independent

Tuesday 26 September 2017

New funding to support local childcare groups

Childcare services get funding under two schemes

Deborah Coleman

Childcare services in Wicklow are to receive €243,498 in extra funding under the Early Years Programme.

Minister of State for Food, Forestry and Horticulture Andrew Doyle has confirmed that 27 childcare services around the county will benefit from the fund.

'The money will be used to provide new childcare places, maintenance and building work as well as outdoor play areas and is available for immediate draw-down by providers here in Wicklow. This includes Dunlavin Community Playgroup Limited, Lady Birds Pre School, Brittas Bay, The Marian Centre, Kids Aloud Limited Limited, Donard/Glen Community Playgroup Limited, Stratford / Grangecon Development Association Limited, Bray Family Resource and Development Project Limited, Parish of Newcastle & Newtownmountkennedy, Tippy's Preschool Playgroups Limited and many more,' he said.

'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. From September an estimated 70,000 children nationwide will get extra supports. This will really benefit families in Wicklow,' he said. Minister Doyle said that families will benefit in two ways.

'First there is a universal support for all children aged 3 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,' he said.

Meanwhile, a further €77, 877 in funding has been made available to six other childcare services as part of a €4m national investment in 5,000 additional childcare spaces.

The following local childcare services have received funding under the scheme: Attracta's Pre-school Shilleglagh - €19,750, Buan Education Limited - €5,322, Tus Nua Montessori and Playgroup Bray - €13,160, St.Coens National School Rathnew - €3,345, Wicklow Educate Together - €16,454 and Little Explorers Childcare Limited - €19,846.

Minister Doyle said it is one of a raft of new measures to make thing easier for parents here.

'We are determined to reach out to parents and inform them of the supports that will be available to them from this September. The funding announced for School Aged Childcare services, totalling €77,877 here in Wicklow, will be used for the establishment of new SAC services as well as the expansion of existing services. These new subsidies will create greater parental choice and financial support for families so they can achieve their full potential,' he said.

He encouraged Wicklow parents to seek further information on www.affordablechildcare.ie

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