39. Deputy Maureen O’Sullivan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if the childcare needs in the zero to two years of age group will be addressed in Dublin 1 in view of the concerns of public health nurses. (Question 18607/18 asked on 01 May 2018 - Child Care Services Provision)

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): I understand the Deputy is referring to issues around childcare supports in Dublin 1, particularly for lone parents and parents wishing to return to education.
I am aware of issues relating to the availability of early years places in that area and officials from my Department are in fact scheduled to meet with stakeholders this week to discuss them. 
Dublin City Childcare Committee, which is funded by my Department, is also ava...

230. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the status of the independent review of the cost of providing quality child care; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 10760/18 asked on 06 Mar 2018 - Child Care Services Provision)

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): The Independent Review of the Cost of Providing Quality Childcare is a critical input to the on-going reform of childcare in Ireland and is commitment in the Programme for Government. 
This Review seeks to:
- Analyse the current costs of providing childcare in Ireland and factors that impact on those costs;
- Develop a model of the unit cost/costs of providing childcare that allows analysis of policy changes and variation in cos...

11. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the extent to which she is satisfied regarding the availability of child care facilities in view of the increasing necessity for both parents to be at work and to meet the requirements of one-parent families; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 8963/18 asked on 22 Feb 2018 - Child Care Services Provision)

Deputy Bernard J. Durkan: My question relates to the extent to which child care and support facilities are available given the ever-increasing demand arising from the fact that both parents may be required to go to work and also the requirements of one-parent families.
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35. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the degree to which she remains satisfied regarding the availability of community child support services, including the provision of support for afterschool activities through youth clubs and similar bodies; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 8964/18 asked on 22 Feb 2018 - Child Care Services Provision)

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): My Department continues to invest significant resources in the childcare sector generally. In the last three Budgets (2016, 2017 and 2018) investment in childcare has increased by 80% which reflects the emphasis being placed on improving access to high quality and affordable services . 
This investment includes funding of the Community Childcare Subvention (CCS) and the After School Childcare (ASCC) schemes. CCS is a childcare p...

23. Deputy Eamon Scanlon asked the Minister for Health the status of the new diabetes centre at Sligo General Hospital; when works are due to commence; the proposed completion date of the building; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 6207/18 asked on 08 Feb 2018 - Child Care Services Provision)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): The tender process for the Diabetes Day Centre is underway with short-listing of contractors due to be completed shortly. Once a contractor has been selected, funding approval will be required in order to progress with the appointment of the contractor. The project has a timescale of 9 months once building works commence.
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246. Deputy Eugene Murphy asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the progress that has been made in relation to a new pre-school facility that is being proposed at a centre (details supplied) in County Roscommon; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 5508/18 asked on 06 Feb 2018 - Child Care Services Provision)

Minister of State at the Department of Justice and Equality (Deputy David Stanton): I propose to take Questions Nos. 246 and 247 together.
I wish to inform the Deputy that as no appropriate childcare facilities are available in the Ballaghaderreen area, a new childcare facility is being developed at Abbeyfield Emergency Reception and Orientation Centre to provide a childcare service for to the significant number of children living with their parents in the Centre. 
My Department is providing ap...

247. Deputy Eugene Murphy asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the funding scheme under which the funds for a new pre-school facility at a centre (details supplied) in County Roscommon have been secured; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 5509/18 asked on 06 Feb 2018 - Child Care Services Provision)

Minister of State at the Department of Justice and Equality (Deputy David Stanton): I propose to take Questions Nos. 246 and 247 together.
I wish to inform the Deputy that as no appropriate childcare facilities are available in the Ballaghaderreen area, a new childcare facility is being developed at Abbeyfield Emergency Reception and Orientation Centre to provide a childcare service for to the significant number of children living with their parents in the Centre. 
My Department is providing ap...

464. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the position regarding the independent review of the cost of delivering quality childcare; the date by which she anticipates this review being published; and if she will publish this review upon its completion. (Question 52705/17 asked on 12 Dec 2017 - Child Care Services Provision)

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): The Independent Review of the Cost of Providing Quality Childcare is a critical input to the on-going reform of childcare in Ireland and is commitment in the Programme for Government.
This review seeks to:
- Analyse the current costs of providing childcare in Ireland and factors that impact on those costs;
- Develop a model of the unit cost/costs of providing childcare that allows analysis of policy changes and variation in co...

370. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if she will review a case (details supplied); the options available to this provider to accommodate the numbers approaching their centre in the area; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44805/17 asked on 24 Oct 2017 - Child Care Services Provision)

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): My Department is committed to further developing the annual Early Years Capital programme in respect of the needs of children and providers. In 2017, for example, a total of €8.4 million was allocated in Early Years Capital funding to create new childcare places as well as increasing the quality of childcare facilities. This funding was allocated in a competitive application process of which 683 providers nationwide received f...

373. Deputy Joe Carey asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if she will address a matter (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44923/17 asked on 24 Oct 2017 - Child Care Services Provision)

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): The Early Childhood and Education Programme (ECCE) programme was expanded from September 2016 so that children may start free pre-school from age 3, and can continue in free pre-school once the child is not older than 5 years and 6 months at the end of the relevant pre-school year. Currently there are three different points in the year - September, January and April.
Under Budget 2018, the ECCE programme has been expanded furth...

66. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the policy of her Department regarding the development of crèches and preschools in the Gaeltacht which operate through the medium of the Irish language; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 43467/17 asked on 17 Oct 2017 - Child Care Services Provision)

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): I propose to take Questions Nos. 66 and 67 together.
My Department recognises that there is a need to provide supports in the Gaeltacht, and throughout the country, in relation to Irish language needs in the early years sector. This will include appropriate education and training materials and resources for practitioners and services. 
I established a subgroup of the Early Years Forum, which includes members from Comhar Naíonra...

67. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the policy of her Department regarding the development of crèches and preschools inside and outside the Gaeltacht which operate through the medium of the Irish language; the discussions she has had on this matter with the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 43466/17 asked on 17 Oct 2017 - Child Care Services Provision)

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): I propose to take Questions Nos. 66 and 67 together.
My Department recognises that there is a need to provide supports in the Gaeltacht, and throughout the country, in relation to Irish language needs in the early years sector. This will include appropriate education and training materials and resources for practitioners and services. 
I established a subgroup of the Early Years Forum, which includes members from Comhar Naíonra...

627. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the status of a facility (details supplied). (Question 43021/17 asked on 10 Oct 2017 - Child Care Services Provision)

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): 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, following the closure of the existing childcare provider in this location, I requested that Pobal and Longford CCC work with local bodies and potential partners in relation to the re-establishment of a service for the local community....

546. Deputy Denise Mitchell asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the number of childminders that have registered with Tusla from September 2016 to date in 2017. (Question 41294/17 asked on 03 Oct 2017 - Child Care Services Provision)

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): The number of registered childminders in September 2016 was 119. As of the end of August 2017, the number of registered childminders was 118.
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551. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if Tusla has agreed to the provision of a day to day support worker to assist with the needs of persons (details supplied). (Question 41595/17 asked on 03 Oct 2017 - Child Care Services Provision)

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): I have referred the Deputy’s request for specific information as detailed to Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, for direct response to the Deputy concerned.
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666. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if progress has been made in efforts to reopen a child care facility (details supplied) in County Longford; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 39634/17 asked on 20 Sep 2017 - Child Care Services Provision)

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): 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, following the closure of the existing childcare provider in this location, I requested that Pobal and Longford CCC work with local bodies and potential partners in relation to the re-establishment of a service for the local community....

105. Deputy Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Education and Skills if his attention has been drawn to the difficulties facing a group (details supplied) in Donaghmede in trying to find a permanent home for the child care training and counselling services it provides; and if he will arrange to meet representatives of the group to discuss its future plans. (Question 31899/17 asked on 06 Jul 2017 - Child Care Services Provision)

Minister of State at the Department of Education and Skills (Deputy John Halligan): I am familiar with the group in question and the excellent services they provide in the local community. I am aware that the group are having difficulties sourcing suitable accommodation.
I have convened a meeting for later this week between the group and relevant stakeholders which I will attend to consider what options might be available to accommodate the group.
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106. Deputy Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Education and Skills the supports his Department can provide for groups such as a group (details supplied) that provide invaluable education and training for its local community; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 31900/17 asked on 06 Jul 2017 - Child Care Services Provision)

