The funding available for the 2021 Capital Programme is €8.3million. As you will be aware, the distribution of capital funding is determined on an annual basis, having regard to the needs of children, families and service providers, and Departmental priorities. The priority for the 2021 Capital Programme will be a fire safety capital grant.
Tulsa, the independent regulator of the sector, requires that providers submit a fire safety certificate as part of the statutory registration process. The Department is aware that while many services have already re-registered and submitted a fire safety certificate, some have re-registered subject to submitting an up to date Fire Safety Certificate in 2021. Some of these services may need to carry out remedial works to receive a Fire Safety Certificate. In recognition of the potential costs of remedial works, the Department will provide capital grants of between €1,000 and €10,000 to contribute to these costs under the 2021 Capital Programme.
Works which will be eligible for funding under the 2021 Capital Programme will include the following:
To be eligible for funding, works must be identified as being required in a fire safety assessment report which has been completed since June 2019 by a competent person who is a registered architect, building surveyor or engineer. The fire safety assessment must be provided with the application for funding.
Pobal will administer the 2021 Capital Programme and will open an on-line application process in mid to late January, with a closing date in mid-February. Pobal will provide more information on the Programme in the coming weeks.
If you do not have a Fire Safety Certificate and intend to apply for a grant under the 2021 Capital Programme, please ensure that you have a fire safety assessment to support your application, by early February. The fire safety assessment may be dated at any time after 1 June 2019 – although, if material works have been carried out in your service since the fire safety assessment was obtained, you will have to provide an updated assessment.
If any of the €8.3million available for capital grants for early learning and care and school age services is not drawn down for fire safety works, the Department will distribute the balance by way of a second round of grants, which will focus on outdoor play. Further detail on this will be announced in early April 2021.