For Written Answer on : 27/04/2023
Question Number(s): 328 Question Reference(s): 20100/23
Department: Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth
Asked by: David Stanton T.D.
To ask the Minister for Children; Equality; Disability; Integration and Youth the way his Department supports the provision of new child care and crèche facilities in rural areas; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
My Department successfully secured €69 million under the National Development Plan allocation for the Building Blocks Capital Programme. The Building Blocks Capital Programme includes three Pillars:
- An Improvement Grant to improve energy efficiency standards, while also supporting the continuous improvement of the physical environment of services. Successful applicants have since been advised of the outcome of this scheme.
- A Capacity Grant to address capacity gaps, by funding an expansion in existing services and investing in the development of new services where most needed.
- An Innovation Grant to pilot a range of innovative initiatives for early learning and childcare services.
Work is underway in the design and delivery of the Capacity and the Innovation Grant schemes. These schemes will be designed to meet current and long-term Early Learning and Childcare infrastructure needs. I hope to announce details of these schemes later this year. As it stands, there is no further capital funding currently available to the Department in 2023.
Any rural services that are experiencing difficulty and who would like support can contact their City/County Childcare Committee (CCC) to access case management supports. Services can be assisted on an individual basis through this route and it also allows for trends and themes across the country to be identified that can inform a more systematic response if necessary. Sustainability Funding may also be available via case management, following an assessment of eligibility and need.