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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 541-560
 Header Item Swimming Pool Programme Funding
 Header Item Road Tolls
 Header Item Driver Licences
 Header Item Motor Tax Collection
 Header Item Road Safety
 Header Item Road Tolls
 Header Item Road Network
 Header Item Public Private Partnerships Data
 Header Item EU Funding
 Header Item Road Projects
 Header Item Parking Provision
 Header Item Sports Facilities Provision
 Header Item Tourism Promotion
 Header Item Advertising Regulation
 Header Item Community Childcare Subvention Programme
 Header Item Child Support Payments
 Header Item Child Care Services Staff
 Header Item Affordable Childcare Scheme Eligibility
 Header Item Public Private Partnerships Data

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 964 No. 4

First Page Previous Page Page of 89 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 541-560

Swimming Pool Programme Funding

 541. Deputy Imelda Munster Information on Imelda Munster Zoom on Imelda Munster asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross the amount of his Department's budget allocation for 2017 allocated to the local authority swimming pool grant. [4264/18]

 542. Deputy Imelda Munster Information on Imelda Munster Zoom on Imelda Munster asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross the amount of his Department's budget allocation for 2018 that will be allocated to the local authority swimming pool grant. [4265/18]

Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Brendan Griffin): Information on Brendan Griffin Zoom on Brendan Griffin I propose to take Questions Nos. 541 and 542 together.

  The Local Authority Swimming Pool Programme (LASPP) provides grant aid to local authorities towards the capital costs of new swimming pools or the refurbishment of existing pools.

  The budget allocation for 2017 for the programme was €4.2m, all of which was expended. The allocation for 2018 is also €4.2m.

  There are four swimming pool projects in the current LASPP and the priority in 2018 will be on progressing these projects.

  In relation to the future funding of swimming pools, the upcoming National Sports Policy, which I expect will be considered by Government during the first Quarter of 2018, with a view to its publication shortly thereafter, will include a specific focus on how Government should fund sports facilities, including swimming pools, in the years ahead.

Road Tolls

 543. Deputy Jan O'Sullivan Information on Jan O'Sullivan Zoom on Jan O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross his plans to arrange with Transport Infrastructure Ireland and a company (details supplied) for the temporary lifting of the secondary road tolls on the M1 at Drogheda for the duration of the Fleadh Cheoil 2018; the estimated costs involved; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4271/18]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross As Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, I have responsibility for overall policy in relation to national roads. The planning, design and implementation of individual road projects on national roads are a matter for Transport Infrastructure Ireland under the Roads Acts 1993-2015 in conjunction with the relevant local authority. More specifically, the statutory powers to levy tolls, to make toll bye-laws and to enter into toll agreements with private investors are vested in TII under Part V of the Roads Act 1993 (as amended by the Planning and Development Act 2000 and the Roads Act 2007).

Noting the above, I am referring the question to TII for direct reply within 10 working days. Please inform my private office if you do not receive the information.

A referred reply was forwarded to the Deputy under Standing Order 42A.

Driver Licences

 544. Deputy Frank O'Rourke Information on Frank O'Rourke Zoom on Frank O'Rourke asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross if a person (details supplied) who is an asylum seeker is entitled to apply for a driving licence; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [4292/18]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross Asylum-seekers cannot be issued with a driving licence.

  Under EU law, Member States issue driving licences to people whose normal residence is in their jurisdiction. By definition, the residence status of an asylum-seeker is not yet determined. It is therefore not possible under EU law to issue driving licences to asylum-seekers.

Motor Tax Collection

 545. Deputy Catherine Murphy Information on Catherine Murphy Zoom on Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross further to Parliamentary Question No. 501 of 23 January 2018, the amount of motor tax collected in each of the years 2015 to 2017 by county, in tabular form; the way in which the funds collected are redistributed; the way in which motor tax receipts are spent; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4355/18]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross Motor tax receipts for each licensing authority for the years 2015 to 2017 are set out in the tables below.

  As of 1 January 2018, motor tax receipts are paid into the Central Fund and, accordingly, the redistribution of receipts is a matter for my colleague, the Minister for Finance, Mr. Paschal Donohoe, T.D. In this regard, the response to Question No. 163 of 23 January, 2018 refers.

