Written answers

Thursday, 9 May 2019

Department of Children and Youth Affairs

Crèche Facilities Provision

Photo of Mick BarryMick Barry (Cork North Central, Solidarity)
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156. To ask the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the steps she will take to ensure the continuation of a crèche (details supplied) which parents and staff have been informed is due to cease operation in August 2019; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [20274/19]

Photo of Katherine ZapponeKatherine Zappone (Dublin South West, Independent)
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Thank you for your question in relation to the closure of this crèche due to take place in August.

While my Department funds a wide range of initiatives to support the quality, affordability and accessibility of early learning and care services, it does not operate or direct Early Learning and Care services.

The service referred to by the Deputy is an independent community-based organisation, and given this context, there are limits to the actions my department can take in situations like this one, where the board of management of a crèche have chosen to close.

Although the Department cannot directly intervene in the decisions of individual organisations, a range of supports are available through local City/County Childcare Committees funded by the DCYA and through Pobal’s Case Management service. These supports are designed to ensure that services are supported to remain open wherever possible. Pobal has a dedicated team which works with services facing difficulties. This team offers support with activities such as business planning and accounting to assist services manage any challenges they may face. The team can, in certain circumstances , also offer direct financial support.

I strongly recommend any service which finds itself in difficulty to get in contact with their local CCC and Pobal immediately, and I would encourage them to fully explore the support options available to them before making any final decision. In the case of the service referred to by the Deputy, Dublin CCC has offered support to them.

With regard to the parents and children affected by the closure of this particular service, Dublin CCC will provide support to parents with sourcing alternative early learning and care and school age childcare arrangements.


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