Minister Reilly announces almost €7 million in Capital Grant Funding for Early Years Services
Minister James Reilly has today announced that almost €7 million in capital funding has been allocated through the Department of Children and Youth Affairs to 2,415 grantees nationwide.
€5 million of the grant funding was made available specifically for community/not for profit childcare services while the other €2 million was made available to both private and community/not for profit childcare facilities to access grants for quality improvement measures, specifically in the area of upgrading IT facilities.
The grants awarded will provide:
– 10 services with large scale capital funding for relocation or major refurbishment;
– 203 services with grants for medium scale essential maintenance, quality improvement and sustainability works to improve the Building Energy Rating (BER) of facilities; and
– 2,202 services with grants toward the upgrade of ICT equipment.
Minister Reilly stated, “I am delighted that the €7 million secured in funding as part of Budget 2015 is now in the process of being distributed to childcare services, in support of this vital sector. This capital programme represents our commitment as a Government, to the ongoing development of the childcare sector.”
This national programme invited applications from all services contracted to deliver Department of Children and Youth Affairs childcare programmes. All submitted applications were considered in order to find those that most closely and completely met the criteria and objectives of the programme.
Strands 1, 2 & 3 of the programme were oversubscribed and extremely competitive. Applications that were successful were those that represented the most complete, coherent, precise and compelling cases for funding. The investment is being directed, to the best extent possible, to making the greatest impact by addressing the most urgent works and supporting the quality of services making the greatest impact for disadvantaged children and communities.
Minister Reilly commented “I would like to thank all of those who took the time to apply for funding under this programme for the great work they do with our children and young people, and also to thank Pobal for their significant effort in managing the very large volume of applications efficiently and effectively. This programme of works takes place alongside the very significant work currently being undertaken by my Department to deliver on the Early Years Quality Agenda. The quality agenda is receiving priority attention in my Department and provides an overdue recognition of the importance of promoting quality in early years services”
Applications for grants were invited under four funding strands:
Community Based Services Only:
Strand 1: Large Scale Capital funding Relocation/Major Refurbishment of early years services. Grants in the region of €500,000.
Strand 2: Essential Maintenance of early years services for medium scale works. Grants up to a maximum of €50,000.
Strand 3: Quality Improvement & Sustainability for early years services for medium scale works to improve the Building Energy Rating (BER) of facilities. Grants up to a maximum of €50,000.
Private and Community-based Services:
Strand 4: Quality Improvement. Grants up to a maximum of €500 for the upgrade of ICT equipment.
The programme was implemented by Pobal on behalf of the Department of Children and Youth Affairs. The application process was managed online.
2,621 applications for funding were received online. The applications were appraised by Pobal to find those that most closely and completely met the criteria and objectives of the programme, with particular consideration given to additional supporting material and the level of deprivation of the areas according to the Pobal Haase index.
2,415 applicants were successful and Pobal will now proceed to agree contracts with the grantees. Pobal will also provide unsuccessful applicants with information to assist them in understanding the reason for the outcome of their application.