Thursday, 13 June 2019

Questions (194)

Peter Burke


194. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if there is funding for providing a new concept of a full outdoor preschool. [24792/19]

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Written answers (Question to Children)

My Department and I are always open to new and innovative solutions and concepts in the provision of childcare services. Outdoor service provision and play is an area we are particularly interested in and indeed, past capital funding schemes have specifically targeted this area. While no decisions have yet been made about future capital schemes we will certainly be considering outdoor provision once the process begins.

Each year my Department reviews the capital programmes as a whole and determines the priorities for Early Learning and Care and School Age Capital grants.

Capital strands are made available to achieve the strategic priorities for the year as determined by the Department, having regard to the funding available, developed using analysis of the current state of the childcare sector, learnings from previous capital programmes and feedback and input from stakeholders, including childcare providers and Pobal.

I have allocated significant funding in recent years for this purpose and for improving the quality of infrastructure nationwide.

Planning for 2020's Capital offering is currently underway and the details of this will be communicated to providers in due course. The service may be able to apply for this funding next year when details are announced.