On 1st February 2018, I announced detailed application guidelines for the 2018 Early Years and School Age Capital programmes, including details on each of the five funding strands available under these.
Lists of indicative eligible and ineligible costs under each funding strand were made available as part of the application guidelines. For example, under Strands 1 and 4, dedicated to the creation of new childcare places under Early Years and School Age childcare respectively, alteration or refurbishment works undertaken on an existing facility to provide extra places would be an eligible cost; salary costs or general office equipment would not.
Under Early Years Strand 3, in which the focus is on the creation of a new, natural outdoor play area, eligible costs include reflective pools, natural planting and canvas canopies; whereas rubber matting and permanent construction projects are ineligible. In particular, I would advise that any application under this strand of funding will be appraised in terms of its overall vision, and how it aligns with the natural outdoor play area objective.
The indicative lists of eligible and ineligible costs, to be found in full in the application guidelines document, should be useful for prospective applicants. That being said, each project by its very nature is unique and so it is not possible to provide an exhaustive list. I would urge any providers who remain unsure to contact their local City/County Childcare Committee (CCC) or Pobal to assist them with any further questions about eligibility or otherwise.
I can assure you that each application for capital funding will be assessed on its own merits, and that the published guidelines exist in order to maximise the quality of applications received by my Department and Pobal before the application window closes at 3pm on Friday the 9th March 2018.
I anticipate that this year's Capital programmes will see great demand and competition for funding, and I wish all providers the very best of luck with any applications they might make. Their personal visions for the expansion and improvement of childcare services are an invaluable part of making Ireland's childcare sector into one which is world class, accessible and affordable to all.