Orthodontic Services

Questions (992)

Catherine Murphy

Question:

992. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if her attention has been drawn to a report (details supplied) regarding children that were harmed by HSE orthodontic services in the Dublin mid-Leinster region over a period of time; if she will request Tusla to engage with the HSE to immediately publish the report; if she will examine the matters contained in the report; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [44651/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

I wish to state that I have not had sight of the report to which the Deputy refers.

Orthodontic services are a matter for the HSE, which falls under the policy remit of my Cabinet colleague, the Minister for Health.

Family Resource Centres

Questions (993)

Niamh Smyth

Question:

993. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if correspondence from a person (details supplied) will be reviewed; if a 5% increase in family resource centre core funding will be granted; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [44698/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

As the Deputy is aware, on 23 April 2019, I made an announcement that the additional €1.5m in funding for Family Resource Centres (FRCs) was to be used this year as follows:

- to increase core funding to each of the 110 FRCs which existed pre-2018 by 5%,

- to employ an additional 17 Family Support Workers - one FRC in each of the 17 Tusla geographical areas is to be allocated funding to employ a Family Support Worker,

- to fund the Family Resource Centre Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Promotion Programme.

Tusla, the Child and Family Agency administers the Family Resource Centre Programme.

I understand that Tusla issued the promised 5% funding increase to FRCs on 11 October, 2019, including the organisation referred to by the Deputy. Tusla has also informed FRCs of its decision regarding the distribution of Family Support Workers in the 17 named FRCs throughout the country. In the Cavan/Monaghan area, Teach Oscail FRC in Cavan will receive funding for the employment of an additional Family Support Worker.

Arrangements are to be in place to ensure that the 17 new Family Support Workers are employed by FRCs by the end of the year.

I can confirm that while my office has not directly received the correspondence to which the Deputy refers, it has received and dealt with documentation from other representatives on behalf of the named organisation.

Information and Communications Technology

Questions (994, 995)

Alan Kelly

Question:

994. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the number of computers in her Department that still use an operating system (details supplied) in tabular form; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [44705/19]

View answer

Alan Kelly

Question:

995. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if her Department will not be forced to pay additional premium payments to a company (details supplied) once support for an operating system expires in January 2020; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [44721/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 994 and 995 together.

There are two computers in my Department utilising the operating system the Deputy has enquired about.

These computers are currently carrying out dedicated tasks in relation to the Department's telephone systems. They are not on the Department's network.

These computers will no longer be required to carry out these tasks from January 2020. Therefore support for their specific operating system will no longer be required.

Information and Communications Technology

Questions (996)

Alan Kelly

Question:

996. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs her plans to protect her Department in the event of a malware attack or security risks as a result of the failure to upgrade computers from an operating system (details supplied) in her Department and the agencies under her remit; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [44737/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

As outlined in my response to the Deputy's other questions relating to this specific operating system, there are only two computers in my Department utilising that system at present. They are stand alone machines and not on my Department's network. They do not represent a security risk.

In addition, my Department implements a multi-layered approach to cyber security and to protecting our ICT systems, data and infrastructure. This includes preventative controls like firewalls, anti-virus and endpoint protection. Software vulnerabilities are managed by maintaining up-to-date versions.

My Department does not provide ICT infrastructure or ICT support to any of the agencies under its remit. For this reason I have asked the Adoption Authority of Ireland, the Ombudsman for Children's Office and Tulsa - the Child and Family Agency to respond directly to the Deputy on this issue.

Departmental Budgets

Questions (997)

Kathleen Funchion

Question:

997. Deputy Kathleen Funchion asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the breakdown of funding announced in budget 2020 (details supplied); the amount allocated to each stream; the way in which funding for each stream is to be dispensed; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [44754/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

An additional €54m of funding has been allocated to Early Years policies and programmes in Estimates 2020. This represents a year-on-year increase of 9%, and a total growth of the Early Years allocation of c. 138% since 2014.