  2017

Licensing Authority MTO receipts - (€) Online receipts - (€) Total - (€)
Carlow 6,286,253 8,398,060 14,684,313
Cavan 5,533,498 10,923,434 16,456,932
Clare 9,397,593 17,699,119 27,096,712
Cork 29,156,083 91,584,122 120,740,205
Donegal 15,742,532 16,209,631 31,952,163
Dublin City 40,365,248 217,904,003 258,269,251
Galway 17,717,892 38,626,879 56,344,771
Kerry 9,349,678 25,399,845 34,749,523
Kildare 10,145,994 39,145,697 49,291,691
Kilkenny 7,202,910 14,498,549 21,701,459
Laois 7,338,054 10,016,720 17,354,774
Leitrim 2,679,224 4,505,062 7,184,286
Limerick City and County 13,961,701 28,588,338 42,550,039
Longford 3,847,484 4,978,736 8,826,220
Louth 8,713,517 15,154,762 23,868,279
Mayo 11,025,761 19,207,654 30,233,415
Meath 8,961,770 34,350,315 43,312,085
Monaghan 5,879,246 8,059,490 13,938,736
Offaly 6,213,957 10,706,840 16,920,797
Roscommon 7,078,143 8,639,445 15,717,588
Sligo 5,861,704 8,434,983 14,296,687
Tipperary 11,619,129 27,039,749 38,658,878
Waterford City and County 8,752,194 17,412,175 26,164,369
Westmeath 8,744,038 11,203,150 19,947,188
Wexford 11,723,875 25,133,243 36,857,118
Wicklow 8,265,337 26,060,109 34,325,446
Total 281,562,815 739,880,110 1,021,442,925


  2016
Licensing Authority MTO receipts

(€)
Online receipts (€) Total

(€)
Carlow 6,814,097 8,290,941 15,105,038
Cavan 6,029,327 10,680,064 16,709,391
Clare 10,252,804 17,727,771 27,980,575
Cork 32,682,181 91,748,508 124,430,689
Donegal 17,459,261 15,878,437 33,337,698
Dublin City 45,426,953 221,450,439 266,877,392
Galway 19,990,309 38,457,921 58,448,230
Kerry 10,231,237 25,532,662 35,763,899
Kildare 11,389,716 39,174,306 50,564,022
Kilkenny 7,975,519 14,476,768 22,452,287
Laois 7,821,727 9,774,712 17,596,439
Leitrim 3,054,633 4,416,296 7,470,929
Limerick City and County 15,149,511 28,653,379 43,802,890
Longford 4,280,575 4,849,878 9,130,453
Louth 9,911,461 14,991,338 24,902,799
Mayo 12,312,247 18,718,178 31,030,425
Meath 10,190,525 33,812,426 44,002,951
Monaghan 6,464,394 7,641,237 14,105,631
Offaly 6,907,040 10,419,900 17,326,940
Roscommon 7,403,707 8,536,460 15,940,167
Sligo 6,388,795 8,358,811 14,747,606
Tipperary 12,860,867 26,886,852 39,747,719
Waterford City and County 9,442,251 17,359,263 26,801,514
Westmeath 9,741,470 11,016,293 20,757,763
Wexford 12,923,450 24,402,896 37,326,346
Wicklow 9,207,520 26,065,131 35,272,651
Total 312,311,577 739,320,867 1,051,632,444


  2015
Licensing Authority MTO receipts - (€) Online receipts - (€) Total - (€)
Carlow 8,011,652 8,360,200 16,371,852
Cavan 7,286,662 10,894,977 18,181,639
Clare 11,856,853 17,902,031 29,758,884
Cork 40,143,820 93,835,284 133,979,104
Donegal 20,061,022 16,010,088 36,071,110
Dublin City 56,170,098 224,434,956 280,605,054
Galway 24,623,358 38,056,654 62,680,012
Kerry 11,868,212 25,988,786 37,856,998
Kildare 14,215,403 39,622,062 53,837,465
Kilkenny 9,736,708 14,661,026 24,397,734
Laois 9,426,748 9,599,035 19,025,783
Leitrim 3,566,591 4,365,316 7,931,907
Limerick City and County 19,364,590 28,465,221 47,829,811
Longford 5,117,598 4,771,437 9,889,035
Louth 11,793,284 15,205,721 26,999,005
Mayo 14,505,870 18,737,126 33,242,996
Meath 13,162,468 34,184,938 47,347,406
Monaghan 8,775,700 7,832,613 16,608,313
Offaly 8,244,558 10,158,262 18,402,820
Roscommon 8,683,682 8,422,660 17,106,342
Sligo 7,440,772 8,472,576 15,913,348
Tipperary 15,991,541 27,158,588 43,150,129
Waterford City and County 10,815,420 17,528,255 28,343,675
Westmeath 10,573,905 10,989,318 21,563,223
Wexford 16,203,861 24,233,460 40,437,321
Wicklow 10,796,908 26,023,932 36,820,840
Total 378,437,284 745,914,522 1,124,351,806

