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Zappone, Katherine

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. Nbr.


Childcare Qualifications

Was asked: if there is a shorter add-on course to obtain a major award in childcare rather than starting the course from the beginning for persons who have already achieved a component certificate in level-si...More Button

My Department provides a qualifications assessment process for the Early Years sector, however my Department is not an awarding body nor an education provider.More Button

If people are unsure about the level of their award, or hold a component certificate for a further education award, they can contact Quality and Qualifications Ireland, QQI, who are the arbiter o...More Button

My Department's role is to provide adjudication as to whether or not a qualification meets the minimum regulatory standard for the Early Years sector, or whether a qualification is suitable for a...More Button

Many third-level education providers (Institutes of Technology, Universities, and some private education providers) have degree-level programmes in Early Childhood Care and Education available, a...More Button

I understand that some third-level providers will accept further education awards for access to degree programmes, but it is recommended that individuals check with specific third-level education...More Button

My Department is not in a position to recommend one third-level programme over another..More Button

Mother and Baby Homes Inquiries

Was asked: the objectives of the commission of investigation into mother and baby homes; the actions that will be taken as a result of the commission; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes and certain related Matters was established by Government in 2015. Its objective is to provide a full account of what happened to women a...More Button

Was asked: the location of the records for St. Patrick's mother and baby home, Navan Road, of births, deaths, procedural matters, State involvement and so on; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the location of the burial of the babies who died at St. Patrick's mother and baby home, Navan Road; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 602 and 603 together.More Button

As I have previously stated to the Deputy, my Department does not hold any records from the institution known as St. Patrick's Mother and Baby Home. A cohort of files from this former institutio...More Button

As the Deputy may be aware, St. Patrick's Mother and Baby Home is one of the institutions currently being investigated by the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes and certain re...More Button

Childcare Services Staff

Was asked: her plans to introduce a scheme, similar to the recently announced scheme whereby newly qualified accountants will receive a salary of almost €18,000, funded by Solas to fund newly qualified early ...More Button

I assume that this refers to the national apprenticeship system.  In newer apprenticeships, such as the one referenced by the Deputy, Solas or the Higher Education Authority meet the running costs ...More Button

This scheme is under the remit of my colleague, the Minister for Education and Skills. I understand that the Apprenticeship Council issued a call for proposals for new apprenticeships in the Sum...More Button

Currently, the commitment by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs and the Department of Education and Skills is to deliver a new workforce plan for the Early Years sector by the first qua...More Button

Childcare Services Regulation

Was asked: the consequences facing crèches found to be non-compliant with the legislative requirement to only hire persons with a minimum FETAC level five; if conditions will be attached to their registration...More Button

I can confirm that on inspection a service which employs staff without the relevant qualifications will be found non compliant with Regulation 9(4). A condition will be attached to that service th...More Button

Family Resource Centres

Was asked: her plans to reinstate funds to a centre (details supplied); and the cost of reinstating funding.More Button

I understand that the Deputy's question pertains to the 2016 Childcare Regulations, which have impacted on the eligibility of Community Employment participants active within some childcare service ...More Button

Some €1 million in funding has been made available to services that identify themselves as being impacted by staff eligibility changes within the 2016 Regulations. In order to avail of this fund...More Button

I can confirm the service in question has applied for this stream of funding. However, during the assessment process it was identified that the service had achieved a considerable financial surp...More Button

Access to this stream of funding is strictly on condition of satisfying the assessment process. No funds in this respect have been deducted from the service in question, and my Department theref...More Button

Was asked: if funding will be made available to family resource centres that require capital for infrastructural improvements.More Button

There are over 100 Family Resource Centres, FRCs, currently in receipt of funding from Tusla, the Child and Family Agency. Tusla provides funding to the centres under an annual Agreement. This fu...More Button

FRCs, funded by Tusla, provide a range of universal and targeted services and development opportunities that address the needs of vulnerable children and families. In seeking to improve outcomes...More Button

While Tusla annual funding seeks to assist Centres in their day-to-day activities, additional once-off funding of €1.422 million was provided to Family Resource Centres in 2016 in order to assist...More Button

The precise details of funding available to Family Resource Centres next year will be considered by Tusla in developing its 2018 Business Plan, based on the Performance Statement, which I as Mini...More Button

