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Written Answers - Child Care Services

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 754 No. 3

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 452.  Deputy Paul J. Connaughton Information on Paul Connaughton Zoom on Paul Connaughton  asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald  the reason a person (details supplied) in County Galway has been refused child care subvention in band A for their two children in view of the fact that they are recognised as a carer with the Department of Social Protection; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [6645/12]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald My Department implements the Community Childcare Subvention (CCS) programme which provides funding to community childcare services to enable them to charge reduced childcare rates to low income and disadvantaged families.

Community childcare services qualify for grant aid on the basis of the level of service they provide and the profile of the parents benefiting from their service. Parental declaration forms are submitted in the Autumn of each year to my Department and the PPS numbers of those parents are transmitted to the Department of Social Protection (DPS) and the HSE for verification. Information supplied by the DSP and HSE is used to determine the level of subvention which applies to each individual parent. Following verification, letters issue to participating services confirming the total annual CCS subvention amount approved for that service together with a list of qualifying parents and confirmation of the subvention level applied to each parent. Services are also advised that if any parent disagrees with the level of subvention applied to them, they have a right of appeal. The deadline for the submission of appeals in this instance was Friday, 3 February 2012.

I understand that the person referred to by the Deputy has submitted an appeal against the initial determination of subvention and that this appeal is currently being considered. The childcare service in which her children are enrolled will be advised of the outcome in due course.

 453.  Deputy Mattie McGrath Information on Mattie McGrath Zoom on Mattie McGrath  asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald  her plans to continue the early child care and education scheme into 2013; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [6775/12]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald In line with the Programme for Government, my Department has made a significant commitment to maintaining the universal free pre-school year. In this context the funding for the pre-school year has been increased from €163 million in 2011 to €175.8 million in 2012 to cater for changing demographics, which means that there is an increased number of children in the relevant age cohort.

Pre-school services currently participating in the programme have a legal contractual agreement up to the end of August 2012 and planning is under way for the September 2012/August 2014 period of the programme. Having said this, you will appreciate that all programme funding is considered in the context of the annual estimates and budgetary process and it is not possible to give a specific guarantee in advance of these discussions.


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