Tuesday, 26 November 2019

Ceisteanna (446)

Pat Casey

Ceist:

446. Deputy Pat Casey asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs her plans to assist in planning for provision of further childcare places in County Wicklow. [49112/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Children)

I am committed to improving the provision of childcare throughout the State.  I have successfully secured a 138% increase in the level of public investment in Early Learning and Care and School Aged Childcare services over the past 5 budgets. This extra investment has supported a doubling of capacity in the sector, including both Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) and the provision of childcare to the  0-3 age group.

One of the key priorities for my Department's capital programme is to support childcare providers to extend their existing services, or to establish new services, where need or demand exists.

My Department allocates capital funding on an annual basis.  Providers are invited to submit applications setting out their grant request.  All applications are appraised in a fair and impartial manner and on the basis of the quality of their application.  Four providers in Co. Wicklow were allocated capital grants in 2019 to enable them to extend their services.

Finally, if the Deputy is aware of any specific cases of parents having difficulty accessing childcare places, the Wicklow County Childcare Committee will be pleased to assist them.