Groups urged to apply for childcare grants now

Donegal Childcare Manager, Avril Sweeney is strongly urging all early childhood services in Donegal to apply for the new capital grant announced in December’s budget.

Donegal Childcare Manager, Avril Sweeney is strongly urging all early childhood services in Donegal to apply for the new capital grant announced in December’s budget.

Six million euro capital funding from the National Childcare Investment Programme is available to both community and private childcare providers currently participating in one or more of the Department of Children and Youth Affairs funding programmes: 1. Community Childcare Subvention programme; 2. Childcare Education and Training Support programme and 3. Free Pre-School Year in Early Childhood Care and Education programme.

The funding is available for small maintenance/renovation work or equipment and the maximum grant available is €50,000 and Donegal County Childcare would like to see a significant portion of this funding coming into the county.

Avril commented: “This is a fantastic opportunity now as the early childhood sector has not seen an injection of capital funding since early 2008. This means that it can be difficult for early childhood service providers to maintain or renovate their services to comply with the Child Care (Pre-School Services) Regulations. A maximum grant of €50,000 will enable some services to upgrade their early childhood environment or at the very least upgrade equipment and resources to improve children’s learning experiences”.

When asked what she would like to see grants spent on in Donegal, Avril replied that two areas would come to mind as being a priority “equipment, resources and alterations that would allow for the greater inclusion of children with additional needs and the development of all-weather, natural outdoor play spaces for children so that they could spend a portion of their day exploring outdoors. Donegal childcare providers need to grasp the opportunity presented to them now to build upon and provide best learning experiences possible for children across the county”.

The programme is now open for applications via the Pobal website www.pobal.ie and applications for funding will be made on-line during the next two weeks. Full details regarding grant conditions are on the DCCC website www.donegalchildcare.com or on DCCC facebook page www.facebook.com/DonegalChildcare. If you need any assistance to complete the application please contact Donegal County Childcare on (074) 9132416 and ask to speak to the Childcare Development Officer for your area who will support you through the application process.