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Cork East Fine Gael TD and Minister of State at the Department of Justice, David Stanton, has welcomed confirmation that a total of €33,519 in capital grants has been awarded to four childcare providers in the Cork East constituency. The announcement was made by the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Katherine Zappone as part of a total capital funding of €6.87 million to under the Early Years and School Age Capital Grants 2018.

“This funding has been awarded following a very competitive application and appraisal process. It will contribute towards the creation of new childcare places, outdoor play areas and the essential maintenance and repair” confirmed Minister Stanton.

The funding has been made available to Cork East childcare providers in Midleton and Mallow under Strand 3 for early years natural outdoor play areas and under Strand 4 for new places for school-age children. The successful local providers were:

• Jack & Jill Childcare Centre Ltd – Avoncore, Midleton (Strand 3) – €5,660
• Singing in the Rain – Midleton College, Midleton (Strand 3) – €6,689
• Ash’s Angels Preschool – Lower Quartertown, Mallow (Strand 3) – €6,979
• Sherpa Kids Scoil Bhríde – Presentation Primary, Midleton (Strand 4) – €14,191

Minister Stanton said: “The allocation of funding follows on from childcare measures introduced last September, giving 70,000 children extra supports. Amongst the extra supports is a universal childcare subsidy, of up to €1,040 per year, available for children aged 6 to 36 months.

“Families on lower incomes are eligible, on satisfying a means test, for supports worth up to €7,500 per year for children aged 6 months to 15 years of age. The aim is to ensure that parents who were previously prevented from taking up jobs, training or education due to childcare costs, can now avail of these opportunities.

“In addition, the free pre-school year which was introduced and later extended to two free years has been hugely beneficial to families saving them on average €4,000 per child. Further supports include GP care for those under 6, the introduction of two weeks paid paternity leave, 47,000 extra breakfast club places and a 25% increase in the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance. Under the supports an extra 10,000 children now qualify for a medical card thanks to it being extended to those on Domiciliary Care Allowance”.