Road Safety

 546. Deputy Mattie McGrath Information on Mattie McGrath Zoom on Mattie McGrath asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross if he will address concerns relating to poor surface traction on the County Tipperary portion of the N7 Limerick to Dublin road; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4396/18]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross As Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, I have responsibility for overall policy and funding in relation to the national roads programme. The planning, design and operation of individual road projects  is a matter for Transport Infrastructure Ireland under the Roads Acts 1993-2015 in conjunction with the local authorities concerned.

Noting the above position, I have referred the Deputy's question to TII for direct reply. Please advise my private office if you don't receive a reply within 10 working days.

A referred reply was forwarded to the Deputy under Standing Order 42A.

Road Tolls

 547. Deputy Fergus O'Dowd Information on Fergus O'Dowd Zoom on Fergus O'Dowd asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross if the temporary removal of the tolls at Drogheda will be facilitated for the duration of Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4398/18]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross As Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, I have responsibility for overall policy in relation to national roads. The planning, design and implementation of individual road projects on national roads are a matter for Transport Infrastructure Ireland under the Roads Acts 1993-2015 in conjunction with the relevant local authority. More specifically, the statutory powers to levy tolls on national roads, to make toll bye-laws and to enter into toll agreements with private investors are vested in TII under Part V of the Roads Act 1993 (as amended by the Planning and Development Act 2000 and the Roads Act 2007).

Noting the above, I am referring the question to TII for direct reply within 10 working days.

Please inform my private office if you do not receive the information.

A referred reply was forwarded to the Deputy under Standing Order 42A.

Road Network

 548. Deputy Catherine Murphy Information on Catherine Murphy Zoom on Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross the road category and road mileage each local authority is responsible for (details supplied); the allowance made for road usage in respect of road deterioration; the areas in which such allowances are applied; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4419/18]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross As Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, I have responsibility for overall policy and funding in relation to the national roads programme. The planning, design and operation of individual road projects  is a matter for Transport Infrastructure Ireland under the Roads Acts 1993-2015 in conjunction with the local authorities concerned.

Noting the above position, I have referred the Deputy's question to TII for direct reply. Please advise my private office if you don't receive a reply within 10 working days.

A referred reply was forwarded to the Deputy under Standing Order 42A.

Public Private Partnerships Data

 549. Deputy Pearse Doherty Information on Pearse Doherty Zoom on Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross the public private partnerships his Department is currently engaged in; the name, cost and timeframe of each; the names of all private parties involved; the nature of each project in terms of design, build, maintain and so on, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4443/18]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross My Department is not currently engaged in any Public Private Partnerships.

  As Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, I have responsibility for overall policy and funding in relation to the national roads programme. Individual national road schemes, including Public Private Partnership schemes, are a matter for Transport Infrastructure Ireland.

  Noting the above position, I have referred the Deputy's question to TII for direct reply. Please advise my private office if you don't receive a reply within 10 working days.

A referred reply was forwarded to the Deputy under Standing Order 42A.

EU Funding

 550. Deputy Lisa Chambers Information on Lisa Chambers Zoom on Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross the position regarding his Department's talks with the EU on the commitment in the programme for Government that, in the first three months, the new Government will apply to the European Union for the revision of the TEN-T core network, including applying for the reinstatement of the cross-border western arc; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4460/18]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross Under the Programme for Partnership Government, the Government committed to applying to the European Union for the revision of the TEN-T Core Network, including in relation to the Western Arc. A submission is being prepared for the European Commission for a revision of the TEN-T Core Network, which would seek to facilitate consideration of transport-related project proposals for funding under the Connecting Europe Facility for transport in the Western Arc region. The submission will also take into account the implications of Brexit on western and north-west regions.

