Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Questions (998)

Peter Burke

Question:

998. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the estimated annual full year cost of extending the early childhood care and education scheme from 38 to 39 weeks. [44832/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

€297m euro has been allocated to the Early Childhood Care and Education programme in 2020.

ECCE is available for 38 weeks throughout the year, the following table outlines the cost of increasing the weeks available as per the question.

ECCE Capitation Costs

Proposed change

Annual Cost (€m)

Increase (€m)

No change

€297.0

1 week increase

€304.8

€7.8

As AIM funding is intrinsically linked to ECCE capitations any increase in rates or durations for the ECCE programme has an impact on associated AIM costs.

While AIM Levels 1 & 7 are awarded on a weekly basis, €2 per child per week and €195 per week respectively (the underlying basis for AIM Level 7 figure is the cost of ECCE capitation for 3 children). If the number of ECCE weeks available increased, there would be a corresponding increase in AIM Levels 1 & 7 costs

Initial estimates indicate that the AIM level 7 programme will cost circa €26m and AIM level 1 programme will cost circa €5.4m in 2020 based on current AIM level 1 and 7 projected applications.

The following table captures the impacts of the outlined increase would have, on a pro-rata basis, to the estimated allocation for AIM Levels 1 & 7 costs in 2020.

Associated AIM costs

Proposed change

Annual Cost (€m)

Increase (€m)

No change

€31.4

1 week increase

€32.2

€0.8