Over €630,000 extra funding for Cork Early Years Education & Childcare Services
Early years education and childcare facilities in Cork are to receive more than €630,000 additional funding, said Cork East Fine Gael TD and Minister of State at the Department of Justice & Equality, David Stanton. The funding, to service operators, is part of the Government’s programme to make high quality early years care and education more accessible to parents.
Minister Stanton said: “I am delighted to announce that 67 Cork based childcare and education services will receive a total of €630,793.90 extra in funding. This is from a total of €8.4 million available to 683 pre-school providers under the three strands of the Early Years Capital Funding Programme of the Department and Children and Youth Affairs. This represents a significant increase by Minister Zappone of €4.4 million, or more than double the €4 million that had been announced for this programme in March 2017.
“The money, which nationally will support the provision of an extra 2,200 early years places, will be used not only to provide more new childcare places but also allow providers to carry out vital maintenance and building work as well as the development of outdoor play areas. The funding is available for immediate draw-down and will benefit providers, staff and children. In addition, it will contribute to the development of a national infrastructure capable of meeting the radical new approach to subsidising early years care and education outlined in Budget 2017
“Since first entering Government, Fine Gael has prioritised the improvement of supports to hard pressed working families and a major part of this has been to reduce the cost of childcare and pre-school services for parents. We have introduced the free pre-school year, and extended this to a second year with a potential saving of €4,000 per child for parents. We have also introduced paternity leave and benefit so new fathers are now entitled to two weeks’ paid leave off work.
“More changes will also come into force in September when 70,000 children will benefit from extra supports: a universal support for all children aged 3 years and under and another more targeted support aimed at families with lower incomes. Full details of these new supports are available online at: www.affordablechildcare.ie