New national grant fund for childcare providers welcomed in Offaly

New national grant fund for childcare providers welcomed in Offaly

Edenderry and North Offaly childcare providers can now apply for support from a new €4m national fund, according to Offaly Councillor Noel Cribbin. Cllr Cribbin says local crèches, community services and other childcare providers can apply for money for new places, maintenance works and outdoor play areas.

His comments come on foot of an announcement this morning by Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Katherine Zappone of the establishment of a €4m national fund under the 2017 Early Years Capital Funding Scheme.

Cllr Cribbin says individual childcare centres can receive funding of up to €50,000 under the scheme. Making the announcement today, Independent Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Katherine Zappone said:

“The Government has ambitious plans to change childcare throughout the country. We must move from having one of the most expensive services in the world to having the best. However in order to achieve this goal we must continue to build up the infrastructure, in particular in those communities with young populations."

"This funding is another step towards achieving our goal. Childcare providers can receive up to €50,000 under this scheme for major expansions, €20,000 is available to community based services for maintenance and grants of up to €5,000 are available for outdoor play areas," she added.

"This fund is in addition to €3m announced earlier in March to support those services for children of school-going age. While these schemes are making a difference on the ground, in the Dáil we are also progressing legislation to allow for major changes to childcare. As Minister I am working hard to ensure the laws are passed before the Autumn," Minister Zappone explained.

I am determined that parents will no longer be forced to turn down work, training or education because of the high cost of childcare. Our plans are ambitious however as Minister I remain convinced that it is to everyone’s benefit that we have quality, affordable, accessible childcare services."

Cllr Cribbin added that "this is very positive news for both parents and childcare providers and Minister Zappone deserves great credit for introducing these positive plans and the funding to improve our childcare facilities."

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