Foster Care Expenditure

Questions (2570)

Catherine Martin

Question:

2570. Deputy Catherine Martin asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the amount spent by Tusla on private foster care placements in each of the past 24 months by local health office; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [33860/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

The Deputy is asking about an operational matter for Tusla, the Child and Family Agency. I have referred the question to Tusla and asked that a direct reply be provided to the Deputy.

Child and Family Agency Staff

Questions (2571)

Catherine Martin

Question:

2571. Deputy Catherine Martin asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the number of new social workers that started in Tusla since January 2018, by local health office; the number of social workers that left since January 2018, by local health office; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [33861/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

I wish to advise that my officials have asked Tusla to respond directly to the Deputy on this matter.

Adoption Registration

Questions (2572, 2574)

Anne Rabbitte

Question:

2572. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the amount of funding awarded to the National Adoption Contact Preference Register in each of the years 2016 to 2019; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [33908/19]

View answer

Anne Rabbitte

Question:

2574. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the amount of funding awarded to the National Adoption Contact Preference Register to run campaigns to promote its work; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [33910/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 2572 and 2574 together.

The Adoption Authority of Ireland is a quasi-judicial body which is independent of the Department in its decision making capacity. As such, I have referred the question to the Authority for a direct response to the Deputy.

Adoption Legislation

Question No. 2574 answered with Question No. 2572.

Questions (2573, 2592)

Anne Rabbitte

Question:

2573. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the key stakeholders her Department has met in producing the amendments to the Adoption (Information and Tracing) Bill 2016 in 2018 and to date in 2019, by dates and organisation in tabular form; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [33909/19]

View answer

Anne Rabbitte

Question:

2592. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs her level of engagement with stakeholders in respect of the Adoption (Information and Tracing) Bill 2016; and the dates and groups represented at each meeting held in the past two years. [34430/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 2573 and 2592 together.

I have received submissions from a range of diverse stakeholders and lobby groups regarding the Adoption (Information and Tracing) Bill 2016 and both myself and my officials have met with many of these groups and individuals both specifically in relation to the Bill and on the sidelines of other fora. I have considered the views expressed in relevant reports and debates on this matter by advocacy groups and by members of the Oireachtas. I have also considered the many representations made to me by members of the public and by stakeholders generally.

Having listened to the views of many stakeholders in relation to the privacy provisions set out in the published Bill, I engaged extensively with the Office of the Attorney General to develop an alternative scheme to provide for the fullest release of information with the minimum restriction possible. I recognise that strong concerns persist, however. It is my view that further consultation is required to seek to identify a more acceptable mechanism for the release of information. The Bill is accordingly on pause while I engage further with members of the Oireachtas and with stakeholder groups to seek to reach a consensus which will allow the legislation to progress.

In recent weeks, I have met with members of the Oireachtas, all of whom who have received representations from stakeholders and the public in relation to the Bill. I have also met with a number of stakeholders including the Adoption Rights Alliance, the Irish Council for Civil Liberties and the Council of Irish Adoption Agencies. I will continue to consult with stakeholders and will meet with groups representing natural mothers and individual natural mothers this week.

Pending the outcome of these engagements, I hope to be in a position to bring the Bill back to Seanad Éireann in the Autumn.

Question No. 2574 answered with Question No. 2572.

Adoption Data

Questions (2575)

Anne Rabbitte

Question:

2575. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the number of persons that contacted the National Adoption Contact Preference Register in each of the years 2011 to 2018 and to date in 2019. [33911/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

As this question relates to an operational matter for the Adoption Authority of Ireland, I have asked the Authority to provide this information directly to the Deputy.

Child and Family Agency Staff

Question No. 2577 answered with Question No. 2553.

Questions (2576)

Fiona O'Loughlin

Question:

2576. Deputy Fiona O'Loughlin asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the number of whole-time equivalent education welfare officers employed by education welfare office; the location of each; the child population served in each case; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [34022/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

As this is an operational matter I have asked Tusla, the Child and Family Agency to reply directly to the Deputy.

