04 April 2014

Minister Fitzgerald announces €3 million Childcare Capital programme

    · €0.25 million each for grants to Parent and Toddler Groups; and Childminding Development Grant Scheme
 

  · €2.5 million for repair, maintenance and upgrade of community and not-for-profit childcare services

Frances Fitzgerald TD, Minister for Children & Youth Affairs has today announced the launch of capital funding totalling €3 million for community childcare services, parent and toddler groups and childminders.

Minister Fitzgerald stated: “I am happy to be in the position, for a third year in row, to announce a new scheme of capital funding for early years services. This demonstrates the commitment of this Government to continue developing quality childcare provision in Ireland.”

The Minister announced that €2.5 million was being made available for the repair, maintenance and upgrade of community and not-for-profit childcare services.

The Minister stated: "I am committed to securing the sustainability of community and not for profit childcare services, particularly in disadvantaged areas. Many community childcare facilities were built with State investment. But many are now over ten years old, and issues are emerging in terms of repair, maintenance and upgrade which must now be addressed, to ensure that quality childcare services can continue to be provided and to protect the State’s previous investment." 

The €2.5 million being made available for community childcare facilities will be directed to two specific purposes:

    1. Large scale maintenance works: Grants of up to €50k, for buildings previously in receipt of large-scale Equal Opportunities Childcare Programme (EOCP) or National Childcare Investment Programme (NCIP) capital funding.  This would include works to roofs, windows and doors, heating and sanitary systems, building access or safety, replacement of worn fixtures and fittings and essential repairs to outdoor play areas.
    2. Quality improvement and sustainability: Grants of up to 50k for buildings previously in receipt of large-scale EOCP or NCIP capital funding for medium or large scale works to improve Building Energy Rating (BER)  to support sustainability. 

Applications for these strands can be made from the afternoon of next Monday, 7th April on the Pobal website.

In addition the Minister announced that she would be allocating €0.25 million to support Parent and Toddler Groups; and a further €0.25 million to the Childminding Development Grant Scheme, which is an important part of our support to the many childminders who look after children. The Minister indicted that this funding will be allocated through the City and County Childcare Committees.

The Minister also indicated that she hoped to announce details of the next capital funding scheme for the early year’s sector before the end of the year, which would commence in early 2015.  The Minister said “I am anxious to ensure that grants for capital funding are available to as many applicants as possible and that this is facilitated by an early announcement of a 2015 scheme.”