Assisting childcare providers in extending their existing childcare services, or establishing new childcare services, have always been key areas of focus for my Department's capital programmes.
Each year the Department reviews the capital programmes as a whole and determines the priorities for Early Learning and Care and School Age Capital grants.
The capital strands have been made available to achieve the strategic priorities for 2019 as determined by the Department, having regard to the funding available, developed using analysis of the current state of the childcare sector, learnings from previous capital programmes and feedback and input from stakeholders, including childcare providers and Pobal.
I remain committed to assisting all childcare providers, both community and private, in providing world-class childcare and meeting demand for childcare places, and I anticipate that this year's Capital programme will build on last year's good work in the sector, as well as that of previous years.
This year saw a substantial oversubscription in applications for capital funding under Strand C, funding of school aged care providers. Unfortunately, due to budgetary constraints, it was not possible to fund every application despite their quality and the thought that went into many of them. As a result, many services, including the specific service mentioned by the Deputy, did not receive an offer of funding this year. All unsuccessful applicants have the opportunity to have their application reviewed by Pobal.
I would like to assure you that all applications for funding were appraised in a fair, thorough and impartial manner. In accordance with principles of fairness and equality, no favour was shown to any individual service or services, and all appraisal was undertaken on the basis of the content of their applications for funding alone.