Minister of State at the Department of Education and Skills (Deputy John Halligan): I am familiar with the group in question and the excellent services they provide in the local community. I am aware that the group are having difficulties sourcing suitable accommodation.
I have convened a meeting for later this week between the group and relevant stakeholders which I will attend to consider what options might be available to accommodate the group.
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39. Deputy Maureen O’Sullivan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs when a decision will be made to the request for 24-hour services at a location (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 31161/17 asked on 04 Jul 2017 - Child Care Services Provision)

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): Tusla has two emergency children’s residential centres that cater for young people in need of emergency care. One of these is the centre referred to by Deputy O’Sullivan, which is based in Dublin city centre. The young people receive a 24 hour seamless service. For operational reasons, the service for the young people during the day is located nearby. 
This dedicated service for the young people operates during the day, at...

1908. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the steps she will take to increase the number of registered child minders; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 27094/17 asked on 20 Jun 2017 - Child Care Services Provision)

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): I have established a working group in order to make short, medium and long-term recommendations on reforms for the child minding sector. The working group is chaired by Child minding Ireland and includes officials from Tusla and DCYA. 
The working group’s recommendations will relate to child minders who are currently exempt from registration with Tusla (i.e. those minding three or fewer pre-school children, or those minding scho...

1971. Deputy Danny Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the status of the universal child care subsidy; if the €20 a week will be available from September 2017; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 28927/17 asked on 20 Jun 2017 - Child Care Services Provision)

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): On 11 April, I made an announcement that the Affordable Childcare Scheme would not commence this September but that a range of measures will be introduced by my Department to make childcare more affordable for thousands of families throughout Ireland. This honours a key commitment in the Programme for Government. I can confirm that these measures, which will benefit the families of tens of thousands of children, will commence th...

261. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs her plans to protect against displacement and the assessment criteria Pobal will use to determine whether demand exists before making funding available for the establishment of new and expansion of existing school age childcare (SAC) services in view of the recently published SAC capital 2017 application guidelines and the danger of displacement on the viability and sustainability of existing childcare services providing SAC. (Question 26471/17 asked on 01 Jun 2017 - Child Care Services Provision)

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): The School Age Capital grant includes 2 Strands which directly relate to the expansion and improvement of existing afterschool services, these strands will not in any way displace services already operating and are designed to improve the services and allow them to expand their numbers and improve the quality of their service.
In addition during the appraisal process, Pobal will conduct a consultation with all local County Child...

134. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Education and Skills his views on the suggestions by an organisation (details supplied) that related capital investment will be necessary if the programme for Government commitment on having schools available for child care services can be successfully implemented; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 24942/17 asked on 24 May 2017 - Child Care Services Provision)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): In accordance with key commitments in the Programme for a Partnership Government (May 2016) in relation to encouraging the use of school buildings outside school hours, my Department is working closely with the Department of Children and Youth Affairs in considering how to facilitate schools who wish to make their facilities available as part of the range of options available to parents where there is demand. 
Draft guidelines on the use...

261. Deputy Jan O’Sullivan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the progress which has been made in conducting an independent review on the cost of providing quality child care in private and community settings consistent with the principles of ongoing professionalisation of the sector; the factors which will be considered in the review; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 24872/17 asked on 24 May 2017 - Child Care Services Provision)

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): Given the importance of financial sustainability for the provision of quality childcare, the Irish Programme for Government commits to conducting and publishing an independent review of the cost of providing quality childcare in Ireland. This commitment aligns closely with work on the design and development of the Affordable Childcare Scheme and is currently being progressed in that context. Work on preparing a Request for Tend...

262. Deputy Jan O’Sullivan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the way in which the universal child care scheme will be administered from September 2017; if the existing platform will be used; when providers will be given detailed information on the way in which the scheme will operate in practice; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 24873/17 asked on 24 May 2017 - Child Care Services Provision)

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): As I have previously announced, the Affordable Childcare Scheme (ACS) will not be introduced in September 2017, but will be introduced at the earliest possible date.
However, I do not want to delay the benefit of higher childcare subsidies for families. I am pleased to confirm that major improvements in childcare subsidies will therefore come into effect this September, including increases of up to 50% in targeted childcare subs...