My officials met the European Commissioner for Transport, Ms Violeta Bulc, and her officials in October 2017 in relation to transport issues, including the potential impacts of Brexit on Ireland’s connectivity and increased geographical isolation in the EU. In that context, my officials informed the Commissioner that a submission will be forthcoming. My officials also separately met with the Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport (DG MOVE) in November of last year and briefed DG Move on the Government’s commitment and on the pending submission. DG Move advised that the submission would be considered on receipt but indicated that it may not meet the criteria for the Core Network. However, it noted that under the Regulation, a review of the implementation of the Core Network will take place by end 2023.

Road Projects

 551. Deputy Lisa Chambers Information on Lisa Chambers Zoom on Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross the status of the planned extension of the M17 from Tuam to Claremorris; if the project will be included in the forthcoming NDP; the position regarding CPOs and funding; the commencement date for the project; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4471/18]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross As Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, I have responsibility for overall policy and funding in relation to the national roads programme. The planning, design and operation of individual road projects  is a matter for Transport Infrastructure Ireland under the Roads Acts 1993-2015 in conjunction with the local authorities concerned.

Noting the above position, I have referred the Deputy's question to TII for direct reply. Please advise my private office if you don't receive a reply within 10 working days.

A referred reply was forwarded to the Deputy under Standing Order 42A.

Parking Provision

 552. Deputy Fiona O'Loughlin Information on Fiona O'Loughlin Zoom on Fiona O'Loughlin asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross the parking infrastructure planned for Newbridge train station to match the increase in service; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4475/18]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross As Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport I have responsibility for policy and overall funding in relation to public transport. The National Transport Authority (NTA) has statutory responsibility for the planning and development of public transport infrastructure and services in the Greater Dublin Area.

In light of the NTA's responsibility in this area, I have forwarded the Deputy's question to the NTA for an update on the issue raised. Please advise my private office if you do not receive a reply within 10 working days.

A referred reply was forwarded to the Deputy under Standing Order 42A.

Sports Facilities Provision

 553. Deputy Shane Cassells Information on Shane Cassells Zoom on Shane Cassells asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross if his Department will support the redevelopment of a stadium (details supplied) from the capital fund of €50 million for stadiums in view of the fact that an organisation has large extensive redevelopment plans to upgrade the stadium; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4485/18]

Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Brendan Griffin): Information on Brendan Griffin Zoom on Brendan Griffin Following the conclusion of Budget 2018 discussions, my Department is committed to establishing a new Large Scale Sport Infrastructure Scheme with funding available from 2019 onwards. The new scheme will be for larger sports projects where the proposed Government contribution exceeds the amount available under the Sports Capital Programme. The terms and conditions of the new scheme are still to be finalised but all projects will be subject to the Public Spending Code and State Aid Requirements prior to any funding commitments. Full details of the new scheme are expected to be published later this year. Prior to these details being finalised and relevant organisations having the opportunity to apply for funding, it is not possible to say which projects will be supported.

Tourism Promotion

 554. Deputy Aindrias Moynihan Information on Aindrias Moynihan Zoom on Aindrias Moynihan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Shane P.N. Ross Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross his plans to develop tourism in the Lee Valley area; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4493/18]

Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Brendan Griffin): Information on Brendan Griffin Zoom on Brendan Griffin My Department's role in relation to tourism lies primarily  in the area of developing national tourism policy, while the tourism agencies have operational responsibility for the implementation of this policy. The matter raised by the Deputy is an operational matter for the board and management of Fáilte Ireland. Accordingly I have referred the Deputy's question to the agency for further information and direct reply. Please advise my private office if you do not receive  a reply within ten working days.

A referred reply was forwarded to the Deputy under Standing Order 42A.

Advertising Regulation

 555. Deputy Sean Sherlock Information on Seán Sherlock Zoom on Seán Sherlock asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Katherine Zappone Zoom on Katherine Zappone her views on the increasing use of children and minors to advertise commercial products through television, radio and online. [3990/18]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): Information on Katherine Zappone Zoom on Katherine Zappone While my Department has no role in the regulation of advertising or broadcasting on any of the media to which he refers, I would be concerned about advertising that involves the use of children in an exploitative manner or anything that risks the safety and welfare of children. I know there are controls in place with regard to broadcast media on radio and television but I believe that regulating online activity, including advertising, presents the greatest challenge for us today. I have discussed this with other Ministers and believe the response requires a whole of government approach in partnership with all stakeholders. The Minister for Communications, Climate Action and the Environment, Denis Naughten, is taking a lead role in organising an open policy debate on internet safety for children in early March 2018 with support and participation from my Department, the Departments of Justice and Equality; Business, Enterprise and Innovation; Education and Skills and Health. Representatives from industry, NGOs and stakeholders will also participate. The overall aim of the event is to raise awareness among all participants of the activities which are being undertaken by the Irish Government, the EU, industry, NGOs and others and to identify gaps where further action is required and areas where further cooperation between stakeholders is possible. This will help develop and finalise Government policy on this important and timely issue.

