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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 948 - 965
 Header Item Child Care Services Provision
 Header Item Child Care Services Provision
 Header Item Child and Family Agency Remit
 Header Item Child and Family Agency Expenditure
 Header Item Child Protection
 Header Item Departmental Meetings
 Header Item Child and Family Agency Staff
 Header Item Inter-Country Adoptions
 Header Item Inter-Country Adoptions
 Header Item Inter-Country Adoptions
 Header Item Children's Rights Referendum
 Header Item Adoption Legislation
 Header Item Ombudsman for Children Reports
 Header Item Child and Family Agency Reports
 Header Item Child Care Services Regulation
 Header Item Child Care Services Funding
 Header Item Children in Care

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 835 No. 1

First Page Previous Page Page of 118 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 948 - 965

Child Care Services Provision

 948. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan Information on Thomas P. Broughan Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald to set out the current status of the child care information system; and if she will provide a timeline for its full implementation.  [13236/14]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald The contract to supply the National Child Care Information System (NCCIS) to the Child and Family Agency was signed in March 2013. The National Child Care Information System will be the central database supporting the provision of child welfare and protection services. The status of the project as of mid-March 2014 is that the servers and related I.T. infrastructure have been set up and tested centrally. An initial version of the software has been installed and is undergoing rigorous testing. A further round of testing will be carried out before the software is deployed in the Mid-West region as a pilot site. Network upgrades and roll-out of new equipment are in progress to ensure that the pilot site is ready for the deployment of the associated software.

The Child and Family Agency envisage completion of the roll-out in the Mid-West region by end 2014 and, subject to review of the pilot site, the plan is to commence the national roll-out of the system in 2015.

Child Care Services Provision

 949. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan Information on Thomas P. Broughan Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald to set out her position regarding a recommendation contained in a recently published report (details supplied) that a national expert commissioning group should be established on a cross-departmental basis to plan and promote the development of highly specialised services for children and young persons with a combination of complex care needs.  [13241/14]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald The report in question was recently received by officials in my Department and is presently under consideration.

Departmental officials will meet shortly with officials from the Ombudsman for Children’s Office to discuss the report. Consideration will be given to the recommendation and how it fits with initiatives already underway at an operational level. In so doing, officials will also be mindful of the structures which may emerge from the Children and Young People’s Policy Framework which is due to be published shortly.

Child and Family Agency Remit

 950. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan Information on Thomas P. Broughan Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald when the Child and Family Agency will prepare a policy on corporate parenting.  [13242/14]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald I have requested the information from the Child and Family Agency and I will revert to the Deputy when this information is to hand.

Child and Family Agency Expenditure

 951. Deputy Gerry Adams Information on Gerry Adams Zoom on Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald to explain the reason funding of Rape Crisis Network Ireland is due to cease at the end of March; the tendering process that will be involved; and if she will make a statement on the matter.  [13253/14]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald Responsibility for the funding of the Rape Crisis Centres and Refuges previously funded by the HSE became the responsibility of the new Child and Family Agency upon its establishment on 1st January, 2014. In 2013 the HSE spent over €17 million on the provision of domestic and sexual violence services. This included the funding of 60 services throughout the country comprising:

- €10m for 20 Crisis Refuges

- Over €4 million for 16 Rape Crisis Centres

- Almost €3.5 million for 24 Support Services.

  The Rape Crisis Network of Ireland had a two year service level agreement with the HSE which expired on 31st December, 2013, but was extended to 31st March, 2014 to allow for the establishment of the Child and Family Agency, the appointment of a Programme Manager for Domestic, Sexual and Gender based Violence Services and to enable the Agency to tender for future support services to support frontline agencies.   The Agency is undertaking a complete review of all services with the intention of producing a three year strategy for the sector and is consulting with the relevant parties. In order to extend this period of consultation, the Rape Crisis Network of Ireland and other service providers have been invited to deliver services to the end of 2014 and funding has been made available.

  Commissioning of services will take place in September 2014 for the delivery of services in 2015. This process will be open to all qualified providers, including the Rape Crisis Network of Ireland, to tender for this new contract.

