The Minister has secured €8.1m for childcare capital grants across 2020.
€7.2m of this will be used for the Early Learning and Care and School Age Capital programmes, an increase of over €1million on the 2019 capital programme for this sector.
The programmes will be open for applications from early learning and care and school age childcare services in February 2020.
Service providers will be invited to apply for funding under the following strands:
Strand A: Creation of new places for 0-3 year olds – €5.5m (max. €50,000 per grant).
Strand B: Works required for regulatory compliance for community services – €1m (max. €1,200 per grant).
Strand C: Creation of new school age places – €700,000 (max. €20,000 per grant).
The funding objective is the continued expansion of early learning and care places for 0-3 year olds, and to create additional places for school age childcare.
Funding is also being made available to support community/not-for-profit early learning and care services in addressing issues identified during the process of Tusla re-registration.
Commenting on the launch of the Capital fund, Minister Zappone said: –
“2019 has been a very significant year in our efforts to transform one of the most expensive childcare services in the world into the best. The landmark and highly innovative National Childcare Scheme launched in November, and I believe it is our future pathway to quality, accessible and affordable childcare in Ireland.
Demand for childcare places continues to grow in many parts of the country, and I am delighted to have secured capital funding of €7.2million to support a further increase in capacity in the sector.
I would like to thank childcare providers for their continued delivery of high quality services, and I am pleased to note that many providers are committed to growing their services to meet growing demand. I recently launched the Pobal Annual Sector Profile for 2019, it also reports that almost a quarter of all services intend to expand in the next 12 months, creating over 15,000 additional spaces for children nationwide. This demonstrates 218,000 places in 2019 compared to 104,000 places 5 years ago. This capital programme will help them to do that.”
The capital programme will be administered by Pobal on behalf of the Department. Further information on the application process, including detailed application guidelines, will be made available to services in February 2020.
Childcare providers are encouraged to contact their local City/County Childcare Committee with any queries on the programme and the application process.