Tuesday, 17 December 2019

Ceisteanna (645)

Joe O'Brien

Ceist:

645. Deputy Joe O'Brien asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs her plans to improve the level of community-based childcare provision in Fingal, County Dublin in view of the fact Fingal has the lowest level of community-based childcare and the youngest population. [52815/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Children)

Each year Pobal conducts research on behalf of my Department to examine a number of factors related to early learning and care and school age childcare services in Ireland, including the monitoring of capacity.  This is published in an annual Early Years Sector Profile.  

I launched the 2018/2019 Early Years Sector Profile on 16 December 2019.  The Sector Profile indicates that, on a national basis,  existing childcare capacity broadly meets current demand, although there are pockets of under supply in some localities.  

With regard to Fingal, Pobal has identified 11,678 childcare places in the area. Pobal does not distinguish between community and private providers when recording capacity.  

Fingal has a total of 326 childcare service providers, of which 19 are community based services.  

Fingal County Childcare Committee is available to provide advice and support to any individual, company or community based organisation who wish to establish early learning and care or school age childcare services.  

Under First 5, and also in preparation for planned investment under the National Development Plan, my Department will be undertaking research to consider in detail the capacity needs of each area across the country. In the interim, an annual capital scheme is available to support any provider, private or community, to increase capacity. I will be announcing the detail of the 2020 scheme shortly.