6,000 places in a new After-School Childcare Scheme
€2.5 million for new Area Based Approach to Child Poverty initiative
Capital funding for National Children Detention Facility – to end the practice of detaining 16 and 17 year olds in St. St Patrick’s Institution;
Savings to be matched by reforms and value-for money reviews.
Frances Fitzgerald T.D., Minister for Children and Youth Affairs today welcomed the 2013 Estimate for her Department which includes a number of new initiatives aimed at supporting children and families.
The 2013 Department of Children and Youth Affairs estimates package includes:
- Over 6,000 places in a new After-School Childcare Scheme, for children in primary school, to support low-income families to take up employment;
- €2.5 million for a new ‘Area Based Approach to Child Poverty’ initiative
- Retention of the universal free-pre-school year;
- €20.4m in capital funding for development of National Children Detention Facility at Oberstown - to end the practice of detaining 16 and 17 year olds in St Patrick’s Institution;
- Savings across a number programme area, to be matched by reforms and value-for money review.
After-School Childcare Scheme
Area Based Approach to Child Poverty’ Initiative
Minister Fitzgerald stated: “We know that early intervention improves life chances for children and families. This is even more true in communities with high levels of disadvantage and joblessness.”
Retention of the Universal Free Pre-School YearDespite the need to find savings to meet the Budget deficit, Minister Fitzgerald is pleased to confirm funding has been confirmed to maintain and protect the universal free pre-school year. Over 65,000 children are availing of the year at an annual cost of €175 million.
National Children Detention Facility project Minister Fitzgerald has welcomed the decision to allocate €20.4m in capital funding in 2013 to her Department to enable the National Children Detention Facility project in Oberstown to proceed. Earlier this year Minister Fitzgerald announced the Government’s decision to end the practice of detaining 16 and 17 year olds in St. Patrick’s Institution through developing the Oberstown facility.
Capital Programmes for Youth and ChildcareA further €5 million has been allocated to the Department of Children and Youth Affairs in 2013 to provide for a number of initiatives including a new capital programme for Youth Cafes and other youth projects as well as schemes funding Play and Recreation and Parent and Toddler groups. The Minister plans to make further details of these initiatives, including funding for childcare services, available in early 2013.
Establishment of the Child and Family Support Agency:One of the most important tasks now facing the Department is the establishment of the Child & Family Support Agency. The Minister welcomed the allocation of €546 million in the Health Service Executive Vote for 2013 in respect of Children and Family Services. This consists of €545 million in current expenditure and €1 million in capital.
Savings & Reforms In line with the Government’s Comprehensive Review of Expenditure agreed in 2011, the Department of Children & Youth Affairs is seeking savings across a number of programme areas. The Department of Children & Youth Affairs has sought to ensure that savings are matched with reforms so as to seek to deliver greater value-for-money and operating efficiencies.
- With respect to youth service funding, five separate funding streams will be streamlined so that from January 2013, 470 projects will receive one funding stream allowing more flexibility in setting priorities, managing savings and reconfiguring service provision. Furthermore the Department of Children and Youth Affairs will next month commence a formal Value for Money review and this is expected to report by mid 2013. There will be no cut to funding for local voluntary youth clubs.The Family Support Agency recently undertook a review of funding to Family Resource Centres. The Report from the review is due to be finalised within the next few weeks. The Family Resource Centres will, along with the HSE’s Children and Family Services, form an integral part of the new Child and Family Support Agency, due to be established in 2013. FRC’s will form part of new seamless community-based model of family support which will further facilitate and support greater operating efficiencies.With respect to the School Completion Programme, a full review will take place in 2013. This will address potential to achieve greater consistency in programme delivery, administration and other costs amongst the 124 local projects who deliver the programme.
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