Youth Services Funding

Was asked: if additional funding for an organisation (details supplied) will be approved.More Button

My Department administers a range of funding schemes and programmes to support the provision of youth services to young people throughout the country including those from disadvantaged communities....More Button

In 2017, €57.4 million has been allocated in current funding to support the provision of youth services, an increase of €5.5 million on 2016. The additional funding is being used for programmes ...More Button

Earlier this year, I was pleased to approve funding of €800,000 for the establishment of new youth projects and for the augmentation of a small number of existing youth services to meet new chall...More Button

Each of the 16 Education and Training Boards, including Laois and Offaly ETB, was invited to nominate locations within their catchment areas for the establishment of new services and to nominate ...More Button

Based on the recommendations of a specially convened appraisal committee, and given the very limited resources available for the scheme, I approved the establishment of nine new targeted youth se...More Button

The application in respect of Laois was, unfortunately, not successful on this occasion. Should further monies be made available to my Department in the coming years, it is my intention to invit...More Button

Was asked: when a grant application by an organisation (details supplied) will be decided upon.More Button

Was asked: her views on funding an organisation (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 621 and 625 together.

In 2017, funding of €57.4 million has been provided to my Department for various youth schemes, an increase of €5.5 million over 2016...More Button

Was asked: the allocation made to youth work services over each of the past ten years, by county, in tabular from; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

My Department administers a range of funding schemes and programmes to support the provision of youth services to young people throughout the country including those from disadvantaged communities....More Button

Details of the funding provided to youth services and projects by my Department since its establishment in 2011 are not readily available in the format requested by the Deputy. The funding for t...More Button

Information on the allocations provided to youth services by receiving organisations in each of the years 2011 to 2017 has been forwarded to the Deputy. .More Button

Early Childhood Care and Education Funding

Was asked: if the budget allocation for early childhood education will be increased by a minimum of €250 million each year over the next five years; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

My Department continues to invest significant resources in the early years sector. In Budget 2017, I secured a 35% increase in childcare funding, which was additional to a similar 35% increase in ...More Button

Although my Department has been successful in securing additional funding for this sector over the past two budgets, as outlined above, I do acknowledge that much more must be done if we are trul...More Button

Although it is my intention to continue to pursue further increases in investment in the childcare sector going forward, it would be premature at this juncture to speculate as to what fiscal spac...More Button

Affordable Childcare Scheme

Was asked: her views on the removal of the 15-hour standard hours subsidy proposal from the development of the affordable childcare scheme; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

There are no plans in place to remove the proposed 15-hour standard hours subsidy from the Affordable Childcare Scheme. I want to ensure a balanced approach to eligibility for childcare subsidies ...More Button

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...More Button

Early Childhood Care and Education

Was asked: if she will publish the national early years strategy; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Better Outcomes Brighter Futures: The National Policy Framework for Children and Young People contains a commitment to produce Ireland’s first-ever National Early Years Strategy. The intent...More Button

Early Childhood Care and Education Staff

Was asked: her views on allocating €5 million to increase the 5% non-contact time for core staff being built into the proposed new affordable childcare scheme to 10%; and if she will make a statement on the m...More Button

The Non-Contact Time payment for administrative and non-face-to-face work with children was first introduced as a measure in Budget 2017.More Button

The purpose of the payment was to contribute toward the costs of the wide range of work carried out by providers, particularly the additional administration involved in changes to the childcare s...More Button

The Independent Review of Costs of Quality Childcare will examine the cost of providing quality childcare, including the cost of non-contact and administrative work. The review should therefore ...More Button

Ministerial Responsibilities

Was asked: the powers she has delegated to the Ministers of State in her Department; the date on which such delegation was made; if there were changes in powers delegated relative to the situation in place pr...More Button

There are no Ministers of State assigned to my Department.More Button

Children in Care

Was asked: the number of children's residential centres by county; and the amount each centre has cost in each of the years 2011 to 2016, in tabular form.More Button

The latest figures from Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, indicates that, at the end of July 2017, there were 6,272 children in care. Of these, 358 (6%) were in a residential placement, of whom ...More Button

Was asked: her views on whether the extension of a care order is in the best interest of a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, may receive a child into care on a voluntary basis or following an application to the Courts. There are a range of orders provided for under the Child Care Act ...More Button

Child Protection

Was asked: if her Department is adequately resourced to protect children; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I am committed to the protection and welfare of children and believe that there is a moral duty on Government and on society to work together to protect children and to ensure their safety. Within...More Button

National Youth Work Advisory Committee

Was asked: when the Youth Advisory Council last met; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the reason the national youth advisory body has not been properly constituted; her plans for same; the position regarding the involvement of the voluntary youth sector in the work of her Department...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 616 and 620 together.