Child Protection

 952. Deputy Robert Troy Information on Robert Troy Zoom on Robert Troy asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald when the international review of the way various countries tackle the issue of children's pageants will be complete; if she will commit to a Dáil debate when the review is completed; and if she will make a statement on the matter.  [13326/14]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald My Department has commissioned and funded a research project which is being conducted by University College Cork which is looking at the impact of commercialisation and sexualisation of children in Ireland. This important research is currently undergoing peer review and is expected to be published before the Summer.

In addition, I can confirm that my Department has commissioned the Centre for Effective Services to undertake an international review of other countries' responses to these issues, which will build on the University College Cork research project, and which I would hope will inform the Government's response and future actions.

Departmental Meetings

 953. Deputy Barry Cowen Information on Barry Cowen Zoom on Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald to detail the number of times her Department received requests from Philanthropy Ireland to meet in 2011, 2012 and 2013; the number of times her Department met Philanthropy Ireland in those years; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [13383/14]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald I can inform the Deputy that my Department received one request from Philanthropy Ireland in November 2011 inviting me to attend a meeting and address the members of Philanthropy Ireland on 20th January 2012 at their premises at 85 Merrion Square, Dublin 2. The invitation requested that I would address the members and share with them my vision for the future of child welfare in Ireland and the role my Department will play in making Ireland a great place for children to grow up in. I attended that meeting as requested. My Department has not received any further request to meet and has not otherwise met with Philanthropy Ireland in 2011, 2012 and 2013.

  Question No. 954 answered with Question No. 936.

Child and Family Agency Staff

 955. Deputy Jonathan O'Brien Information on Jonathan O'Brien Zoom on Jonathan O'Brien asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald to set out the number of education welfare officers in Dublin on maternity leave or sick leave or any other form of leave; their locations; and if they have been replaced.  [13483/14]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald As the Deputy may be aware the functions and operational responsibilities of the former National Educational Welfare Board (NEWB) are now part of the new Child and Family Agency, which was established on 1st January 2014. Since this date the staff of the former NEWB, including its Educational Welfare Officers, have transferred to the new Agency.

  Within the Child and Family Agency, the statutory Education Welfare Service (EWS) has specific responsibility for the Agency’s general function to ensure that each child attends a recognised school or otherwise receives a certain minimum education. The Agency has advised me that   the details of Educational Welfare Officers in Dublin who are on maternity leave, sick leave or any other form of leave, their locations and whether they have been replaced, are as follows:

Leave typeNumber of EWOsLocationReplaced
Maternity31 - Dublin 24

1 - Dublin 8 and Dublin 2

1 - Dublin 13
No
Sick leave1Dublin 15No
Parental Leave (full time)1Dublin 8 and Dublin 10No
Secondment1Dublin 12No


  To ensure continuity of service and a targeted approach to areas and cases of greatest need, all locations where a leave event exists receive a service provided by the Senior Educational Welfare Officer, responding to the most critical situations where children are out of school or have no place.   I have requested further details from the Agency of any plans that may exist to provide additional cover for such temporary leave events.

  The Child and Family Agency will deliver an integrated approach to educational welfare services through the continued reform of work practices in its three service strands, namely; the Education Welfare Service; Home School Community Liaison Programme (402 school-based co-ordinators); and School Completion Programme (€24.756m in funding provided to support 124 school cluster projects and related initiatives). This integrated model of service is designed to provide an enhanced response to the needs of children, families and schools.

  The decision by Government to amalgamate the NEWB and its services into the new Child and Family Agency broadens the focus of the Agency and tackles educational welfare as a key outcome for children in its own right and as a positive contributor to other outcomes. It will provide opportunities for more effective working amongst the range of professionals involved in directly supporting children and their families.

Inter-Country Adoptions

 956. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald Information on Mary Lou McDonald Zoom on Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald to detail the number of persons or couples who have completed a mandatory Health Service Executive assessment for the purposes of applying to adopt a child under the terms of the Hague Convention since Ireland’s ratification of the convention in 2010.  [13499/14]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald The Child and Family Agency has advised that 719 applicants and/or couples have completed the Health Service Executive assessment for the purposes of applying to adopt a child since the commencement of the Adoption Act, 2010. This figure relates to inter-country adoption assessments up to 31/12/2013 as the Quarter 1 information for 2014 is currently being collated.

