Dáil Éireann - Volume 622 - 29 June, 2006
Written Answers. - Vocational Education Committees.
Mr. Ring Mr. Ring
Mr. Ring asked the Minister for Education and Science if she will instruct vocational educational committees to increase the child care grants to VTOS participants to a more realistic amount. [25392/06]
Miss de Valera Miss de Valera
Miss de Valera: My Department provides funding to VECs to assist towards the child care expenses of participants in certain further education programmes in order to facilitate the enrolment on these programmes of people for whom they were designed but who had been unable to enrol on them because of child care responsibilities. These are the Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme (VTOS), Youthreach and Senior Traveller Training Centre programmes.
The amount of grant that each VEC receives is determined by reference to the numbers of students it has enrolled on these programmes and the total amount provided to the Department for this purpose. The administration and disbursement of these grants are matters for each VEC.  Students in the relevant programmes who feel entitled to such grants should apply to their VECs.
The funds provide for: direct provision of creche facilities in centres or in rented premises, including staff, equipment/refurbishment, rental, insurance and other overheads; the purchase of places in existing community or commercial creches (this is subject to payment of a maximum of €63.50 per week per child for a full-day session, with pro-rata adjustments for sessions of lesser duration); the payment of childminders, subject to a maximum of €63.50 per child per week for a full session, with pro-rata adjustments for part-time sessions.
The grant is intended as a contribution to costs. VECs determine the level of child care provision and have the discretion to bridge any gap between the Department’s grant and actual costs they approve.
Dáil Éireann 622 Written Answers. Vocational Education Committees.