Question No. 2577 answered with Question No. 2553.

Capital Expenditure Programme

Questions (2578)

Marc MacSharry

Question:

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]

View answer

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.

Speech and Language Therapy Provision

Question No. 2580 answered with Question No. 2553.

Questions (2579)

John Curran

Question:

2579. Deputy John Curran asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the status of the new school speech and language therapy service project introduced by her Department, the Departments of Education and Skills and Health in July 2018 for September 2018-19; the impact of the service on the long waiting lists for speech and language therapy; her plans to continue the project for the school term 2019/2020 and beyond; her further plans to extend this project nationally; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [34241/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

Led by the Department of Education and Skills, the In-School and In-Pre-school Therapy Demonstration project has involved close collaboration with the Department of Health and the Department of Children and Youth Affairs. Although initially designed as a one year pilot, the project will now continue into an additional year with up to 75 schools and 75 early learning and care services in the CHO 7 region participating over the course of the 2019/20 school year.

The vision for the project is set out in the Terms of Reference which notes that: "The demonstration model will be required to test and evaluate a model for the delivery of in-school and pre-school speech and language and occupational therapy support, in a defined regional area, or areas, supplementary to existing Health Service Executive Therapy services, while not impacting negatively on such services."

The pilot will continue into the new academic year 2019-2020 and will focus on developing greater linkages between educational and therapy supports. It will continue to aim to provide for school and pre-school therapy services and also professional support, training and guidance for staff and parents. It will continue to seek to assist schools and pre-schools to develop their capacity to support children with speech and language therapy needs in schools and pre-schools, through tiered levels of support, while also focusing on early identification and intervention.

The first year of the project is being evaluated and the report for the initial stage of the project is due to be finalised and published by September 2019. The new School Inclusion Model, announced following the Review of the Special Needs Assistant Scheme, involves the establishment of a pilot of a new service model for children with special educational and additional care needs. It has been decided to trial this scheme in the same 75 schools in the Demonstration Project in the CHO 7 area from September 2019. An evaluation process will be put in place for this trial. This will include some ongoing evaluation of the In-Pre-School and In-School Therapy Demonstration project, as a component of the School Inclusion Model.

The outcome of the total evaluations will influence the future roll out of the In-Pre-School and In-School Therapy Demonstration project.

Question No. 2580 answered with Question No. 2553.

Early Years Sector

Questions (2581)

Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire

Question:

2581. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if her attention has been drawn to whether or not there has been a reduction in the number of infant spaces at early years providers in County Cork particularly but not limited to the community sector; and if she will consider action to rectify this. [34355/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

My Department funds 30 City and County Childcare Committees across the country. Part of their role is to advise my Department on capacity issues. I would encourage anyone having difficulty in securing a place to make contact with their local CCC. Contact details for all of the CCCs, in addition to other information about the services they provide, may be found on www.myccc.ie

As regards capacity issues more generally, each year Pobal conducts research on behalf of my Department to examine a number of factors related to childcare services in Ireland, including the monitoring of capacity. The Early Years Sector Profile report, which was published in November 2018 and relates to the 2017/2018 programme year, indicates that existing childcare provision nationally meets current needs in terms of capacity whilst recognising that small pockets of under supply may exist within this. The latest Early Years Sector Profile report, based on a survey completed in May 2018, outlines a 7% vacancy rate as a percentage of children enrolled in Cork. It simultaneously reports a 12% waiting list rate, indicating both under-supply and over-supply in different areas and for different age groups.