Inter-Country Adoptions

 957. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald Information on Mary Lou McDonald Zoom on Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald if she will provide in tabular form on a yearly basis the number of persons or couples who have adopted children from outside the State subject to the terms of the Hague Convention.  [13501/14]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald The Adoption Authority has advised that the following number of adoptions have been effected by Irish residents from Hague ratified states subject to Hague standards between 1st November 2010 and to date in 2014.

20102011201220132014Total
10262425085

Inter-Country Adoptions

 958. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald Information on Mary Lou McDonald Zoom on Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald to explain the reason the numbers of persons or couples adopting children from outside the State has significantly reduced under the terms of the Hague Convention.  [13502/14]

 968. Deputy Mary Mitchell O'Connor Information on Mary Mitchell O'Connor Zoom on Mary Mitchell O'Connor asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald if she will outline the shortcomings of the 1993 Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Inter-country Adoption, which was enacted in 2010; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [13662/14]

 969. Deputy Mary Mitchell O'Connor Information on Mary Mitchell O'Connor Zoom on Mary Mitchell O'Connor asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald to explain the reason the number of inter-country adoptions has dramatically decreased since the enactment of the 1993 Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Inter-country Adoption in Ireland in 2010; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [13663/14]

 974. Deputy Jim Daly Information on Jim Daly Zoom on Jim Daly asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald in view of the fact that in the past three and a half years only 11 adoptions have been effected by persons approved under the Adoption Act 2010, if she will direct the Adoption Authority of Ireland to proceed with the establishment of bilateral agreements with non-Hague countries, as the Adoption Act 2010 allows for; if she will indicate which countries; the progress to date; the likely timescale involved; and if she will make a statement on the matter.  [13861/14]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald I propose to take Questions Nos. 958, 968, 969 and 974 together.

With the enactment of the Adoption Act 2010 on 1 November 2010, Ireland ratified the Hague Convention on protection of children and co-operation in respect of intercountry adoption.

The total number of intercountry adoptions recognised by the Authority in the years 2010 to 2013 (inclusive) was 725. In 2013, the total number of adoptions registered in the Register of Intercountry Adoptions, including adoptive parents habitually resident both in Ireland and abroad, was 141. The total for 2012 was 242 and the total for 2011 was 342.

The legal framework required by the Adoption Act, 2010, which brought into effect the Hague Convention, has created a much lengthier and robust framework for regulating intercountry adoption. This includes a number of steps to ensure the integrity of the adoption process such as the placement and referral process.

In line with its obligations under the Hague Convention and the Adoption Act 2010, the Adoption Authority must ensure that international standards of best practice are applied to its operations, including compliance with the requirement for full, free and informed consent by birth parents and respect for the principle of subsidiarity in intercountry adoptions. The Authority is also mindful of Ireland’s responsibilities under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which has been ratified by Ireland and includes among other safeguards in Article 21 the necessity for the principle of ‘subsidiarity’, whereby intercountry adoption is seen as a measure to be considered only after other suitable alternatives to place a child in his or her own country have been exhausted.

It is a fact throughout Hague Convention contracting states that there has been a significant decline in recent years in the number of children available for adoption as average wealth has grown and standards of child protection safeguards have improved in countries which would previously have placed large numbers of children for adoption. This is a welcome development for children who are now being cared for in their own countries, often by extended family members. For comparison purposes, the total number of children adopted into the top twelve receiving states in 2004 was 43,142. In 2011, this figure had dropped to 21,911 – a drop of 50%. A significant decrease in the number of children being made available for intercountry adoption by their country of origin has obvious consequences in terms of the ease or otherwise with which intercountry adoptions can be effected by prospective adoptive parents in Ireland.

I am advised by the Adoption Authority that it remains absolutely committed to facilitating and recognising intercountry adoptions to the extent that children become available for adoption outside their own country and where all relevant legal requirements are fulfilled. To this end, the Authority is currently engaging with the Central Authorities in a number of countries including, India, China, USA, Bulgaria, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines.

Children's Rights Referendum

 959. Deputy Robert Troy Information on Robert Troy Zoom on Robert Troy asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald to detail the legislation or initiatives that have been put on hold owing to the court challenge to the children's rights referendum; and if she will make a statement on the matter.  [13577/14]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald The judgement in the High Court challenge to the result of the Children’s Referendum was delivered on 18 October. The Petitioner was unsuccessful in her petition to the High Court challenging the Provisional Referendum Certificate issued on foot of the Children's Referendum. The Court dismissed the petition and the Petitioner’s Counsel made an application to the Supreme Court for a priority appeal hearing date. The Supreme Court granted this application and the Hearing date is to be advised.

