Local childcare centres to benefit from €8.4m fund for improvements

Local childcare centres to benefit from €8.4m fund for improvements

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Katherine Zappone has this morning announced funding to improve childcare services will be doubled this year to €8.4m.

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.

Katherine Zappone TD 09052016

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.

Local childcare centres in the South Dublin County Council area are getting over €363,000 for improvements.

The funding will allow for extra childcare spaces, building and maintenance work as well as playgrounds – and is more than double what has been provided in recent years.

A total of 35 local projects are to benefit with grants ranging from €50,000 for major works to just over €3,000 for those planning outdoor playgrounds.

Speaking after the announcement, Minister Zappone said: “Accessible affordable quality childcare is essential for Tallaght and all communities in South Dublin County Council.

“This funding will help ensure that our crèches, pre-schools and other childcare services have the capability to deliver for families.

“The major grants of up to €50,000 are to allow for extra childcare spaces. I am thrilled that five local providers are receiving this strand 1 funding.

“It is great news for St Kevin’s Family Resource Centre in Kinamanagh, Newcastle Montessori, Naíonra Chaitlin Maude in Whitestown, Kingswood Childcare and Mountainview Green.” 

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 Minister continued: “It will help build capacity so we can meet the needs of those communities with more children and young people.”

Two other providers, Ronanstown Community Childcare Centre and the Co-operative Housing Ireland, are receiving the second highest level of funding of about €18,000-€19,000 for building and maintenance.

While 24 providers are receiving smaller grants up to a maximum of €5,000 for outdoor playgrounds.

Other local childcare providers to benefit from the increase in funds include the Dublin 12 Childcare Consortium, Cherry Orchard Community Childcare, Ballyfermot Star and the Ballyfermot Centre for Children, Young People and Families.