  Sections 17 and 18 of the Youth Work Act 2001 provide for the appointment of a National Youth Work Advisory Committee. T...More Button

Youth Services

Was asked: the number of ETBs that have an integrated youth services programme; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Tusla has advised that a total of 41 School Completion Programme staff are employed directly by Education and Training Boards. An approximate further 30 School Completion Programmes receive admini...More Button

Was asked: her views on maintaining the voluntary sector's role in delivering local youth services; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: her views on ensuring that the voluntary sector is part of the organisation and funding of youth work; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: her views on increasing the funding for the local youth club grant in 2017; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 623, 624 and 626 together.More Button

My Department administers a range of funding schemes and programmes to support the provision of youth services to young people throughout the country including those from disadvantaged communitie...More Button

I am pleased to confirm that I have allocated an extra €5.5 million in current funding to support the provision of youth services in 2017. This will bring the total youth funding by my Departmen...More Button

Earlier this year I approved the launch of an updated and improved Local Youth Club Grant Scheme and from 2017, the scheme incorporated the National Quality Standards for volunteer-led youth grou...More Button

In recognition of the contribution which volunteer led clubs/groups make to our young people, I was pleased to have been able to make €6.35 million in additional funding available this year in th...More Button

The question of additional investment in the youth services will be considered in the context of the resources that are made available to my Department in the Estimates and Budgetary process and ...More Button

Question No. 625 answered with Question No. 621.More Button

Question No. 626 answered with Question No. 623.More Button

Child and Family Agency Investigations

Was asked: if Tusla has received correspondence from concerned parents at a national school (details supplied); if so, the status and outcome of same; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Tusla has advised that it received correspondence from parents at a national school in relation to matters of concern.

  The matters were investigated in accordance with Tusla po...More Button

Affordable Childcare Scheme Implementation

Was asked: if the difficulties being experienced by a crèche (details supplied) in County Dublin regarding the administration of the new affordable childcare scheme will be investigated; if payments will be b...More Button

With regard to the details supplied by the Deputy, I understand that officials from my Department have been in contact with this service provider and this issue has been resolved to the provider’s ...More Button

Child Care Services Provision

Was asked: the status of a facility (details supplied).More Button

As the Deputy is aware, my Department does not directly provide childcare - rather we fund the provision of childcare through individuals, companies and community/not-for-profit groups. Therefore,...More Button

Unfortunately, my Department has yet to receive a viable proposal for the creation of a childcare service in this area. Pobal and Longford CCC are therefore still pursuing options locally in thi...More Button

After-School Support Services

Was asked: if there are supports for community childcare facilities to pick up children for provision of after-school care; and if not, if she will review same. More Button

As the Deputy will be aware, my Department provides subvention through a number of childcare schemes. Two of these schemes:

- Childcare Education and Training, CETS, which provides childc...More Button

Lobbying Data

Was asked: the number of occasions on which she has been lobbied in respect of the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill since March 2016; the persons she has met; the dates of these meetings; the details of the basis...More Button

I can inform the Deputy, that in the time period referred to, I have received two written representations with regard to the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill, from the Chief Executive of the Licensed V...More Button

Foster Care Provision

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 251 of 28 September 2017, when the examination is likely to be published in view of the possibility that the use of private foster providers of emergency care ...More Button

As the Deputy is aware, in May I welcomed the publication of Dr. Geoffrey Shannon’s audit into the use of section 12 of the Child Care Act 1991 by An Garda Síochána. The report was undertaken by D...More Button

In my previous reply to the Deputy on this matter, I mentioned that a number of recommendations were made by Dr. Shannon which merit further consideration by my Department, and my officials have ...More Button

While my officials are currently awaiting the Agency’s response, based on the information currently available it would appear that there is no legal difficulty in placing children with a private ...More Button