CAPITAL FUNDING AMOUNTING to €3 million for community childcare services, parent and toddler groups and childminders was announced today.
Almost €2.5 million of the funding will go towards repair, maintenance and upgrade of community and not-for-profit childcare services.
Funding of €250,000 will be allocated to support parent and toddler groups and another €250,000 will go to the Childminding Development Grant Scheme, which supports childminders who look after children.
The funding for early years services will go towards developing quality childcare in Ireland, said the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Frances Fitzgerald.
The €2.5 million will go towards large scale maintenance works, with grants of up to €50,000 available for buildings previously in receipt of large-scale Equal Opportunities Childcare Programme (EOCP) or National Childcare Investment Programme (NCIP) capital funding.
The works include work that needs to be done to roofs, windows, doors, as well as improvements to heating, sanitary systems, building access or safety replacement of worn fixtures and fittings and essential repairs to outdoor play areas.
Applications for these strands can be made from the 7 April on the Pobal website.
The minister said she was “committed to securing the sustainability of community and not for profit childcare services, particularly in disadvantaged areas”.
She added that many community childcare facilities were built with state investment, “but many are now over ten years old, and issues are emerging in terms of repair, maintenance and upgrade which must now be addressed, to ensure that quality childcare services can continue to be provided and to protect the State’s previous investment,” said.
The next capital funding scheme for the early year’s sector will happen before the end of the year, which would commence in early 2015.