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Childcare Services

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 14 July 2020

Tuesday, 14 July 2020

Ceisteanna (867)

Malcolm Noonan

Ceist:

867. Deputy Malcolm Noonan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if a decision not to reopen an application for funding for a childcare community facility (details supplied) will be reviewed. [15097/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Children)

My Department is aware of the case mentioned and have previously been in contact with both Pobal and the service concerned regarding the circumstances of this case.

In a letter to the service concerned from my Department on the 27th November 2019, it was clarified that Pobal initially issued correspondence to the service on 26th October 2018 querying an error surrounding the submission of the component certificates and requesting a re-submission of the application with the correct documents. This query was not responded to.

Further to this, in April 2019, a general message was sent by Pobal to all services with a queried status on their higher capitation application. Pobal received an initial response from the service enquiring as to why their higher capitation status was queried. Pobal replied on 25th April 2019 to the service explaining what additional information was required. This message was not responded to and the application was not amended within the programme year which closed in late June 2019.

Pobal confirmed that the application was re-submitted on the 30th August 2019 but as this was well outside of the submission period, the application was declined. Upon an inquiry by the service, Pobal referred the case to my Department who advised Pobal to maintain the original decision due to the fact that the service did not address the outstanding issues within the programme year.

It must be noted that for applications submitted in the 2018/2019 programme year, significant additional flexibility was afforded by Pobal, allowing services until the 2nd August 2019 to address any outstanding issues with their Higher Capitation applications. Services were informed of this extension through the relevant channels.

Whilst my Department understands the pressures on service providers, the responsibility for ensuring applications are submitted correctly and on time lies with the service. Further, the documents requested by Pobal should have been readily available to the service as they would have been required for any applications made in previous years and are also required to be on-site for the purposes of inspection.

Question No. 868 answered with Question No. 853.
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