Written answers

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Department of Health and Children

Child Care Services

8:00 pm

Photo of Finian McGrathFinian McGrath (Dublin North Central, Independent)
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Question 404: To ask the Minister for Health and Children the position with regard to capital grant funding for a project (details supplied) in County Leitrim. [39508/09]

Photo of Frank FeighanFrank Feighan (Roscommon-South Leitrim, Fine Gael)
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Question 442: To ask the Minister for Health and Children the reason a company (details supplied) was refused capital funding to provide a new childcare building at the Health Service Executive site in Ballinmore, County Leitrim; if her attention has been drawn to the fact that this is the third successive rejection for the company and the children are catered for in a building that was condemned as a school 40 years ago; and the reason they are being ignored for funding. [38083/09]

Photo of Barry AndrewsBarry Andrews (Minister of State with special responsibility for Children and Young People, Department of Health and Children; Minister of State, Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform; Minister of State, Department of Education and Science; Dún Laoghaire, Fianna Fail)
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I propose to take Questions Nos. 404 and 442 together.

As the Deputies will be aware, I have responsibility for the National Childcare Investment Programme (NCIP) 2006 - 2010 under which capital grant funding was made available to community and commercial childcare providers for the development of childcare facilities.

Prior to the NCIP, capital grant funding was also available under the EU co-funded Equal Opportunities Childcare Programme 2000 - 2006 (EOCP). I understand from Pobal, who manage the day to day operation of the programmes on behalf of my Office, that the company in question applied for capital grant funding under the EOCP in April 2004 but its application did not proceed as it was unsuccessful in securing a site for the project.

With the introduction of the NCIP in 2006, I understand that the company made a further application for capital grant in June 2008. However, with the economic downturn in September 2008 it was necessary to review public expenditure, particularly in the area of new capital commitments. As a result, with the exception of a limited number of projects, all NCIP capital grant applicants including the company in question were advised in April of this year that the capital grant programme was closed to new applications.

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