If the Deputy has a particular concern in this matter in which case he might write to me with further details.

Community Childcare Subvention Programme

 556. Deputy John McGuinness Information on John McGuinness Zoom on John McGuinness asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Katherine Zappone Zoom on Katherine Zappone the reason a person (details supplied) in not being paid on band A of the child care eligibility criteria for their child; and if approval for the proper payment will be expedited. [4021/18]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): Information on Katherine Zappone Zoom on Katherine Zappone The Community Childcare Subvention Plus (CCS Plus) Programme provides support for parents on a low income to avail of reduced childcare costs at participating privately owned childcare services and at community not-for-profit childcare services, a list of these services is available through the relevant local County Childcare Committee. Under CCS Plus my Department pays a portion of the childcare costs for eligible children with the parent paying the remainder. The rate of subvention payable is determined by the status of the parent with the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection.

  Registrations for CCS Plus must be accompanied with the relevant supporting documentation and meet the criteria set out in the Rules for my Department's Childcare Funding Programmes which are available on my Department's website; (www.dcya.gov.ie/documents/ecce-scheme/20171027RulesForDCYAFundingProgrammes.pdf).

  As part of the requirements for CCS Plus eligibility documents must be dated within one month prior to and/or including the week of the child start date on the Programme. In this instance the registration in question does not have the supporting documentation dated within one month prior to the registration date.

  For a letter from Tús to be accepted the following are essential requirements:

  - The letter is on headed paper.

  - The letter is dated ensuring this is no earlier than one month prior to the child start date on the programme.

  - The letter is signed and stamped by the employer.

  - The parent name and PPSN on the letter matches the parent details on the child registration.

  - The name of the employment programme is stated.

  - The letter confirms the parent was participating in the employment programme during the period one month prior to and/or including the week of the child start date on the Programme.

  The highest band available has been granted for the person named based on the information available.

  Once any amended eligibility documents have been obtained the service can make a new registration and the registration can be updated to the relevant band.

Child Support Payments

 557. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae Information on Michael Healy-Rae Zoom on Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Katherine Zappone Zoom on Katherine Zappone if there is a subsidy paid for children in a crèche; if so, the amount per child; and if it varies if the crèche is private or community funded. [4106/18]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): Information on Katherine Zappone Zoom on Katherine Zappone My Department administers a wide range of subsidised childcare programmes which eligible parents may choose to avail of, subsidies are not linked to the status of the childcare provider whether private or community funded.

  Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE):

  The Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) programme is a free pre-school programme available to all children within the eligible age range. It provides children with their first formal experience of early learning prior to commencing primary school. The programme is provided for three hours per day, five days per week over 38 weeks per year and has been expanded to a two year programme from September 2018 for all eligible children. The programme year runs from September to June. The standard weekly ECCE rate is €64.50 for the 2017/2018 programme year.

  Community Childcare Subvention (CCS):

  This programme provides childcare funding support targeting low income families in community childcare services relative to the status of the parent/s with the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection. (Please see table 1 below)

  Community Childcare Subvention Plus (CCSP):

  This programme provides childcare funding support targeting low income families in both private childcare services and community childcare services relative to the status of the parent/s with the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection.

  Further information is contained in the following link:

Childcare

Child Care Services Staff

 558. Deputy Louise O'Reilly Information on Louise O'Reilly Zoom on Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Katherine Zappone Zoom on Katherine Zappone if pay restoration which may apply in future for workers in section 39 agencies will apply to those workers that were previously employed in section 39 agencies when their pay was cut and that are now employed in agencies covered by section 56 of the Child and Family Act 2013; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [4131/18]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): Information on Katherine Zappone Zoom on Katherine Zappone Section 56 of the Child and Family Agency Act, 2013, makes provision for Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, subject to certain matters including the resources available to the Agency, to enter into arrangements with not for profit service providers for the provision of services similar to activities carried out by the Agency and consistent with its functions.