This significant investment of public money will support the provision of affordable, accessible and quality ELC & SAC in Ireland. It has been allocated to the purposes specified as follows:

Area of Expenditure

2020 Allocation

Change to allocation

The introduction of the NCS; and an increased level of uptake for both the universal under 3 subsidy and targeted subsidies to families

€197.2m

+€40m

Meeting the continuing cost of two years of ECCE

€297m

-€1.1m[1]

Increased funding for beneficiary elements of the Access and Inclusion Model (AIM)

€31.4m

+€10m

An increase in allocation for Tusla’s Early Years Inspectorate

€5.1m

+€0.7m

Meeting additional costs associated with delivery of the schemes and the implementation of First 5

€50.5m

+€5.6m

Supporting quality in the sector and improving the sustainability of services

€14.4m

+€2.5m

Increases to these allocations captured in the table above were offset by savings identified across Early Years Subheads of c. €3.7m.

[1] This allocation Reflects the slightly lower number of children who will be eligible for ECCE in 2020 due to the decreasing birth rate.

Early Childhood Care and Education Expenditure

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

Departmental Staff Data

Questions (999)

Mattie McGrath

Question:

999. Deputy Mattie McGrath asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the number of full and part-time staff employed in her Department; the number of such staff being paid at the minimum wage rate of pay; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [44840/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

There are 285 staff employed in my Department. As the Deputy maybe aware, any adjustments to the salaries of public and civil servants are set out in the Public Service Stability Agreement (PSSA) 2018-2020.

DPER Circular 17/2019 sets out the adjustments to the pay of civil servants on 1 September 2019 as provided for under the Public Service Pay and Pensions Act 2017 and is available on www.circulars.gov.ie

All Civil Service salary scales comply with the minimum wage.

Youth Services Funding

Questions (1000)

Brendan Griffin

Question:

1000. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs her views on a matter (details supplied) regarding funding for youth services; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [44969/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

My Department has obligations with regard to the management and control of Exchequer resources assigned to it and also to ensure that the administration of all grant funding is carried out in accordance with correct public financial procedures. All youth organisations in receipt of grant funding from my Department are required to adhere to the financial management principles associated with the provision of public grant funding.

The Education and Training Boards (ETBs), as funding intermediaries, administer funding on a regional basis to youth services on behalf of my Department. ETBs are required to carry out on behalf of my Department, the financial management and administrative system for the management and monitoring of the expenditure of youth funding and general governance of the funded youth organisation.

In order to ensure that my Department and ETBs can fulfil their respective obligations with regard to public funding it is essential that all ETBs put an appropriate service level agreement in place with funded youth organisations prior to the payment of any funding.

Over the course of 2019, the realignment of the funding intermediaries for the Targeted Youth Funding Scheme (TYFS) resulted in the transfer of the administration of funding for all Kerry youth projects to Kerry Education and Training Board (KETB). KETB as grant administering body for funding provided under the TYFS in Kerry is required to put service level agreements in place with relevant youth organisations.

In advance of entering into a service level agreement with a funded youth organisation it is not considered disproportionate for KETB to engage in a due diligence exercise to fulfil its obligations for the financial management and monitoring of grant funding administered on behalf of my Department. Youth organisations in receipt of youth funding are also subject to audit at any time by an agent of the grant administering body.

The Accounting Officer of my Department has been in correspondence with the Chief Executive of the organisation concerned and has clarified the conditions associated with youth funding provided by my Department including the necessity for a service level agreement to be in place.

I understand that KETB has made numerous attempts to arrange a meeting to discuss these matters and I would strongly encourage the organisation to continue to engage with KETB to complete the due diligence process. This will enable the requisite service level agreement to be put in place and minimise any further delay with the payment of the funding allocation for the final quarter of 2019 which has not been reallocated or decommitted.

City and County Child Care Committees Data

Questions (1001)

Anne Rabbitte

Question:

1001. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the level of funding provided to each city and county childcare committee in each of the years 2016 to 2018 and date in 2019, in tabular form; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [45034/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

The City and County Childcare Committees (CCCs) were established in 2001 to advance the provision of childcare facilities in their local areas.

The CCCs support the delivery of the childcare programmes operated by my Department. They also carry out a range of activities to promote the Access and Inclusion Model (AIM), including the provision of information and support for parents and ECCE providers. CCCs are also responsible for rolling out the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) training programme to preschool practitioners nationwide.

