Dáil Éireann - Volume 520 - 08 June, 2000
Written Answers. - Child Care Provision.
Mr. D. Carey Mr. D. Carey
67. Mr. D. Carey asked the Minister for Education and Science the plans he has to introduce a scheme under which schools throughout the country would be supported in making their premises available for child care provision outside of school hours. [16156/00]
Dr. Woods Dr. Woods
 Minister for Education and Science (Dr. Woods): An amount of £5 million was provided in the 1999 budget to provide grants to schools that set up and run after school child care services. My Department is currently formulating details of a scheme for an after school support service, in consultation with the Department of Social, Community and Family Affairs which has also been allocated £5 million to support community based groups to develop after school child care services in disadvantaged areas.
It is envisaged that my Department's scheme will be confined to schools in disadvantaged areas. In the case of the primary sector, schools will be selected on the basis of criteria being developed by the Educational Research Centre for the new, more targeted child centred programme being introduced following a survey of all primary schools. Selection at second level would generally be based on retention levels and may be linked to the current stay-in-school retention initiative. The grant to each school would cover the cost of a co-ordinator and other personnel and would include other operating costs such as insurance, heating and lighting. It is envisaged that this scheme will be operational in the schools selected by September next.
My Department has also provided £2.3 million this year for child care to support access of participants to Youthreach, Traveller training centre programmes for early school leavers and the vocational training opportunities scheme for the unemployed. The funds are allocated to the vocational education committees for direct provision of crèches, purchase of places on existing commercial or community crèches and for the payment of childminders subject to compliance with tax and registration requirements under the Child Care Acts.
These schemes will further enhance the package of initiatives introduced in December 1999 to combat educational disadvantage.
Dáil Éireann 520 Written Answers. Child Care Provision.