Funding has been made available to help childcare services upgrade, renovate or refurbish Early Learning and Childcare settings to improve the quality of learning environments for children as well as energy efficiency of the settings.

The grant is part of a wider Building Blocks Capital Programme for Early Learning and Childcare under the National Development Plan.

Grants will range from €35,000 to €75,000 across two separate strands: Green Energy and Retrofit.

The Green Energy Strand supports the Climate Action Agenda and the Programme for Government, which aim to transition to a carbon neutral economy by the end of 2050 and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 51% by 2030. Grants will be provided for improvements to increase energy efficiency, utilising renewables where feasible, such as the installation of solar panels and heat pumps, insulation and water conservation measures.

The Retrofit Strand will provide grants to existing services in need of upgrading. Eligible works include kitchen works and refurbishment, upgrading of sanitary facilities for children and adults, roof repairs/replacement, and upgrading of flooring.

Eligibility criteria

Early Learning and Care Services (ELC) and School Age Childcare Services (SAC) who are who are in contract for the National Childcare Scheme (NCS) and/or Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) with at least one child registered are eligible to apply.

Successful applicants must be in contract with Core Funding before any funding is released.

Building Blocks Improvement Grant Applications

Applications for eligible services will open on the 28 October 2022 for approximately 4 weeks. Successful applicants will be notified in early 2023.

The table below summarises the key documents required as part of the application process for strand A and B.

Checklist of Documents
Professional Report (Mandatory for Strand A)
Planning Permission, if required for Strand A only
Rental/lease/licence agreement, if required
Owner’s Permission template if required
Indicative quote documentation
Evidence of own funding, if required
Additional supporting documentation

Payment of the grant

All of the grant that the childcare service gets must be spent and reported to Pobal no later than 30 November 2023.

For more information on payment of the grant, please refer to the applicant guidelines which can be found in the resources section below.

Further information 

Please contact the office on 06264200 or contact your development officer.