Tuesday, 28 July 2020
Department of Children and Youth Affairs
706. To ask the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if his attention has been drawn to the closure of a crèche (details supplied) in County Louth; if his attention has also been drawn to the circumstances of the closure of the facility; if his Department and agencies are available to assist the service to continue under an alternative management structure; the details of the amount of funding provided to the organisation in 2019 and to date in 2020; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18214/20]
On 8 July, Pobal were contacted by Louth CCC regarding this service due to concerns that the service was to close. From this date, the circumstances have been monitored by Pobal in conjunction with Louth CCC. On 13 July, Louth CCC wrote to the service to offer supports to explore preventative measures to avoid closure and look at restructuring the service in order to continue to provide childcare for parents in the community. Louth CCC also advised of the re-opening and capital funding grants currently available through the Reopening Funding package for Childcare services announced by the Minister on 10 June.
My Department oversees a Case Management process through which local CCCs and Pobal work together to assess and provide support to early learning and care services. This can include help with completing and interpreting analysis of staff ratios, fee setting and cash flow, as well as more specialised advice and support appropriate to individual circumstances. Financial supports, which are also accessed through Case Management, are available for community services presenting with sustainability issues following a financial assessment by Pobal. Pobal co-ordinate the overall case management process with the CCC administering initial, and on-going, case management assistance. Any service wishing to remain open and which requires support to do so should contact their local CCC in the first instance
Case Management support is available for services in a situation like this, and this was offered by Louth CCC. However, the final choice as to whether to engage with this support or to close are private business decisions..
In response to the above supports currently being offered, the service in question informed Louth CCC that their decision to close was irreversible as they were unable to recruit suitably qualified staff.
The amount of funding provided to the organisation in 2019 and to 22ndJuly 2020 is detailed in the table:
*2020 payments listed below are to 22ndJuly 2020.
|Programme Call||Payments in 2019||Payments in 2020*|
|CEC 2018 (AS)||€3737.00||0.00|
|CEC 2018 (PS)||€6672.00||€-96.00|
|CEC 2019 (AS)||2675.00||2887.50|
|CEC 2019 (PS)||2160.00||2320.00|
|Covid 19- Wage Subsidy||0.00||19402.17|