Tuesday, 12 March 2019

Ceisteanna (594)

Jack Chambers

Ceist:

594. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if her attention has been drawn to issues with the ECCE scheme by which childcare providers are prioritising children whose parents are paying for full day-care services over children whose parents are seeking to enrol them for half day care which they are entitled to under the scheme; if her attention has further been drawn to the fact that such an approach by childcare providers is making it extremely difficult for parents to identify and secure childcare services under the scheme; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [11694/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Children)

Childcare service providers are private enterprises and are therefore free to set their own policies, including their admission polices which can include prioritising full day places . However, my Department actively seeks to ensure adequate capacity to allow service providers latitude to accommodate all children. If a gap in capacity is objectively identified, we can consider a range of measures to address this in collaboration with the local Childcare Committee.

If the Deputy is aware of any specific case of a parent who is having difficulty in accessing a childcare place I would recommend that they make contact with their local city or county childcare committee who will be able to assist. Contact details for all of the CCCs and details of the services they provide may be found on www.myccc.ie

With regard to capacity generally in the system, my Department provided a total of €4.61 million in Capital funding in 2018 specifically for the creation of new childcare places. This represents the creation of some 1,950 additional early years childcare places, of which 1,253 are for ECCE. In addition, my Department is currently taking applications for the Early Learning and Care and School Age Childcare Capital 2019, for which I have secured €6.106 million funding.