The information relating to the funding of CCC’s requested by the Deputy is outlined in the following tables.

In 2016 funding was allocated under the category ‘core funding allocation’ only. In 2017 additional funding streams under the AIM and EDI programmes were made available to CCCs, and, in 2019, a further funding allocation was provided to CCCs to prepare for the introduction of the National Childcare Scheme.

2016

City and County Childcare Committee

Core Funding €

Galway City and County Childcare Committee

456,378.00

Donegal County Childcare Committee

370,000.00

Meath County Childcare Committee

380,920.00

Cavan County Childcare Committee

234,000.00

Fingal County Childcare Committee

479,407.94

Sligo County Childcare Committee

307,102.50

Longford County Childcare Committee

209,000.00

Carlow County Childcare Committee

224,000.00

Mayo County Childcare Committee

313,000.00

Wicklow County Childcare Committee

302,782.00

Louth County Childcare committee

301,761.89

Wexford County Childcare Committee

345,631.19

Offaly County Childcare Committee

233,680.05

Laois County Childcare Committee

192,500.00

South Dublin Childcare Committee

478,552.58

Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Childcare Committee

375,151.90

Kildare County Childcare Committee

384,952.33

Cork City Childcare Committee

299,000.00

Kilkenny County Childcare Committee

254,988.13

Cork County Childcare Committee

496,922.48

Clare County Childcare Committee

296,290.00

Dublin City Childcare Committee

788,869.00

Kerry County Childcare Committee

348,500.00

Leitrim County Childcare Committee

208,997.00

Westmeath County Childcare Committee

240,918.37

Monaghan County Childcare Committee

234,000.00

Roscommon County Childcare Committee

234,000.00

Waterford Childcare Committee

458,000.00

Limerick County Childcare Committee

546,000.00

Tipperary Childcare Committee

440,189.68

2017

City and County Childcare Committee

Core Funding €

AIM

EDI

Galway City and County Childcare Committee

523,498.27

26,775

35,000

Donegal County Childcare Committee

408,535.00

14,070

20,000

Meath County Childcare Committee

447,211.00

20,055

27,500

Cavan County Childcare Committee

254,000.00

6,300

7,500

Fingal County Childcare Committee

514,056.73

32,340

45,000

Sligo County Childcare Committee

264,826.03

16,510

7,500

Longford County Childcare Committee

273,214.29

3,570

5,000

Carlow County Childcare Committee

234,000.00

5,145

7,500

Mayo County Childcare Committee

333,000.00

12,705

17,500

Wicklow County Childcare Committee

350,202.82

17,115

25,000

Louth County Childcare committee

352,852.35

11,550

17,500

Wexford County Childcare Committee

416,351.50

13,755

20,000

Offaly County Childcare Committee

257,119.98

7,665

10,000

Laois County Childcare Committee

187,797.00

8,085

12,500

South Dublin Childcare Committee

496,063.65

24,255

35,000

Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Childcare Committee

372,728.00

19,635

27,500

Kildare County Childcare Committee

447,400.73

19,950

30,000

Cork City Childcare Committee

354,669.40

8,610

12,500

Kilkenny County Childcare Committee

274,919.05

10,080

15,000

Cork County Childcare Committee

519,079.00

38,430

47,500

Clare County Childcare Committee

321,184.47

14,175

17,500

Dublin City Childcare Committee

693,145.42

40,110

57,500

Kerry County Childcare Committee

416,561.00

12,600

17,500

Leitrim County Childcare Committee

218,509.00

3,255

2,500

Westmeath County Childcare Committee

272,812.96

8,400

12,500

Monaghan County Childcare Committee

244,000.00

6,195

7,500

Roscommon County Childcare Committee

243,385.00

5,460

7,500

Waterford Childcare Committee

446,952.72

9,345

12,500

Limerick County Childcare Committee

566,000.00

18,060

25,000

Tipperary Childcare Committee

448,806.25

16,275

25,000

2018

2018

City and County Childcare Committees

Core Funding €

AIM

EDI

Galway City and County Childcare Committee

476,020.41

25,935

30,000

