As part of the programme for government commitments to promote the use of school buildings outside of school hours, my Department took a number of important actions to build on and enhance the already extensive use of buildings for community use. In relation to the use of schools for the specific purpose of school age childcare, my officials participated in the interdepartmental group that produced the Action Plan on School Age childcare that was published in March 2017.
Following that report, the then Minister and his officials engaged directly with the management bodies, patrons and property owners. A set of guidelines, designed to assist the owners of school buildings who wished to provide childcare services in their schools was published by my Department in October 2017. These guidelines can be viewed on the Department's website at this link: https://www.education.ie/en/Publications/Policy-Reports/guidelines-on-the-use-of-school-buildings-outside-of-school-hours.pdf. This year, the Department intends to conduct a review of the guidelines and they will be updated accordingly following the review.