of approximately €1.8m is anticipated during 2014. With such a level of financial support available it should be possible to work constructively to continue services and avoid the closure scenario that has been outlined.

Following my reply to previous questions in the House, I requested that officials from my Department meet with senior representatives from the Child and Family Agency, Pobal (which administers a number of childcare schemes on behalf of my Department) and Dublin City Child Care Committee to discuss the position. Following on from this, a meeting was arranged with the Centre which took place on 20th May. The meeting was attended by senior representatives from the Child and Family Agency, Pobal, Dublin City Childcare Committee and representatives from the board and management of Darndale Belcamp Childcare Services Ltd. The objective of this meeting was to ensure that all possible solutions to the present difficulties were explored. Arising from this meeting, a detailed examination of the Centre's costs, the funding available and the range and level of services provided is being undertaken. Representatives from Pobal and Dublin City Child Care Committee are meeting this week with representatives from the board and management of Darndale Belcamp Childcare Services to further this process.

In parallel, a wider examination will be undertaken of the level and range of early years services supported by the State in the Darndale/Belcamp/Moatview area generally. The Child and Family Agency, Pobal, Dublin City and Fingal Child Care Committees will work jointly in this regard as a priority. I indicated in my previous response to the House that I would expect that the Agency would be open to providing some further cash prepayments due to the Centre, if this is of assistance. I am pleased to confirm that the Agency has agreed to make additional prepayments to the end of August. This will be of assistance to the Centre and should allow the necessary time and space to examine the issues involved in greater detail. I want to acknowledge the support of the Agency and the commitment by the various parties to the process which I have outlined.

With regard to the level of salary paid to senior management at the Centre, I am advised by the Child and Family Agency that the Centre employs one manager and one deputy manager whose salaries are €62,816 and €56,331 per annum respectively.