Donegal County Childcare Committee

375,736.29

13,650

17,500

Meath County Childcare Committee

375,134.76

20,370

20,000

Cavan County Childcare Committee

244,892.00

6,300

7,500

Fingal County Childcare Committee

465,637.50

31,815

37,500

Sligo County Childcare Committee

275,414.00

11,720

7,500

Longford County Childcare Committee

339,439.16

3,465

2,500

Carlow County Childcare Committee

246,308.20

5,145

5,000

Mayo County Childcare Committee

331,285.00

12,705

15,000

Wicklow County Childcare Committee

320,769.86

16,380

17,500

Louth County Childcare committee

316,084.60

11,445

12,500

Wexford County Childcare Committee

377,353.78

13,965

15,000

Offaly County Childcare Committee

248,152.00

7,455

5,000

Laois County Childcare Committee

171,439.50

7,980

7,500

South Dublin Childcare Committee

437,216.15

23,520

27,500

Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Childcare Committee

370,625.72

18,795

22,500

Kildare County Childcare Committee

406,927.32

19,635

22,500

Cork City Childcare Committee

405,673.57

8,190

10,000

Kilkenny County Childcare Committee

268,352.17

9,870

10,000

Cork County Childcare Committee

468,056.00

37,695

50,000

Clare County Childcare Committee

318,948.41

13,440

12,500

Dublin City Childcare Committee

709,539.00

38,955

55,000

Kerry County Childcare Committee

460,688.13

13,020

15,000

Leitrim County Childcare Committee

220,199.00

2,940

2,500

Westmeath County Childcare Committee

250,394.32

8,085

10,000

Monaghan County Childcare Committee

246,052.23

5,985

7,500

Roscommon County Childcare Committee

259,122.00

5,460

5,000

Waterford Childcare Committee

454,290.87

9,240

12,500

Limerick County Childcare Committee

572,279.02

17,850

20,000

Tipperary Childcare Committee

505,358.77

15,855

17,500

2019

City and County Childcare Committees

Core Funding €

AIM

EDI

National Childcare Scheme

Galway City and County Childcare Committee

505,240.00

26,250

15,000

16,509

Donegal County Childcare Committee

392,566.00

14,175

7,500

9,688

Meath County Childcare Committee

408,610.00

19,950

10,000

9,616

Cavan County Childcare Committee

241,183.00

6,405

2,500

4,367

Fingal County Childcare Committee

509,806.00

31,710

17,500

15,270

Sligo County Childcare Committee

244,271.00

6,825

2,500

4,764

Longford County Childcare Committee

217,060.00

3,465

2,500

2,374

Carlow County Childcare Committee

236,704.00

5,250

2,500

3,176

Mayo County Childcare Committee

325,159.00

12,915

7,500

9,163

Wicklow County Childcare Committee

334,815.00

16,485

7,500

9,171

Louth County Childcare committee

314,375.00

12,075

5,000

6,011

Wexford County Childcare Committee

371,748.00

13,965

7,500

8,417

Offaly County Childcare Committee

246,236.00

7,140

2,500

4,335

Laois County Childcare Committee

234,582.00

7,980

2,500

4,828

South Dublin Childcare Committee

517,211.00

23,835

12,500

12,126

Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Childcare Committee

385,557.00

18,690

10,000

9,259

Kildare County Childcare Committee

420,261.00

20,265

10,000

9,648

Cork City Childcare Committee

309,123.00

8,190

5,000

6,027

Kilkenny County Childcare Committee

263,647.00

9,975

5,000

5,598

Cork County Childcare Committee

547,489.00

37,380

25,000

21,417

Clare County Childcare Committee

314,074.00

13,335

5,000

7,964

Dublin City Childcare Committee

837,398.00

40,320

27,500

26,197

Kerry County Childcare Committee

357,380.00

12,915

7,500

8,457

Leitrim County Childcare Committee

216,292.00

3,255

2,500

3,088

Westmeath County Childcare Committee

248,687.00

8,085

5,000

5,534

Monaghan County Childcare Committee

241,913.00

6,195

2,500

4,343

Roscommon County Childcare Committee

247,700.00

5,565

2,500

4,327

Waterford Childcare Committee

465,191.00

9,345

5,000

6,051

Limerick County Childcare Committee

562,831.00

17,850

10,000

11,689

Tipperary Childcare Committee

497,751.00

16,170

7,500

9,672

Early Years Sector

Questions (1002)

