The nature of my Department's capital investment programme is that of multi-annual discreet projects. The construction of the National Children Detention Campus at Oberstown. Co Dublin has been the largest single project advanced by the Department in recent years.
My Department has a €32 million in capital funding in 2019. This funding is apportioned across the Department's Vote as set out in the following table:
A.3: Child and Family Agency (Tusla)
A.4: Oberstown Children Detention Campus
B.5: Childcare Programmes
B.6: Youth Organisations and Services
Child and Family Agency
Tusla's capital expenditure in 2019 will be split primarily between its Estates and ICT requirements. In excess of €12 million is to be spent on estates to include significant projects in Portlaoise and Limerick as well as various minor capital and equipping costs on various premises throughout the country. The ICT capital expenditure will involve €3 million on ICT infrastructure and €2 million on applications development and procurement.
Oberstown Children Detention Campus
Oberstown Children Detention Campus will commence projects on the demolition of the old campus building and on the resurfacing of an emergency fire track in 2019. A case management system that has been in development will also be completed this year.
The capital funding will support a number of programmes in 2019 to assist providers and beneficiaries in developing capacity, quality and sustainability in the early learning and care sector.
The Early Learning and Care and School Age Capital programmes will spend €6.106m and will support the following -
- Strand A (Early Learning and Care) (€4.2m) to create new places for 0-3 year olds. This strand will offer individual grants of up to €50,000 in value to early learning and care providers where demand is clearly evidenced.
- Strand B (Early Learning and Care) (€0.8m) to provide fire safety for community services. This strand will offer individual grants of up to €15,000 to aid community/not-for-profit childcare services in addressing fire safety issues that have been highlighted in inspection reports by Tusla, the HSE or Local Authorities.
- Strand C (School Age Childcare) (€1m) to create new school age places. This strand will offer individual grants of up to €20,000 to school age childcare providers for the creation of newplaces where demand for these is clearly evidenced.
In addition to the above, €3 million will be made available under the Affordable Childcare Scheme Capital programme for a one-off capital grant to providers to assist in meeting the governance requirements of the scheme.
€0.25m is to be provided for parent and toddler groups organised on a not for profit basis and which involve the participation of parents in the community. Grants will range from €100 to €1000. Existing Parent and Toddler Groups can apply for a maximum of €800. New start up groups may apply for maximum grant of up to €1000.
A further €0.25m is being allocated to the Childminding Development Grant. A childminder can apply for a grant of up to €1,000 through their local Childcare Community Centre to purchase equipment for childminding practice in their home.
Youth Organisations and Services
Youth Organisation and Services will receive:
- €0.450m - for Play and Recreation to support the development and refurbishment of new and existing playgrounds. This funding is to be awarded to individual Local Authorities under an application based funding scheme.
- €0.350m - to fund the start-up capital and equipment costs of the twenty three Revised Youth Funding Scheme youth services, which have commenced around the country since 2016 as part of the process of reform of our youth services.
- €2.4 million - to support small capital projects in youth services and organisations. The application criteria for these capital funding grants are currently being finalised and the application criteria will be advertised to the relevant youth groups and organisations in due course.