Some €4m of taxpayer funding is being allocated to providing improved childcare services nationally. This new funding is expected to help put further infrastructure in place in an effort to support plans to convert Ireland’s expensive childcare system into one that is both practical and paramount to our country’s future needs.
The 2017 Early Years Capital Funding programme is to be made available to childcare centres, crèches and other early year services under three strands:
Strand 1: Additional childcare places with €3 million in funding allocated.
Strand 2: Provision for building improvements and maintenance expected to see €500,000 in allocated funding.
Strand 3: Provision of natural outdoor play areas will see an allocation of €500,000.
Some 30% of families are expected to qualify, according to Early Childhood Ireland; benefiting directly either from targeted or universal subsidies. However, the non-means-tested payment will only apply until the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) scheme kicks in at the age of three.
Note: An estimated 40% of families use family relatives to undertake their childcare requirements, thus it is not currently feasible to make this scheme relevant to them.
The maximum household net income (after deductions of various taxes, pension contributions, USC and PRSI and other allowable deductions) is €47,500 a year.
The newly announced scheme will come into effect from September 2017. Qualifying families are expected to start directly benefiting next Autumn with the subsidy paid direct to the provider of the childcare.
Between now and September next is considered sufficient time to sort out any /all operational details with those offering childcare provision.
We understand ‘Pobal‘ will be responsible for administering this programme and Tipperary Childcare Providers are being urged to make their applications. The submission process officially opened on Friday last and will close at 3.00pm on Friday 21st April next.
Grant outcomes can be expected to be announced next June and all endowments awarded must be fully spent and reported to Pobal, not later than 30th November 2017.