Anne Rabbitte

Question:

1002. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the level of early years capital funding in each of the years 2016 to 2018 and to date in 2019, by county in tabular form; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [45035/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

My Department provides capital funding annually to early learning and care and school age childcare services. The capital programme is designed each year to ensure that capital grants have a positive, lasting impact on the childcare sector.

The following table shows the amount of capital funding which was approved in the years 2016 to 2019 and the amount of capital funding paid during those same years by county.

County

Approvals 2016

Payments 2016

Approvals 2017

Payments 2017

Approvals 2018

Payments 2018

Approvals 2019

Payments 2019

Carlow

€88,954.00

€88,692.02

€118,143.00

€111,759.92

€99,659.00

€99,508.80

€50,000.00

€0.00

Cavan

€178,618.00

€147,960.05

€194,394.00

€194,331.53

€185,900.00

€185,771.91

€50,000.00

€45,000.00

Clare

€155,842.00

€152,940.71

€504,793.00

€447,454.15

€305,194.00

€248,245.88

€63,366.00

€57,029.40

Cork

€639,451.00

€605,835.85

€658,702.00

€603,102.69

€354,740.00

€377,072.53

€181,414.00

€48,081.60

Donegal

€265,028.00

€242,059.22

€321,940.00

€320,878.91

€536,208.00

€383,302.91

€269,896.00

€13,500.00

Dublin

€1,204,492.00

€1,069,438.24

€1,573,731.00

€1,070,934.44

€1,051,430.50

€942,514.93

€873,215.00

€157,297.80

Galway

€514,269.00

€486,537.00

€536,710.00

€455,762.95

€275,595.00

€281,784.15

€330,394.00

€88,440.30

Kerry

€255,089.00

€233,370.76

€390,850.00

€333,402.90

€286,350.00

€234,415.90

€112,269.00

€64,464.30

Kildare

€271,682.00

€231,687.34

€122,402.00

€120,010.44

€170,465.00

€169,046.34

€137,747.00

€35,253.00

Kilkenny

€171,116.00

€160,138.12

€172,854.00

€172,031.89

€197,986.00

€205,276.90

€136,972.00

€13,500.00

Laois

€91,625.00

€90,890.71

€171,709.00

€93,119.94

€50,962.00

€57,067.00

€85,683.00

€19,753.20

Leitrim

€31,230.00

€30,710.66

€179,361.00

€129,699.67

€45,691.00

€46,949.74

€67,705.00

€16,411.50

Limerick

€298,987.00

€257,108.55

€494,304.00

€283,324.03

€194,673.00

€191,562.50

€55,401.00

€4,860.90

Longford

€107,331.00

€98,524.70

€286,943.00

€236,897.00

€70,000.00

€70,877.96

€160,875.00

€103,500.00

Louth

€181,955.00

€151,760.94

€372,664.00

€307,692.93

€48,936.00

€48,936.00

€94,721.00

€0.00

Mayo

€219,911.00

€209,167.96

€326,926.00

€271,406.05

€147,130.00

€95,781.50

€96,097.00

€0.00

Meath

€288,979.00

€243,958.28

€444,983.00

€444,370.37

€340,487.00

€291,809.21

€152,829.00

€13,200.00

Monaghan

€153,604.00

€122,150.89

€293,118.00

€182,244.42

€216,977.00

€216,369.17

€95,380.00

€58,842.00

Offaly

€160,681.00

€158,769.68

€155,429.00

€152,818.46

€45,571.00

€51,230.29

€108,996.00

€98,096.40

Roscommon

€156,592.00

€155,110.54

€296,227.00

€295,912.90

€114,626.00

€107,677.00

€54,904.00

€2,973.60

Sligo

€70,103.00

€69,080.16

€176,695.00

€161,232.07

€111,339.00

€111,307.63

€125,529.00

€34,457.40

Tipperary

€228,214.00

€223,578.60

€337,847.00

€307,181.58

€185,069.00

€159,848.90

€29,399.00

€26,459.10

Waterford

€123,514.00

€113,784.39

€240,703.00

€182,366.78

€182,252.00

€126,886.42

€136,795.00

€3,871.80

Westmeath

€179,033.00

€175,749.20

€202,463.00

€196,909.10

€159,979.00

€179,250.95

€290,596.00

€35,374.80

Wexford

€286,672.00

€283,936.48

€213,414.00

€212,095.02

€343,136.00

€292,318.14

€196,329.00

€71,700.60

Wicklow

€232,687.00

€207,695.09

€261,943.00

€248,880.22

€207,740.00

€226,081.04

€110,995.00

€9,900.00

Departmental Contracts Data

Questions (1003)

Mattie McGrath

Question:

1003. Deputy Mattie McGrath asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the details of contracts of €25,000 or more that have been awarded by her Department or bodies under her aegis that were found to be non-compliant with procurement guidelines in 2017, 2018 and to date in 2019; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [45058/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

