North County Leader

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Extra Funding For Childcare Services

Childcare

Local senator, Dr James Reilly (FG) has welcomed the news of new funding for childcare services in North County Dublin.

The financial boost comes as Childcare services in the North County are to receive E315,000 in extra funding. The financial boost comes at a key moment in Ireland’s move to accessible affordable quality childcare. Reilly said: “I am delighted to announce that local childcare services will receive E315,000 in extra funding. The money will be used to provide more than new childcare places, maintenance and building work as well as outdoor play areas and is available for immediate draw-down by providers here in Fingal,” he said.

“For example, the excellent Balbriggan Community Childcare Group will receive E20,000 from strand 2 funding, five local childcare providers will receive grants of E50,000 each and 34 childcare providers in the region will receive grants of E3,000 to E5,000. I hold the provision of quality, affordable and accessible childcare as a very highest priority, ensuring local children get the very best start in life,” he said. Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr Katherine Zappone, said that E8.4m in capital funding has been allocated through the Department of Children and Youth Affairs to 683 pre-school providers nationwide.

“This funding will benefit children, families and providers under our Early Years programmes, and will contribute to the development of an infrastructure that is ready to meet the radical new approach to subsidising childcare outlined in Budget 2017. “We introduced the free pre-school year, and subsequently extended it to a second year. It is estimated the extended scheme provides an average saving of E4,000 per child. We also recently introduced paternity leave for the first time ever. Dads are now entitled to two weeks’ paid leave.

“Families will benefit in two ways. First there is a universal support for all children aged three and under; then there are supports for those families who need it most.” “The second targeted support is based on income and also for those parents who have had to turn down jobs, training and education because they cannot afford childcare. “I encourage parents in Fingal to take the time to study the increased supports which are available and prepare for the autumn, by checking out the new website affordablechildcare.ie or by talking to staff at your local childcare centre,” he concluded.