Minister Zappone announces €8.1m for childcare capital grants across 2020

The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr Katherine Zappone TD, recently announced the details of the 2020 Early Learning and Care and School Age Capital programmes. 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).

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 (NCS) 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.

Additional information including Minister Katherine Zappone’s full announcement can be found here.

The post Minister Zappone announces €8.1m for childcare capital grants across 2020 appeared first on Pobal.

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