Pobal reports that nationally the trend suggests a reduction in waiting lists for older children and an increase for under two's. Pobal cautions that its data on waiting lists cannot by itself be used to inform capacity decisions as parents often place their children on more than one waiting list. The following table is the latest information available taken from the Pobal report:

County

Enrolled

Waiting list

Vacant places

Carlow

2,057

260

68

Cavan

3,120

249

104

Clare

4,280

192

383

Cork City

4,246

510

295

Cork County

14,662

869

1,032

Donegal

6,575

477

882

Dublin – Dublin City

16,075

3,492

581

Dublin – Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown

6,357

880

224

Dublin – Fingal

11,149

1,076

450

Dublin – South Dublin

9,294

639

373

Galway

10,514

571

620

Kerry

5,625

269

186

Kildare

8,045

350

304

Kilkenny

3,944

414

195

Laois

3,695

43

298

Leitrim

1,437

63

74

Limerick

7,805

865

278

Longford

1,685

168

59

Louth

4,297

238

197

Mayo

4,509

421

331

Meath

6,996

396

355

Monaghan

3,623

147

190

Offaly

2,697

123

225

Roscommon

2,311

172

98

Sligo

3,144

185

88

Tipperary

6,662

372

437

Waterford

4,612

274

203

Westmeath

3,781

316

385

Wexford

5,724

296

281

Wicklow

4,276

231

224

Total

173,197

14,558

9,420

Further, I secured €8.86m in capital funding for childcare in 2019 with the ultimate aim of benefitting parents and children through improving our childcare infrastructure and capacity. A particular focus will be to expand service provision for children under three years of age. The 2019 early years capital scheme has a primary focus on building places for the under-threes. I have made €3.7m available for this age group which will lead to the creation of more than 1,300 additional places before the year end. Early years providers from Cork compete alongside services from all other parts of the country and all applications are appraised in a fair and impartial manner and solely on the basis of the quality of their application.

Under the National Planning Framework and the National Development Plan published in 2018, I ensured that Childcare was identified as one of our nation's strategic priorities. I am delighted that €250 million in additional funding has been committed to for the expansion of high quality, early learning and care and school age childcare over the duration of the Plan.

Family Mediation Service

Questions (2582)

Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire

Question:

2582. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if she will consider providing additional funding to ensure Togher family contact centre can be used by families other than Tusla referrals but referred to the centre by the family courts in the context of the role of Tusla in family support and other contact centres. [34356/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

Togher Family Centre operates as an independent organisation that provides a range of services to the local community, including early years education, family support services, adult education, and early intervention youth work.

Tusla, the Child and Family Agency provided funding of approximately €170,000 to the Centre in 2017 and €202,000 in 2018.

I understand that Togher Family Centre has developed a child contact service that provides a safe, neutral, and child-focused setting for children to visit with their non-custodial parent. Togher Family Centre can arrange for supervised access through referrals from Tusla. Supported or fully supervised access is also offered, depending on the needs of the particular family.

I appreciate that the demand for child contact services may come from other sources, including family courts. Tusla's support for the child contact service in Togher Family Centre is primarily to support referrals from Tusla.

I can advise the Deputy that a working group is being established to involve officials from my Department and the Department of Justice and Equality to consider the appropriate approach to funding child contact centres. In particular, the Departments will jointly look at the Final Evaluation of the Barnardos/One Family Pilot Child Contact Centre Report. This report recommended an integrated response by both Departments to the implementation of its recommendations.

Adoption Data

Questions (2583)

Anne Rabbitte

Question:

2583. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the estimated cost of transferring all adoption records to the National Archives as anticipated under the proposed new adoption information service. [34420/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

As this question relates to the transfer of records which will be undertaken by the Adoption Authority of Ireland, I have asked the Authority to provide this information directly to the Deputy.

Child and Family Agency Staff

Questions (2584)

Anne Rabbitte

Question:

2584. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the number of full-time equivalent social workers employed by Tusla. [34421/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

I wish to advise that my officials have asked Tusla to respond directly to the Deputy on this matter.

Child and Family Agency Staff

Questions (2585)

Anne Rabbitte

Question:

2585. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the number of full-time equivalent social workers employed by Tusla that are on maternity leave; and if maternity cover has been sourced for these workers. [34422/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

I wish to advise that my officials have asked Tusla to respond directly to the Deputy on this matter.