The Petitioner had also challenged, by way of plenary proceedings, the constitutionality of certain provisions of the Referendum Act 1994. The Court Hearing of these proceedings was held in December 2013 and the judgment is awaited.

I would point out that the Child and Family Agency Act 2013, passed by the Oireachtas in December 2013, makes provision relating to the best interests and views of the child in the performance of the Agency's functions.

The General Scheme and Heads of Bill of the proposed Adoption (Amendment) Bill was published in September 2012 in conjunction with the publication of the referendum proposal to inform the public of proposed changes to adoption law envisaged if the Constitutional amendment was approved.

The provisions of the proposed Adoption (Amendment) Bill 2013 will change the criteria, applicable under section 54 of the 2010 Act, under which the High Court may authorise the making of an adoption order without parental consent, in the case of a child who is in the care of prospective adopters and where that child’s birth parents have failed in their parental duty to the child. The Bill will also provide for the voluntary placement for adoption of any child irrespective of the marital status of his or her parents.

It is my intention to bring the Adoption (Amendment) Bill 2013 before the Houses of the Oireachtas as soon as possible, following conclusion of all proceedings and processes relevant to the Children’s Referendum.

The Deputy will also be aware that the Minister for Justice and Equality recently published the General Scheme of a Children and Family Relationships Bill. As the Minister stated in the press release which he issued in that connection, the proposals in the General Scheme seek to ensure our law reflects the principles, rights and obligations contained in Article 42A - if upheld - of the Constitution.

Adoption Legislation

 960. Deputy Robert Troy Information on Robert Troy Zoom on Robert Troy asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald to outline her plans to amend the Adoption Act 2010; and if she will make a statement on the matter.  [13578/14]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald As the Deputy will be aware, work has been underway for some time on the Adoption (Information and Tracing) legislation. I intend to proceed to finalise legislative proposals on a revised basis at the earliest opportunity and will bring proposals to the Government as soon as possible.

As well as the information and tracing legislation, I am conscious that issues have arisen in relation to the operation of the Adoption Act, 2010, since its enactment. There are a number of general policy questions around the nature of our adoption regime and I consider it timely to consider a review of adoption. Given the range and complexity of the issues this will require scoping and preliminary examination after which decisions will be made on the extent and time scale for the review to see if proposals for legislative change emerge from this review or the nature of such proposals. Based upon the many domestic and international legal aspects to adoption the issue of further legislative development will certainly be considered. This review will inform future operational and legislative considerations regarding the Adoption Act, 2010. For the present, however, my legislative priority in the area of adoption is the preparation of information and tracing legislation. In addition, my Department is also working closely with the Department of Justice, Equality and Defence on the draft Children and Family Relationships Bill, which it is proposed will contain measures in relation to adoption by civil partners.

Ombudsman for Children Reports

 961. Deputy Robert Troy Information on Robert Troy Zoom on Robert Troy asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald to provide her assessment of the recent report of the Ombudsman for Children, A Meta-analysis of Repetitive Root Cause Issues Regarding the Provision of Services for Children in Care; and if she will make a statement on the matter.  [13579/14]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald I welcome the publication of the Ombudsman for Children’s report ‘A Meta-Analysis of Repetitive Root Cause Issues Regarding the Provision of Services for Children in Care’ based on complaints made between 2004 and 2012.

  The report indicated that ten percent of complaints to the Ombudsman were in relation to children in care, and the sample of cases in this report showed that a high proportion of complaints were from children in special care, high support or detention centres. This area of services, representing a very small number of children in care, is also the most challenging. The report outlined the importance of good care planning and the availability of special placements for children who need them. The findings of the report show the need for improved assessment, care planning and early access to therapy for children with high level needs.

  A number of recommendations for both the Child and Family Agency and my Department are included in the report. It is worth noting that there has already been progress in a number of these areas in recent years, with further work currently underway.

  The new Child and Family Agency, which was established on January 1st brings a dedicated focus to child protection/welfare and family supports; to oversee further service developments and reforms. A new service delivery framework has been introduced involving a national approach to case assessment and management. Children and families identified as having welfare needs can be quickly diverted to family support services, allowing social workers to assess and respond to child protection concerns in a timely fashion. A new streamlined management system and quality assurance framework is being also implemented by the Agency.

