Wednesday, 10 February 2021

Questions (562)

Bríd Smith


562. Deputy Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth his plans to ensure front-line workers can access childcare and crèche facilities in a situation in which their usual provider is unable to offer them a place or the facility is currently closed (details supplied); if his Department or another body can organise alternative places for parents caught in this situation; if a register of facilities with vacancies can be made available in order that front-line workers can find alternative spaces for their children; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7183/21]

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Written answers (Question to Children)

Early Learning and Care (ELC) and School-Age Childcare (SAC) services, other than those which provide the pre-school ECCE programme only, are currently open for the children of essential workers and vulnerable children.

Childcare services that have demand for childcare from an essential worker or on behalf of a vulnerable child, should open and provide the care. If a service has demand for childcare for an eligible child and does not open to provide it, it will receive no funding under of my Department's childcare funding schemes for the period of unapproved closure.

Parents who are seeking childcare will receive support and advice from the national network of County Childcare Committees (CCCs), which are funded by my Department. The CCCs are currently maintaining lists of vacancies in their local areas and are providing a matching service for the parents of eligible children and childcare services with vacancies in the appropriate age group.

Parents can find contact details of their local CCC on

Question No. 563 answered with Question No. 545.