Early Childhood Care and Education Funding

Questions (2586)

Anne Rabbitte

Question:

2586. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the estimated cost to increase the standard and higher capitation rate for the ECCE scheme by increments of €5 up to €90 for the standard capitation rate. [34423/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

The sum of €298.1 million has been allocated to the Early Childhood Care and Education scheme in 2019.

The following table outlines the projected full year cost of increasing the standard and higher capitation rates for the scheme by increments of €5 over and above current levels, up to a €90 increase.

Increase

Standard Capitation Rate

Higher Capitation Rate

Annual Cost

€0

€69.00

€80.25

€298.1m

€5

€74.00

€85.25

€318.1m

€10

€79.00

€90.25

€338.0m

€15

€84.00

€95.25

€358.0m

€20

€89.00

€100.25

€378.0m

€25

€94.00

€105.25

€398.0m

€30

€99.00

€110.25

€417.9m

€35

€104.00

€115.25

€437.9m

€40

€109.00

€120.25

€457.9m

€45

€114.00

€125.25

€477.8m

€50

€119.00

€130.25

€497.8m

€55

€124.00

€135.25

€517.8m

€60

€129.00

€140.25

€537.8m

€65

€134.00

€145.25

€557.7m

€70

€139.00

€150.25

€577.7m

€75

€144.00

€155.25

€597.7m

€80

€149.00

€160.25

€617.7m

€85

€154.00

€165.25

€637.6m

€90

€159.00

€170.25

€657.6m

Early Childhood Care and Education Data

Questions (2587)

Anne Rabbitte

Question:

2587. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the number of children of early childhood care and education scheme age that reside here. [34424/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

DCYA sought clarification on the question and we understand it relates to the number of children eligible for ECCE in the programme year September 2019 to June 2020.

The Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) programme is a universal programme available to all children within the eligible age range. It was first introduced in 2010 as a one-year programme to provide children with their first formal experience of early learning prior to commencing primary school.

In line with a commitment in the Programme for Government, the ECCE Programme was extended in September 2018. Children are now eligible to enrol in this Programme once they are 2 years and 8 months of age in the September of a given programme year and are eligible to avail of two years of the programme (provided that they are not older than 5 years and 6 months at the end of the programme year). The proportion of children availing on this entitlement is determined by a range of factors, including the child’s month of birth and parental choice with regard to school starting age.

The eligible cohort of children for the ECCE Programme 2019/20 based on CSO birth registrations for 2015/16 is 129,377. This is an approximate figure as it does not account for dynamic factors such as migration.

The estimated number of children that will enrol for the ECCE Programme 2019/20 is 108,518. This estimate is derived using a number of data sources, including population data provided by the CSO and data on school starting age from the Pupil Online Database held by the Department of Education and Skills. It reflects that some parents will choose not to avail of the 2 years. It reflects consistent trends in uptake of the first year of the ECCE Programme. Finally, it excludes children within the eligible cohort who may choose to enrol on other DCYA funded programmes (a significant number of children eligible for ECCE enrol on other schemes such as the CCS).

Early Childhood Care and Education Data

Questions (2588)

Anne Rabbitte

Question:

2588. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the number of free preschool places available under the early childhood care and education scheme from September 2019 for the next 38 week period. [34425/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

The estimated number of children expected to enrol on the ECCE Programme for 2019/20 is 108,518. The estimates outlined below are derived using a number of data sources, including population data provided by the CSO and data on school starting age from the Pupil Online Database held by the Department of Education and Skills. This also reflects consistent trends in uptake of the ECCE Programme, which is in the region of 95% of the eligible cohort. It excludes children within the eligible cohort who may choose to enrol on other DCYA funded programmes.

