Written answers

Thursday, 21 March 2024

Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth

Childcare Services

Photo of Ivana BacikIvana Bacik (Dublin Bay South, Labour)
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271. To ask the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth the amount of core funding provided in Budget 2022 which was used to uplift wages in the early years and school age childcare sector; the amount which has remained unspent; and if the balance is publicly available on an ongoing basis. [13419/24]

Photo of Roderic O'GormanRoderic O'Gorman (Dublin West, Green Party)
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Core Funding, which began in September 2022, is the new funding stream to start a partnership for the public good between the State and providers. Its primary purpose is to improve pay and conditions in the sector as a whole and improve affordability for parents as well as ensuring a stable income to providers.

€160m of the total allocation for the 2022/2023 programme year went towards supporting improved pay rates across different categories of staff.

There was also an additional €47m available for graduate premiums, bringing the total funding amount allocated of core funding provided in Budget 2022, specifically towards staff pay, to €207 million for the first year of the scheme.

The majority of Core Funding is distributed to services via the base rate, based on a service's capacity - the opening hours, opening weeks and the age group of children for whom services are provided as well as number of places available.

The base rates in Core Funding have been developed using the various components associated with the cost of delivery of service provision such as; staff pay and conditions, including contact and non-contact time, holiday pay, sick pay and other employer costs; administrative staff/time and non-staff overhead costs.

Although, the cost of delivery components have been used to derive the base rates the eligible areas of expenditure of the Core Funding grant are much broader. Partner Services can choose how to spend their Core Funding grant in accordance with the approved areas of expenditure outlines in the Funding Agreement.

I am committed to increasing State funding for ELC and SAC as part of a multi-annual budget process and continuing to work with Partner Services delivering early learning and childcare for the public good.


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