Tuesday, 17 December 2019
Department of Children and Youth Affairs
Childcare Services Funding
658. To ask the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the capital assistance available for the development and building of crèches; the amount spent each year since 2012 on capital assistance for same; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [52963/19]
As Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, one of my key priorities is to support the early learning and care and school age childcare sector through the provision of capital funding, where it is most needed.
My Department reviews the capital programmes annually as a whole and determines the priorities for Early Learning and Care and School Age Capital grants for the year ahead. I have allocated significant funding in recent years for this purpose and for improving the quality of infrastructure nationwide.
Capital strands are made available to achieve the strategic priorities for the year as determined by my Department, having regard to the funding available, developed using analysis of the current state of the childcare sector, learnings from previous capital programmes and feedback and input from stakeholders, including childcare providers and Pobal.
Planning for 2020's Capital offering is currently underway and the details of this will be communicated to providers in the near future.
Childcare was identified as a strategic priority in the National Development Plan and €250m in capital funding was secured for childcare under the plan. This represents the kind of large scale investment in the sector by the State that has not been undertaken since the earlier National Childcare Investment Programme that concluded in 2010.
The table below outlines the amount spent annually and the amount available since 2012 on capital funding for early learning and care services. Please note that these are not the final figures for 2019 as payments are continuing.
|Year||Total Spent per annual accounting period (Jan - Dec)||Available budget|