Tusla allocates funding, under an arrangement, to not for profit service providers for the provision of a level of service commensurate with the funding provided. Not for profit organisations operate independently of Tusla and are responsible for the recruitment of employees and the terms and conditions under which they are employed. Staff in these organisations are not public servants and, as such, are not entitled to the pay restoration provided for in the Public Service Agreements. Indeed, the issue of public servant status for the employees of such organisations is an issue which goes beyond the social care sector with far reaching implications across the public sector as a whole.

Tusla fully appreciates the role that not for profit organisations play in providing services and supports to vulnerable children and families.

Affordable Childcare Scheme Eligibility

 559. Deputy Anne Rabbitte Information on Anne Rabbitte Zoom on Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Katherine Zappone Zoom on Katherine Zappone if under the affordable childcare scheme low-income parents that are not working or in training will be eligible for a maximum 15 hours child care per week. [4133/18]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): Information on Katherine Zappone Zoom on Katherine Zappone The Affordable Childcare Scheme will address a number of issues relating not only to the affordability of childcare but to achieving better outcomes for children and families. Families will qualify for an income-based subsidy based on parental income and, parents’ who are in work or training will be approved for the maximum number of hours of subsidy available. Some families will qualify for the scheme for other reasons and more detail relating to this is included later in this answer. The scheme's approach to eligibility for maximum hours for those in work or in training is based on evidence regarding how to achieve the best outcomes for children and families.

When parents are engaged in work (including part-time work and labour market activation programmes) or in education or training, they will be eligible for an enhanced subsidy of up to 40 hours per week. When parents are not in work or training, childcare will be subsidised on a standard basis of up to a maximum of 15 hours per week. I believe that this is a reasonable approach for the majority of children and families.

It will mean that this Scheme is open – albeit for standard hours rather than enhanced hours – to parents who are not taking part in work or training, but who choose to avail of up to 15 hours of childcare per week. In the case of school going children, the child development objectives are met through school-going hours and, as such, the 15 standard hours of childcare applies to non-term time.

The Childcare Support Bill 2017, as published, will enable me to make regulations that specify definitions of "work" and "study" for the purposes of the Scheme. When setting out these definitions, I intend to adopt an inclusive approach that recognises the diversity of progression routes towards labour market participation, particularly for those who are distant from the labour market.

I acknowledge that, where a parent is at home and not engaged in any relevant form of work or study, a family with school age children will not benefit from subsidised after-school childcare. However, I believe it is important that the Scheme should actively support labour market participation through linking the number of hours of subsidy to a family’s need for childcare for the purpose of work, education or training.

There is also a small but important group of families for whom childcare is needed on child welfare grounds or for whom childcare is a necessary early intervention support. Under the current subvention schemes Tusla and the HSE may make referrals for subvention for such families.

For the Affordable Childcare Scheme, the Childcare Support Bill 2017 specifies five statutory bodies that may provide referrals for free or additional childcare: Tusla, the HSE, the Department of Education and Skills (in relation to parents who are under 18), the Department of Justice and Equality (in relation to asylum seekers and programme refugees), and Local Authorities (in relation to homeless children and children transitioning out of homelessness).

It is proposed that, where such a referral is made, families would automatically qualify for a subsidy under the Affordable Childcare Scheme without having to satisfy any income or work/study test. The referring body would recommend the hours of childcare needed, which may - depending on the referring body and the needs of the family - be for up to full-time childcare. The Scheme would then provide the maximum rate of subsidy in respect of those hours of care, and no payment would be asked of the parents in these circumstances. This approach is consistent with current practice under the Community Childcare Subvention scheme and is critical to supporting strong child welfare and protection practices. My officials are currently in discussion with the relevant statutory bodies in relation to the way in which this referral process will operate in the Affordable Childcare Scheme.

Public Private Partnerships Data

 560. Deputy Pearse Doherty Information on Pearse Doherty Zoom on Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Katherine Zappone Zoom on Katherine Zappone the public private partnerships her Department is currently engaged in; the name, cost and timeframe of each; the names of all private parties involved; the nature of each project in terms of design, build, maintain and so on, in tabular form; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [4429/18]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): Information on Katherine Zappone Zoom on Katherine Zappone I can confirm to the Deputy that my Department is not currently engaged in any public private partnerships.


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