Childcare centres are being invited to apply for €6.8m in funding for extra spaces, natural outdoor play areas and maintenance work, according to the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr Katherine Zappone.
Applications open today (12th February 2018) for childcare and school age services to apply for the capital grants across a range of strands.
Making the announcement Minister Zappone added
“This year we will invest €485 million, an increase of 80% over the last three budgets, to continue working towards accessible affordable quality childcare.
On the capital grants in particular, I know from my visits to services throughout the country how important it is that we continue to invest and build the infrastructure and capacity of the early years sector.
The inclusion of natural outdoor play areas in particular is allowing our children to explore more and seek adventure in a learning environment. I am delighted to support this work with a significant capital investment – which will benefit children, parents and providers in the coming months.
I encourage all providers to see how the funding can be used to boost or improve their existing services and facilities.”
The application window for the 2018 Early Years and School Age Capital Grants opened today Monday 12th February at 12.00am. Services can apply through the PIP system for the next four weeks, until 3.00pm on Friday 9th March.
The Minister has previously outlined the €6.86 million to be spent across Early Year and School Age Childcare under five funding strands as follows:
|Purpose of grant||Max. Grant available|
|Strand 1 (Early Years)||Expansion/New||€50,000|
|Strand 2 (Early Years)||Essential Maintenance (Community only)||€20,000|
|Strand 3 (Early Years)||Natural outdoor play area||€7,000|
|Strand 4 (School Age)||Expansion/New||€20,000|
|Strand 5 (School Age)||Essential Maintenance (Community only)||€10,000|
Detailed guidelines on how to apply are available on PIP and services are encouraged to contact their local City / County Childcare Committee (CCC) for any additional support or advice on their application.