Wednesday, 19th July 2017
Funding to improve childcare services is to be doubled to €8.4m, according to the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr Katherine Zappone.
Minister Zappone has announced that €8.4m in capital funding has been allocated through the Department of Children and Youth Affairs to 683 pre-school providers nationwide; an increase in €4,4m on the amount announced for this programme in March 2017. Minister Zappone says the increase in funding comes at a key moment in Ireland’s move to accessible affordable quality childcare.
The money is to be used to provide more than 2,200 new childcare places, maintenance and building work as well as outdoor play areas and is available for immediate draw-down by the successful applicants.
Minister Zappone said:
“I am delighted to be able to more than double the funding being provided to Early Years Services at this critical time. We are responding to huge demand from Early Years providers. I am confirming that 683 individual projects are set to be funded, reflecting my strong commitment to increasing the capacity and quality of Ireland’s childcare sector.”
The approved 2017 Early Years Capital Funding will be made available to childcare centres, crèches and other Early Years services under three strands:
• Strand 1: New Places (€4.2m – maximum €50k per grant): 89 projects to be funded.
• Strand 2: Building improvements and maintenance (€2.1m maximum €20k per grant, Community only): 131 projects to be funded.
• Strand 3: Natural outdoor play area (€2.1m, maximum €5k per grant): 463 projects to be funded.
The additional funding being announced today is focused in particular on Strands 2 and 3, comprising 594 individual projects, which will benefit in particular community services providing Early Years care, with nine more projects than anticipated also being funded under Strand 1.
Minister Zappone said:-
“As Minister, I hold the provision of quality, affordable and accessible childcare as a very highest priority.
This year’s Early Years Capital Funding programme received an overwhelming amount of applications from providers who share these same goals.
This funding will benefit children, families and providers under our Early Years programmes, and will contribute to the development of an infrastructure that is ready to meet the radical new approach to subsidising childcare outlined in Budget 2017.”