Dáil Éireann - Volume 543 - 06 November, 2001
Written Answers. - Child Care Facilities.
Dr. Upton Dr. Upton
306. Dr. Upton asked the Minister for Finance the number of crèche places his Department has available to the staff of Government Departments; the weekly cost of each crèche place; if part-time staff are allowed pay a reduced rate to facilitate them in job-sharing or other flexible working arrangements; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25938/01]
Mr. McCreevy Mr. McCreevy
Minister for Finance (Mr. McCreevy): I am answering this question on behalf of all Ministers.
At present, the Mount Street crèche in Dublin is the only one available to civil servants. Under health board regulations, the number of places  which can be offered by a crèche is governed by the ages of the children involved. There are between 25 to 30 places available in Mount Street, depending on the age of the children.
A place in the crèche costs £85 a week. This is the rate required to fund the crèche. It should be pointed out that the rate is significantly below rates for crèches of a similar high standard elsewhere in the city area.
A place in the crèche costs £85 regardless of the attendance pattern of the member of staff. However, two part-time employees may agree to share a place and thus reduce their individual costs. If a place in the crèche was made available at a reduced rate to a part-time employee who did not have a partner, the crèche would not remain viable unless the fees were increased for all other parents using the crèche.
As announced in budget 2001, I have allocated £10 million over two years to fund a major expansion in the provision of child care for civil servants. Departments have carried out surveys of their staff to ascertain their child care needs. In the light of these surveys, proposals are being drawn up by my Department in conjunction with the Office of Public Works for a number of crèche projects both in Dublin and around the country. Steps are also being taken to establish a central body which will advise Departments, contract with the providers of child care and generally supervise the operation of the new crèches.
A new Civil Service crèche in Marlborough Street, Dublin will shortly be opening. It is expected that this crèche will provide a further 30 or so places.
Dáil Éireann 543 Written Answers. Child Care Facilities.