Details of contracts of €25,000 or more that have been awarded by my Department that were found to be non-compliant with procurement guidelines in 2017 and 2018 are outlined in the following table. No such contracts exist to date in 2019.

Subject of Contract / Purchase

Value €

2017

TRK Construction t/a TKC Construction - Secure replacement doors were required for Oberstown Children Detention Campus

€775,000

Aspect Interior Systems - Goods of a highly specialised nature (acoustic panelling) were required at the Oberstown Children Detention Campus

€56,000

PC Peripherals - Purchase of laptops for staff moving to another premises and to cater for incoming staff

€31,487

Expert Technical Group - To Identify the Options and Appropriate Courses of Action available to Government at the site of the former Mother and Baby Home, Tuam, Co. Galway

€123,692

Early Childhood Ireland (ECI) - It was considered that ECI was best placed to develop and deliver a Train the Trainer Programme for the "Diversity, Equality and Inclusion Charter and Guidelines for Early Childhood Care and Education" because of the uniqueness of the guidelines and the exceptional expertise that the organisation had in this area to fulfill all requirements.

€45,155

2018

Independent Reviewer appointed to carry out investigations to see if any evidence of illegal registrations could be obtained from records of former adoption agencies held by Tusla or the Adoption Authority.

€ 35,138

The Adoption Authority of Ireland has advised that all contracts awarded in 2017, 2018 and 2019 are compliant with procurement guidelines.

I have referred the question to Tusla (the Child and Family Agency) and the Ombudsman for Children's Office and asked them to provide the information sought directly to the Deputy.

Child and Family Agency Data

Questions (1004, 1005, 1006)

Anne Rabbitte

Question:

1004. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the number of files relating to historical complaints that remain in the possession of an organisation (details supplied); the number of such files reviewed in view of requirements of the organisation under mandatory reporting; if the files have not been reviewed, when they will be reviewed and referred on to the relevant authority; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [45129/19]

View answer

Anne Rabbitte

Question:

1005. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the number of cases relating to historical complaints that have been reported to Tusla under mandatory reporting requirements of an organisation (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [45130/19]

View answer

Anne Rabbitte

Question:

1006. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the number of active investigations that have arisen from referrals to Tusla by an organisation (details supplied) relating to historical cases that have been reported since 2016; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [45131/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 1004 to 1006, inclusive, together.

The Deputy is referring to an operational matter for Tusla, the Child and Family Agency. I have therefore referred the matter to Tusla, and asked that a direct response be provided to the Deputy.

Childcare Services

Questions (1007)

Pearse Doherty

Question:

1007. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the reason a funding application by an organisation (details supplied) was refused to allow for an increase in support staff at the facility; if her attention has been drawn to the fact that the decision to refuse the application has resulted in children that previously attended the facility no longer being able to do so owing to inadequate staffing; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [45140/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

Officials from my Department contacted Pobal, who administer programme funding on the Department's behalf. Pobal have confirmed that there have been no unsuccessful applications for funding for the service in question for the 2019-20 programme year under the Access and Inclusion Model (AIM), which supports the participation of children with additional needs in the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) preschool programme.

