Tuesday, 9 April 2019

Questions (560)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

560. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the funding allocated for the early learning and care and social age childcare capital programme in each of the years 2017 to 2019, in tabular form; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [16235/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

I am committed to ensuring childcare is affordable, accessible and of a high quality. Significant progress has been made in this regard, with an increase in investment in this area of 117% over the past four budgets (increasing from €265 m in 2015 to nearly €574 m in budget 2019).

Within these four budgets, a significant amount of Exchequer funding was made available for childcare providers, whether privately run or operated by community or not for profit groups, to apply for Early Learning and Care and School Aged Capital grants.

The creation of new early learning and care and school age places continues to be of utmost priority for my Department. Capital funding is aimed at increasing the capacity of services, creating new services and maintaining and improving existing services.

In previous years my Department has invested greatly in both privately run or community/not for profit pre-school providers in creating and maintaining Early Childhood Care and Education places within their services.

This year my Department has focused the funding of the 2019 Early Learning and Care and School Age Capital programme with the expansion of early learning and care places for 0-3 year olds and school age childcare places where this is most needed.

I expect that this year's capital allocation will build on progress achieved in previous years, and as always there has been great interest in the funding.

The following table sets out the funding allocated in 2017 and 2018. The appraisals for the 2019 round of capital grants have only begun so no applications have yet been approved for funding. The 2019 Early Learning and Care and School Age Childcare Capital Programme will provide €6.106 million in grants for service providers.

Year

Early Years Capital

School Age Capital

Total

2017

€7,538,670.15

€3,448,742.82

€10,987,412.97

2018

€5,412,908.51

€854,511.40

€6,267,419.91

2019

€5,106,000

€1,000,000

 €6,106,000

The Deputy should also note that a further capital allocation of €3m has been made in 2019 in respect of the new National Childcare Scheme.