Written answers

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Department of Children and Youth Affairs

Early Childhood Care and Education

Photo of Jennifer WhitmoreJennifer Whitmore (Wicklow, Social Democrats)
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1163. To ask the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if she will be making funding available for July and August 2020 on a once-off basis to the ECCE-only sector and to other sessional and full-day providers in view of the funding challenges they will face at the end of June 2020; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [6955/20]

Photo of Katherine ZapponeKatherine Zappone (Dublin South West, Independent)
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My Department, in consultation with stakeholder representatives, is currently developing proposals for the on-going funding of early learning and care services, including the ECCE-only sector and other sessional providers. 

I have established and Chair an Advisory Group that includes membership from across the sector, specifically the Association of Childhood Professionals, Childminding Ireland, Community Forum, Early Childhood Ireland, National Childhood Network, PLÉ, Pobal, Seas Seas, Tusla and SIPTU. The first meetings of this Advisory Group took place on 13, 15 and 19 May. A schedule of weekly meetings has been agreed.

There are a number of key decisions to be made across Government that will impact significantly on the ELC and SAC sector, including the continuation, introduction or cessation of emergency measures such as the Revenue operated Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme, the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection operated Pandemic Unemployment Payment, and other business supports. The proposals for re-opening ELC and SAC services necessarily interact with these existing schemes and so I will be relying on the continued close working relationships with other Ministers on whole of government plans, which impact the ELC and SAC sector.

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