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Child Care Services Expenditure

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 10 November 2015

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Ceisteanna (347)

Seamus Kirk

Ceist:

347. Deputy Seamus Kirk asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the grant aid available for the child care sector, where care providers are planning to upgrade, enhance, or expand their operations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39271/15]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Children)

My Department has provided funding over the past four years to support the upgrading and refurbishment of early years services under the Early Years Capital Programme as follows:-

- 2012 - capital funding of €6 million was provided to fund a maintenance programme for services (i.e. to address remedial, maintenance and renovation work and to purchase equipment). This funding, which provided grants up to a maximum of €50,000, was available to private and community/ not-for-profit services.

- 2013 - capital funding of €2.75 million was provided to support the on-going improvement of services. Both private and community/not-for-profit services participating in one of the national childcare programmes implemented by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs were eligible to apply for a grant under the Programme.

- 2014 - capital funding of €2.5 million for the maintenance and upgrade of community/not-for-profit services. The objective of this funding was to ensure that previously-funded community/not-for-profit services remained fit-for-purpose thus protecting State investment.

- 2015 - capital funding of €7 million was provided. Of this funding, €5 million was made available for grants specifically for community/not-for-profit services. This funding provided for the allocation of capital grant aid in the region of €500,000 for significant upgrades of services such as major refurbishment or relocation to new premises. Grants of up to €50,000 for essential maintenance, or works undertaken to improve the energy performance of community/not-for-profit services were also provided. The remaining €2 million was made available for both private and community/not-for-profit services to access grants of up to €500 for quality improvement measures, specifically in the area of upgrading IT facilities.

Funding will also be provided in 2016 as part of the Early Years Capital Programme. I am currently considering how best this funding can be targeted.

In addition, a number of measures were introduced in Budget 2016, including a €3 million capital fund, which will be provided to enable both community/not-for-profit and private providers to develop after-school childcare services using existing school and other accessible community facilities.

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