  The Agency is developing a National Child Protection Notification System, which will give social workers, emergency departments and Gardaí timely access to information on child protection history. The National Child Care Information System, to manage information on children in care, is now at implementation phase and being rolled-out by the Agency. A comprehensive strategic plan for residential care is also being developed by the Agency. A new supervision policy for social work staff was implemented in 2013.

  National Standards for Child Protection & Welfare Services were published in 2012. The Health Information and Quality Authority commenced inspection of the HSE Child and Family Social Work Services against these standards in late 2012 and inspections of these services in the Agency are continuing.

  The Children First Interdepartmental Implementation Group is continuing to support the on-going implementation of Children First; with legislation to place aspects of Children First guidance on a statutory footing to be published shortly.

  The Ombudsman's report also found that multiple placements were a feature in some of the 10 cases described in the report. I note that in December 2012, 172 children (2.7 % of children in care) had experienced three or more placements in the previous year. The comparable rate for England and Wales stands at 10% per annum.

  It is imperative that to be successful in improving the delivery of children’s services that lessons are learned from the past and recommendations are implemented. The wide ranging reform programme that has been undertaken to date and continues in the Child and Family Agency will address many of the problems highlighted in this report.

Child and Family Agency Reports

 962. Deputy Robert Troy Information on Robert Troy Zoom on Robert Troy asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald if the Child and Family Agency will be publishing monthly reports with details of children's services in the manner published by the Health Service Executive up to the end of 2013; and if she will make a statement on the matter.  [13580/14]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald The Child Family Agency intends to publish details of monthly performance activity on its website at www.tusla.ie.

Child Care Services Regulation

 963. Deputy Robert Troy Information on Robert Troy Zoom on Robert Troy asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald to outline her views on the recent publication by the European Commission Directorate-General for Justice on child care services for school-age children; and if she will make a statement on the matter.  [13581/14]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald The Report referred to by the Deputy is presently being considered by officials in my Department.

This Report highlights the diversity of after-school services that prevail across European countries and emphasises the considerable work that needs to be done in this area, particularly in balancing supply with demand and ensuring that the quality of services is regulated.

A number of initiatives have been introduced in this country in recent years to support parents with the cost of after-school care. The Community Childcare Subvention (CCS) programme provides funding to community childcare services to enable them to charge reduced rates to qualifying low income and disadvantaged families who need to access after-school services. A new School Age Childcare programme was recently introduced and makes available 600 after-school places which targets social welfare recipients availing of employment opportunities.

The provision of quality after-school services is a priority for my Department and I recently brought forward legislative changes to the Child Care Act that will allow for the introduction of new after-school regulations. These regulations are currently being drafted and I expect that the final draft will provide a legislative framework to support the delivery of a more co-ordinated and quality after school service in this country.

Child Care Services Funding

 964. Deputy Brendan Griffin Information on Brendan Griffin Zoom on Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald to outline her views on a matter (details supplied) regarding funding for a preschool; and if she will make a statement on the matter.  [13623/14]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald Considerable capital funding was made available to community and commercial mainstream childcare providers for the development and refurbishment of childcare facilities under the National Childcare Investment Programme (NCIP) 2006-2010, and previously under the Equal Opportunities Childcare Programme (EOCP). Because of the economic situation, a review of capital expenditure was undertaken in 2009 and following this a decision was taken not to approve any further capital grant applications under the NCIP programme.

I did secure capital funding totalling €6m in Budget 2012 to provide for the refurbishment of services in which substantial Government capital and support funding had already been invested. I was also successful in securing €2.75m in capital funding in Budget 2013 to support the ongoing improvement of established childcare services participating in one or more of the childcare support programmes implemented by my Department.

While I hope to be in a position to provide small capital grants to childcare providers for refurbishment, I do not expect to be in a position to provide capital grants which would provide for more extensive developments.

Children in Care

 965. Deputy Robert Dowds Information on Robert Dowds Zoom on Robert Dowds asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald if the working time directive, No. 2003/88/EC, is being adhered to in respect of staff in residential care facilities who stay overnight; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [13643/14]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald The information sought by the Deputy is currently being compiled and I will revert to the Deputy as soon as the reply becomes available.


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