Fine Gael Local Election candidate, Damian Boylan, has welcomed news that a capital fund of €3 million has been launched for the provision of community childcare services, parent and toddler groups and childminders.
“This fund, which has been in place for the past three years, demonstrates the Government’s commitment to developing quality childcare provision in Ireland and to investing in our children,” Damian said.
The Minister announced that €2.5 million was being made available for the repair, maintenance and upgrade of community and not-for-profit childcare services.
“Many community childcare facilities were built with State investment, but some are now over ten years old, and issues are emerging in terms of repair, maintenance and upgrade which must now be addressed.
“The €2.5 million being made available for community childcare facilities will be directed to two specific purposes:
1. Large scale maintenance works: Grants of up to €50k, for buildings previously in receipt of large-scale Equal Opportunities Childcare Programme (EOCP) or National Childcare Investment Programme (NCIP) capital funding. This would include works to roofs, windows and doors, heating and sanitary systems, building access or safety, replacement of worn fixtures and fittings and essential repairs to outdoor play areas.
2. Quality improvement and sustainability: Grants of up to 50k for buildings previously in receipt of large-scale EOCP or NCIP capital funding for medium or large scale works to improve Building Energy Rating (BER) to support sustainability. Applications for funding for works within these categories can be made via the website, www.pobal.ie
“In addition, €0.25 million is available to support Parent and Toddler Groups; and a further €0.25 million to the Childminding Development Grant Scheme, which is an important part of the support to the many childminders who look after children around the country. This funding will be allocated through the Cork City/County Childcare Committees,” Damian advised.