Dáil Éireann - Volume 623 - 05 July, 2006
Written Answers. - Child Care Services.
Mr. Deenihan Mr. Deenihan
Mr. Deenihan asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the position regarding the application by a centre (details supplied) in County Kerry for grant aid to build a new centre; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [26804/06]
Mr. McDowell Mr. McDowell
Mr. McDowell:As the Deputy is aware, a New National Childcare Investment Programme 2006-2010 was announced by the Minister for Finance, Mr. Brian Cowen, T.D. on 7 December last, in Budget 2006. Also announced was a landmark  decision to create an Office of the Minister for Children, under the Minister for Children, Mr. Brian Lenihan, T.D. who will report directly to Cabinet on matters relating to children and their welfare. The New Programme is a key element of the National Childcare Strategy 2006-2010 to be implemented by the new Office of the Minister for Children. It is effective from 1 January, 2006 and succeeds the Equal Opportunities Childcare Programme (EOCP) 2000-2006 which was run by my Department.
With regard to the application for capital grant assistance under the EOCP referred to by the Deputy, I understand that originally the project was not recommended for funding under the Capital Measure of the EOCP as it was not deemed to adequately meet the criteria of the Programme as the project did not represent value for money when considered in line with building costs guidelines. Furthermore there was limited evidence that the project would be sustainable into the future based on projected costs and potential income.
I understand from inquiries I have made that the Group submitted a new application for capital funding, and this appeal is currently under appraisal.
Following this assessment, the appeal will be considered by the Programme Appraisal Committee and a recommendation made to the Secretary General of the Department of Health and Children, before a decision is made regarding funding. The Group in question will be informed of the decision in due course.
Dáil Éireann 623 Written Answers. Child Care Services.