Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Questions (2578)

Marc MacSharry


2578. Deputy Marc MacSharry asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the status of capital projects within the remit of her Department; the amount spent on each project to date; and the anticipated completion date. [34196/19]

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Written answers (Question to Children)

The 2019 capital allocation for my Department is €32.0 million and is apportioned across 4 subheads:

Child and Family Agency (Tusla)

Tusla has a capital allocation of €17.19 million in 2019. Expenditure is primarily divided between estates management and ICT to meet existing contractual commitments and to commence new projects

€12.0 million is allocated to be spent in the Estates area and includes two significant projects in Portlaoise and Limerick as well as various minor capital and equipment costs on various premises throughout the country. Work on these large scale capital projects is due to be completed in 2020. Tusla has spent €2.9 million year to date and fully expects to spend its full allocation by year end.

€5.1 million is allocated for ICT capital expenditure, which includes €3.0 million on ICT infrastructure and €2.0 million on applications development and procurement. Expenditure incurred by Tusla is €1.17 million year to date.

Youth Justice - Oberstown Children Detention Campus

Youth Justice has a capital allocation of €2.00m for 2019 and provision is made for a number of projects this year including the demolition of an old building on the site. The estimated cost of this project in 2019 amounts to €0.5m and expenditure of €0.2m has been incurred year to date. In addition to this, €0.5m is allocated for the resurfacing of an emergency fire track. Work is expected to be completed by end Q3 2019 and expenditure of €0.1m has been incurred year to date.

A new case management system is also under development and is expected to be completed this year. Expenditure year to date is €0.3m and the full cost is expected to be around €0.5m.

Childcare Programmes

Early Years Learning and Care has a capital allocation of €9.6 million in 2019 to support a number of programmes and assist providers in developing capacity, quality and sustainability in the early learning and care sector.

€6.1 million is targeted at supporting the creation of new places for 0-3 year olds, provide for fire safety works associated with community services and to create new school age places. Funding is yet to be disbursed but the full allocation is expected to be spent by year end.

€3.0 million is being made available under the National Childcare Scheme for a one-off capital grant to assist providers in meeting the governance requirements of the scheme. €1.4 million has been disbursed year to date and the remaining balance will be spent by year end.

In addition to the above schemes, €0.25 million has been disbursed in the first half of this year relating to a scheme for parent and toddler groups which aims to assist groups organised on a not for profit basis and which involve the participation of parents in the community. A Childminding Development Grant is also available in 2019 to assist in ensuring consistency in implementation and equal access of opportunity for eligible childminders. This scheme opened for applications in July 2019 and it is expected that the full allocation of €0.25 million will be used by year-end

Youth Organisations and Services

Youth Organisations and Services have a capital allocation of €3.2 million in 2019

- €1.4 million is allocated to support a capital scheme for national youth organisations and staff led youth services. It is expected that drawdown of grant funding for successful applicants will commence in August 2019.

- €1.0 million is available to support the Local Youth Club Equipment Scheme. Applications are currently being assessed and it is anticipated that the full allocation will be spent by year end.

- €0.45 million is allocated under Play and Recreation to support the development and refurbishment of new and existing playgrounds under the control of local authorities. Expenditure to date amounts to €0.2m.

- €0.35 million is set aside 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.