Drawing on previous analysis from the Forward Planning Unit in the Department of Education and Skills on the estimated number of children in each Local Authority that are within the eligible age range for the ECCE programme, the estimated number of children enrolling in ECCE for the 2019/20 programme year in each Local Authority is set out in the following table.

County

No.

Carlow

1,323

Dublin City

10,973

Dún Laoghaire - Rathdown

4,316

Fingal

8,570

South Dublin

7,297

Kildare

5,531

Kilkenny

2,272

Laois

2,061

Longford

980

Louth

3,043

Meath

5,046

Offaly

1,811

West Meath

2,124

Wexford

3,373

Wicklow

3,257

Clare

2,544

Cork City

2,181

Cork County

10,146

Kerry

2,889

Limerick

4,338

Tipperary

3,438

Waterford

2,536

Galway

5,900

Leitrim

711

Mayo

2,647

Roscommon

1,332

Sligo

1,428

Cavan

1,744

Donegal

3,319

Monaghan

1,388

Total

108,518

In addition, my Department funds 30 City and County Childcare Committees across the country. Part of their role is to advise my Department on capacity issues. I would encourage anyone having difficulty in securing a place to make contact with their local CCC. Contact details for all of the CCCs, in addition to other information about the services they provide, may be found on www.myccc.ie

As regards capacity issues more generally, each year Pobal conducts research on behalf of my Department to examine a number of factors related to childcare services in Ireland, including the monitoring of capacity. The Early Years Sector Profile report, which was published in November and relates to the 2017/2018 programme year, indicates that existing childcare provision nationally meets current needs nationwide in terms of capacity whilst recognising that small pockets of under supply may exist within this.

My Department records the breakdown of childcare waiting lists by age cohort rather than by programme. In 2017/18, services reported a total of 173,197 children enrolled in early years services and 9,420 vacant places across Ireland. The following table presents the number of children enrolled and on a waiting list that are approximately within the ECCE eligible age range, as well as the number of vacant places by age cohort. Pre-school children (those aged 3+ to 5 years) represent the largest cohort of children attending childcare services, accounting for 59% of all children enrolled. Data on waiting lists cannot by itself be used to inform capacity decisions as parents often place their children on more than one waiting list.

County

Enrolled

Waiting list

Vacant places

Carlow

2,057

260

68

Cavan

3,120

249

104

Clare

4,280

192

383

Cork City

4,246

510

295

Cork County

14,662

869

1,032

Donegal

6,575

477

882

Dublin – Dublin City

16,075

3,492

581

Dublin – Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown

6,357

880

224

Dublin – Fingal

11,149

1,076

450

Dublin – South Dublin

9,294

639

373

Galway

10,514

571

620

Kerry

5,625

269

186

Kildare

8,045

350

304

Kilkenny

3,944

414

195

Laois

3,695

43

298

Leitrim

1,437

63

74

Limerick

7,805

865

278

Longford

1,685

168

59

Louth

4,297

238

197

Mayo

4,509

421

331

Meath

6,996

396

355

Monaghan

3,623

147

190

Offaly

2,697

123

225

Roscommon

2,311

172

98

Sligo

3,144

185

88

Tipperary

6,662

372

437

Waterford

4,612

274

203

Westmeath

3,781

316

385

Wexford

5,724

296

281

Wicklow

4,276

231

224

Total

173,197

14,558

9,420

After-School Support Services data

Questions (2589)

Anne Rabbitte

Question:

2589. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the number of children availing of the free afterschool child care scheme by county. [34426/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

After seeking clarification from the Deputy, I understand that this question refers to the number of children registered on the After-School Child Care (ASCC) programme. The following table lists the numbers by county:

County

TEC-ASSC 2018 No. Unique Approved Children

Cavan

8

Clare

1

Cork

17

Donegal

12

Dublin

59

Galway

10

Kerry

2

Kildare

4

Kilkenny

7

Laois

1

Leitrim

3

Limerick

3

Longford

5

Louth

4

Mayo

6

Meath

2

Monaghan

4

Offaly

14

Roscommon

4

Sligo

12

Tipperary

2

Waterford

6

Westmeath

31

Wexford

4

Grand Total

221

After-School Support Service Provision

Questions (2590)

