Minister Joe McHugh has revealed that more than 20 creches and childcare centres in Donegal are to receive grants under a €600,000 funding package from Government.
Mr McHugh, Minister for the Irish language, Gaeltacht and the Islands, said: “This vital funding will provide dozens of new childcare places for youngsters of school age and younger.
“Every parent knows the importance of high-quality, affordable and reliable childcare.
“It’s about giving our youngsters the best start in life and increased funding like this – double what creches and childcare centres in Donegal secured last year – takes us a long way on that road.
“The Fine Gael Government has taken a radical and dedicated approach to improving subsidies for childcare, knowing full well the difficulties that it places on families, especially in the recession years.
“We will continue to push this agenda and improve and reform the system in a bid to ease the burden on hard-pressed working families.”
The grants from the Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA) will be provided across five strands to cover extra childcare places for early years and school age children, for essential maintenance and repair and natural outdoor play areas.
Among the projects which are being notified of successful bids for funding are Spraoi and Sport in Carndonagh, Naíonra Chnocfola, Naíonra Ailt a Chorráin in Letterkenny and Drumkeen Community Childcare in Ballybofey.
Mr McHugh said: “There are more than 20 creches and centres in Donegal on the list for this round of funding. I want to congratulate them all. This funding and the work they do is of immeasurable benefit to children and their mothers and fathers.
“The Fine Gael Government has produced a raft of extra childcare supports from the universal childcare subsidy, of up to €1,040 per year, to welfare supports for lower income families, worth up to €7,500 a year for kids to the age 15, in order to assist parents who are joining the workforce.
“The Government also extended free pre-school year packages under the ECCE scheme – saving families about €4,000 per child and we also introduced paid Paternity Leave for the first time in the history of the State.
“This is a Government that is putting the needs of hard-pressed families first.”
Mr McHugh added: “I would like to thank Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Katherine Zappone for her focus on funding in this area and for the efforts to improve childcare facilities in Donegal.
“With Fine Gael in Government we will continue to seek increased investment in this area in order to increase capacity and deliver the highest quality of childcare for families in Ireland.”
A total of €6.87million is being funded by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA) to provide 2,700 new childcare places to be created nationwide and improve facilities and play areas.
The approved Early Years and School Age Capital funding for 2018 will be made available to childcare centres, crèches and other childcare facilities across five strands, as follows:
Strand 1 (Early Years): New places
Nine projects with funding totalling €424,489 – Kool Kids Killymard; Glenties Community Playgroup Ltd; Clares Little Stars Preschool Ltd; Busy Bee Playschool; Little Toby’s Playschool; Niall Mór Community Childcare; Drumkeen Community Childcare Centre; Naíonra Ailt a Chorráin; Cockhill Community Pre-school.
Strand 2 (Early Years): Essential maintenance & repair (community only)
Three projects with funding totalling €51,959 – Child’s Play Pre-school; Stepping Stones Playgroup; Creeslough Community Childcare Services Ltd.
Strand 3 (Early Years): Natural outdoor play area (0-50 capacity services only)
Ten projects with funding totalling €59,760 – Rainbow’s Pre-school; St Gabriel’s Pre-school; Naíonra Chnocfola; Kool Kids Killymard; Naíonra Ailt a Chorráin; Rosie and Jim’s; Aurora’s Hobbits; Busy Bee Playschool; Little Learners Pre-School.
Strand 4 (School Age): New places
Three projects with funding totalling €48,770 – Kool Kids Killymard; Spraoi agus Sport; Niall Mór Community Childcare.
Strand 5 (School Age): Essential maintenance & repair
Two projects with funding totalling €9,835 – Convoy Playgroup; Spraoi agus Sport Family Centre Ltd.
Pobal will now begin the process of notifying all applicants of these decisions. Details of successful applications will be published in the coming days
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