Minister must secure additional funding for childcare places – Brendan Smith

– Expansion of community childcare facilities must be prioritised –

Fianna Fáil TD for Brendan Smith has called on the Children’s Minister to secure additional funding in the upcoming Budget to ensure that community childcare facilities can provide additional capacity.

He made the call following engagement with local childcare providers in the constituency, which have no places left.

Deputy Brendan Smith said, “Childcare is one of the biggest issues facing families across Cavan and Monaghan, and access to places in community childcare facilities is becoming a serious problem.  I have been engaging with private and community childcare providers in Cavan and Monaghan and they have explained very clearly that they need additional funding so that they can expand.  One provider said they would have to double capacity to cater for demand.

“I questioned Minister Zappone on this very issue in the Dáil this week and I welcomed the recent grant approvals for 2018.  However, more needs to be done to ensure that all children who need a childcare place can get one.

“I called on the Minister to put in place a scheme with larger-scale grant assistance to make it realistic, obtainable and feasible for community childcare providers in particular to extend and enhance existing facilities and meet the demand that exists in their localities.  Minister Zappone claimed that “significant funding will be available as we move forward in terms of capital investment in childcare places”, which is a very welcome development.

“I will continue to engage with Minister Zappone on this issue to ensure that this commitment is followed through on in the Budget”.