Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Questions (58)

Kate O'Connell

Question:

58. Deputy Kate O'Connell asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if the issue of Tusla registered child care services not taking part in the affordable childcare scheme has been addressed; if so, the measures that have been taken; if she has a record of the participating childcare providers; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [49853/17]

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Written answers (Question to Children)

I am delighted to state that as of November 22th, 3,274 services have signed up for the more affordable childcare measures I introduced in September 2017. This represents approximately 88% of Early Years services which provide non ECCE services. This number continues to rise and applications from providers wishing to provide these subsidies will continue to be accepted for the duration of the programme year.

A record of all participating providers is maintained by Pobal, which operates the Early Years schemes on behalf of DCYA. The 30 City and County Childcare Committees are also aware of services that have contracted and have offered information and support to outstanding services to enable them to sign up over the remainder of the programme year if they so choose.

I am delighted to state that the families of over 64,000 children are benefitting from these increased childcare supports, and the figure continues to rise on a daily basis. 30,000 children are receiving the Universal Payment, which amounts to as much as €1,040 per child under 3, per annum. 34,000 children, from families who need supports the most, are also receiving up to €145 per child, per week. The 64,000 children already represents 91% of the numbers we had estimated and, as I said before, continues to rise on a daily basis.

To respond to providers that had expressed concerns around the administration of these new measures, I recently announced payments totalling €3.5 million for all childcare providers who register for the enhanced childcare measures. These payments will be made in the coming weeks. This, in addition to €14.5m that has already been paid to childcare services in 2017, is in recognition of the administration associated with the schemes. This brings the total funding provided to support the administration of the schemes to €18 million in 2017.