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Written Answers. - Child Care Services.

Tuesday, 26 November 2002

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 558 No. 1

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 439. Mr. Ring Information on Michael Ring Zoom on Michael Ring  asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform Information on Michael McDowell Zoom on Michael McDowell  if funding will be sanctioned to a children's centre (details supplied) in County Mayo under the ADM. [23665/02]

Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform (Mr. McDowell): Information on Michael McDowell Zoom on Michael McDowell As the Deputy may be aware, my Department has been given overall responsibility for the development and co-ordination of child care services over the course of the National Development Plan, 2000-2006. In this regard, the equal opportunities child care programme, established in April 2000, has been developed with the objective of significantly increasing the number of [312] child care places and improving the quality of child care services to enable parents to avail of work, education and training opportunities. Some €437 million has been made available for this purpose from the Exchequer and the European Union.

On 2 August 2001 an application for a capital grant, under the programme, was received in my Department from the group in question. The application was immediately passed to ADM Limited who administer the programme on my behalf, to carry out a technical appraisal of the project proposals. As part of the appraisal process, all large-scale projects are referred, by ADM Limited for evaluation by an external building specialist. I have made inquiries and have been informed that the development officer, assigned to this application, is currently awaiting the report from the external building specialist.

On completion of this process, the assessment will be referred to the programme appraisal committee, chaired by my Department, for a recommendation before I make a decision on the application. In the interim, it would be premature of me to comment further on this capital grant application.

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