In County Clare, €185,110 has been awarded to community and not-for-profit childcare services that applied for funding under the Early Years Capital programme. This funding will be used for repair and maintenance works, and to upgrade current facilities.

Eleven facilities in Clare have benefited from the funding announced today. €46,000 will go to Loughgraney Kids Corner in Flagmount; €36,841 will go to Spraoi Playgroup in Miltown Malbay; €9,634 will go to Brigit’s Hearth in Tuamgraney; 16,708 will go to Inagh Ark Childcare; €11,635 will go to Ruan Community Childcare; €25,826 will go to Obair Community Creche in Newmarket on Fergus; €23,719 will go to Clare Family Resource Centre in Ennis; €1,810 will go to Sunflowers in Kildysart; €2714 will go to Seahorses in Kilkee; €5,707 will go to Tir na nÓg in Lissycasey and €2519 will go to Rí Rá in Kilrush . This money will prove hugely beneficial to local families whose children have been using these facilities.

The grants awarded today will be used for essential repairs, refurbishment and improving energy ratings. Priority was given to areas of economic disadvantage; places most in need of assistance. This is very good news for parents and childcare providers in County Clare.

High quality childcare facilities are hugely important to parents. It makes a massive difference to know that when you are at work, your children are being cared for in an environment that is safe, clean and fit-for-purpose. Children in Clare will benefit from funding awarded to facilities that have been in existence for some years and are now in need for a make-over.

Nationally, €2.5 million in capital funding has been allocated to 163 childcare providers. This highlights the Government’s commitment to supporting sustainable community services across the country.

One of the Government’s top priorities for the remainder of the current Dáil term is to introduce measures to assist low income families by improving the system of child income supports. Only last week changes to the Community Employment Childcare (CEC) programme were announced to assist people trying to get back to work and those in training programmes.

This programme of works will take place alongside the very significant work currently being undertaken to deliver on the Early Years Quality Agenda, and in addition this funding, a further €5 million has been made available under the Infrastructure Stimulus. The Minister for Children is currently assessing and planning on how best to spend this money.