AIM is limited to children who are ECCE age-eligible and are registered for the programme.

The case mentioned in the question relates to school-age childcare. AIM currently does not provide additional supports for children with disabilities to attend school-age childcare services.

My Department has made a commitment in First 5 , the Whole of Government Strategy for Babies, Young Children and their Families, to consider enhancements to, and/or extension of, AIM to, for example, all early learning and care services, all school-age childcare services and/or to children with additional needs other than a disability. AIM will commence its end of year 3 evaluation in the coming months and findings from this will provide information for future decisions on extension or reform of AIM.

In addition, officials from my Department recently carried out a public consultation on school-age childcare, focusing particularly on the development of comprehensive regulations and a national quality framework to support quality improvements in school-age childcare services. The findings from this consultation are currently being analysed.

Orthodontic Services

Questions (1008)

Catherine Murphy

Question:

1008. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs further to Parliamentary Question No. 449 of 15 October 2019, if a report (details supplied) by the HSE will be published and investigated in view of the fact an audit of 7,500 minors has now been completed; if Tusla is investigating this matter; the number of litigations active against the State in relation to the matter; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [45154/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

The Deputy will be aware that the report in question has been commissioned by the Health Service Executive, and that decisions with regard to the possible release or publication would be a matter for that body.

My Department is not aware of litigation against the State in relation to this matter.

I have requested Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, to respond directly to the Deputy with regard to the elements of her question that relate to Tusla.

School Libraries

Questions (1009)

Peter Burke

Question:

1009. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if a grant is available for a school (details supplied) to provide library books for use by students; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [45231/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

I wish to inform the Deputy that the Educational Welfare Service has no role in the provision of grant funding for the purchase of books for school libraries. This question is more properly directed at my colleague the Minister for Education and Skills.

Early Years Sector

Questions (1010)

Denise Mitchell

Question:

1010. Deputy Denise Mitchell asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the persons considered to be competent to conduct a fire risk assessment with regard to the fire and planning requirements for early years services reregistration and change of circumstances process (details supplied). [45246/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

My Department has liaised with Tusla to answer this question. Tusla is the independent statutory regulator of early learning and care and school age childcare services in Ireland. In performing its regulatory function, its actions include responding to breaches of regulations while respecting fair procedures and natural justice.

The suitability and safety of premises is a key concern in the assessment of quality provision for children in early learning and care settings. Section 58G of the Child Care Act, 1991 (as amended by Part 12 of the Child and Family Agency Act, 2013) places an onus on the providers of early years services to ensure that they take all reasonable measures to safeguard the health, safety and welfare of children. In August 2019, Tusla issued guidance for the registered providers of early years services on the fire and planning requirements for the re-registration and change in circumstances process, which is available for download on the Tusla website. As stated in this guidance, the guidance reflects the following definition of a competent person for the purposes of a fire risk assessment: “A person is deemed to be a competent person where, having regard to the task he or she is required to perform and taking account of the size and/or complexity of the building or works, the person possesses sufficient training, experience and knowledge appropriate to the nature of the work to be undertaken”.

The guidance specifies that competent persons for the purpose of fire safety assessments are:

(a) Architects that are on the register maintained by the RIAI under Part 3 of the Building Control Act 2007; or

(b) Building Surveyors that are on the register maintained by the SCSI under Part 5 of the Building Control Act 2007; or

(c) Chartered Engineers on the register maintained by Engineers Ireland under section 7 of the Institution of Civil Engineers of Ireland (Charter Amendment) Act 1969.

In developing this guidance Tusla worked in collaboration with the Association of Chief Fire Officers in Ireland and all of the definitions and content contained therein were approved prior to publication as relevant and up to date. These definitions are reviewed on an on-going basis by Tusla’s Early Years Inspectorate, in liaison with the fire representative body, and subject to amendment, in line with statutory requirements, should it be considered appropriate to do so.

In relation to fire safety audits, fire safety legislation and compliance with it comes under the remit of the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government. The Tusla Early Years Inspectorate liaises with Local Authority fire services where appropriate.