Anne Rabbitte

Question:

2590. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the number of places that will be available under the free afterschool child care scheme for the 38 week period beginning in September 2019. [34427/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

After seeking clarification from the Deputy, I understand that this question refers to the After-School Child Care (ASCC) programme which is administered under the Training and Employment childcare programme (TEC). This programme is demand led, subject to a place being available in an appropriate school age service.

There are currently 221 children registered on the ASCC programme and my Department do not expect any capacity issues for the upcoming 19/20 programme year.

Departmental Funding

Question No. 2592 answered with Question No. 2573.

Questions (2591)

Anne Rabbitte

Question:

2591. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the funding provided to an organisation (details supplied) in each of the past three years by project in tabular form. [34428/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

I can confirm that my Department has not provided funding to the company specified in the period specified.

Question No. 2592 answered with Question No. 2573.

National Development Plan Funding

Questions (2593)

Anne Rabbitte

Question:

2593. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if she will allocate the €200 million capital funding outlined under the National Development Plan 2018-2027 to private childcare providers or if this funding will be used to construct State owned facilities. [34431/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

A key priority for me as Minister for Children and Youth Affairs is to ensure access to high quality and affordable early years and school-age childcare services.

I negotiated that childcare be identified as a strategic priority in the National Development Plan (2018-2027). €250m in capital funding was secured for childcare under the Plan. This represents the kind of large scale investment in the sector by the State that has not been seen since the National Childcare Investment Programme (NCIP) that concluded in 2010.

This investment will be essential to respond to the increased capacity we expect as the new National Childcare Scheme is introduced. The NCS will radically change how this country supports the cost to parents of early learning and care and school age childcare.

Research is on-going to determine areas of specific need that the NDP funding will address when it comes on stream in the coming years. The exact shape and priorities of this funding is currently being developed and information will be made public as it becomes available.

Departmental Reviews

Questions (2594)

Anne Rabbitte

Question:

2594. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the status of the review into the cost of providing high quality childcare; and the date by which the review will be published. [34432/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

Crowe was commissioned by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs to undertake an independent review on the cost of providing quality childcare in Ireland in Autumn 2017. The brief included:

- analysing the current costs of providing childcare and the factors that impact on these costs;

- the development and delivery of a model of the unit costs of providing childcare that allows analysis of policy changes and variation in cost-drivers, including the potential impact of professionalisation; and

- providing an objective, high-level market analysis of the childcare sector in Ireland, including analysis of fee levels charged to parents.

An approach and methodology were decided upon in partnership with the DCYA and a number of key activities have been undertaken to date. These include:

- engagement with key stakeholders from the sector, including the Early Years Forum, provider representative organisations, the City and County Childcare Committees, Statutory bodies, childcare professional training bodies, and academics;

- the administration of a survey to all centre-based childcare providers nationally, to provide the data on which the modelling tool would be based;

- the development of a cost modelling tool (and guidance document) to present the baseline cost data and enable the testing of the impact of a range of scenarios, namely changes to cost drivers on the unit costs of delivering childcare services; and

- the preparation of an economic and market analysis paper, and a final report detailing the elements of the review and the key findings.

Crowe delivered the outputs from this Review in early 2019; the costs modelling tool, guidance document, economic and market analysis paper, and final report.

All outputs received were subject to independent peer review. A Request for Quotations (RfQ) to undertake the peer review was issued on 5 March 2019. The peer review was completed in May 2019.

Crowe are currently undertaking an additional piece of work arising from the findings and recommendations of the peer review. The work is expected to be completed in August 2019.

Once complete, the outputs will be made available to the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs for consideration.

It is anticipated that the Review will be published shortly thereafter.