1427. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the number of women’s refuge centres here, in tabular form; the number of women these centres can cater for; the number of women in these centres at present; the centre which supports women in counties Cavan and Monaghan; her plans to introduce more centres; the supports in place for women in counties Cavan and Monaghan who have no centre; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 35745/17 asked on 26 Jul 2017 - Domestic Violence Refuges Provision)

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, has statutory responsibility for the provision of care and protection to victims of domestic, sexual and gender-based violence. In discharging its statutory responsibility, Tusla supports emergency refuges in providing services for women and children fleeing domestic violence. Tusla also provides a range of community-based supports to victims. 
In 2017, Tusla is providing €22.1 million in fu...

1428. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs her views on a campaign organised by a group (details supplied) regarding early years workers; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 36055/17 asked on 26 Jul 2017 - Early Childhood Care and Education Staff)

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): It is important that we acknowledge the role played by staff working the childcare sector. Childcare workers play a critical role in delivering high quality childcare services and they deserve to be recognised, valued and respected for this. I do, however, acknowledge that pay and conditions are major issues facing the sector and can lead to difficulties in recruiting and retaining staff. My Department is engaging with collea...

1429. Deputy Paul Kehoe asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if she will review the decision to remove the counselling grant from the school completion programme in cases in which alternative resources are not available; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 34922/17 asked on 26 Jul 2017 - School Completion Programme)

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): I am retaining the grant in its current form for the present, pending a decision on alternative approaches. 
In 1994 the Department of Social Welfare opened a grant scheme to provide counselling supports to children who had experienced bereavement or loss. This grant scheme then passed to the Family Support Agency (FSA) when it was established in 2003 and subsequently to Tusla on establishment in January 2014. 
Up until 2011 ap...

1430. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if child care providers registered with an organisation (details supplied) rather than Tusla will be eligible for the affordable child care scheme; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 34981/17 asked on 26 Jul 2017 - Affordable Childcare Scheme)

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): The Affordable Childcare Scheme (ACS) has been designed to facilitate the inclusion of childminders. However, it is essential that public subsidies are only provided to childcare providers where there is a sufficient level of assurance of the quality of provision. For this reason, the ACS will be delivered through Tusla-registered childcare providers, both centre-based providers and childminders. 
A working group has been esta...

1431. Deputy Denise Mitchell asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs her plans to release capital funding for a community crèche (details supplied). (Question 35127/17 asked on 26 Jul 2017 - Child Care Services)

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): The service to which the Deputy refers has not made an application for capital funding under the early years capital scheme, 2017. As the deadline for this has now passed, It will not be possible to facilitate an application at this stage. I understand that the service in question is faced with the prospect of closure - I have asked officials to work with the local Childcare Committee and Pobal to establish the position and as...

1432. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs her plans to introduce a legislative framework; and the powers that social workers have to investigate allegations of abuse outside the home as recommended in the Ferns, Murphy and Cloyne Reports. (Question 35201/17 asked on 26 Jul 2017 - Child Abuse)

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): As the Deputy will be aware, the primary legislation regulating child care policy is the Child Care Act 1991. Under the 1991 Act, as amended by the Child and Family Agency Act 2013, Tusla - the Child and Family Agency has a statutory duty to promote the welfare of children who are not receiving adequate care and protection. The Child Care Act 1991 is the key piece of legislation whereby the State, as a last resort and in the c...

1433. Deputy Jan O’Sullivan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if all security and contract cleaning companies that have obtained contracts from her Department and agencies under the aegis of her Department under public procurement rules are paying the legal employment regulation order, ERO, hourly rate to their security and contract cleaning employees; the steps she has taken to confirm full compliance with the ERO system; if she has cancelled contracts with companies that have been found to be in breach of the ERO system since 1 October 2015; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 35222/17 asked on 26 Jul 2017 - Departmental Contracts Data)

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): All cleaning contractors for my Department are being paid, equal to or above, the legal Employment Regulation Order (ERO) hourly rate. There are no security contracts as this is arranged by the Office of Public Works. 
The Adoption Authority of Ireland and Oberstown Children Detention Campus have both confirmed that contracts for security and cleaning where applicable also comply with the ERO. No contracts have been cancelled...

1434. Deputy Eoin Ó Broin asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs further to the discovery of unmarked graves at a site in Tuam, the reason family members are not being contacted and liaised with regarding the work that is taking place; and her plans in Tuam. (Question 35457/17 asked on 26 Jul 2017 - Mother and Baby Homes Inquiries)

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): The Government is committed to responding to the discovery of infant remains by the Commission of Investigation on the site of the former mother and baby home in Tuam as effectively and as sensitively as possible.
I have appointed a multi disciplinary team of experts to provide technical advice’s to Government in this highly specialised area. I want to ensure that the approach adopted is informed by technical input that accords...

1435. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the status of the implementation of the affordable child care scheme; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 35465/17 asked on 26 Jul 2017 - Affordable Childcare Scheme Implementation)

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): To avoid delaying the benefit of higher childcare subsidies for low-income families, I have made a number of changes to existing childcare schemes that will bring substantial benefits to tens of thousands of children and their families from this September. These changes will include a new universal subsidy of up to €1,040 per annum, for children aged from 6 months up to 36 months old (or commencement of the ECCE free pre-school...

1436. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the amount spent by her Department on taxi and-or limousine fares in the past two years to date by year and amount; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 35483/17 asked on 26 Jul 2017 - Departmental Expenditure)

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): Officials of my Department order taxis when necessary in the course of their work and when public transport cannot be utilised. The amount invoiced and spent by my Department for taxis in 2015 was €8,393,2016 was €12,700 and January 2017 to present is €9,811. 
No limousines were hired or paid for by my Department over this timeframe.
 ...

1437. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs further to Parliamentary Question No. 797 of 11 April 2017, the estimated cost of the measure assuming it will be introduced in September 2018; and the full year cost. (Question 35710/17 asked on 26 Jul 2017 - Capitation Grants)

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): The actual cost of this proposal would be subject to a number of factors including actual levels of participation and the number of children subvented at the ‘higher capitation’ rate. Extrapolating from 2016/17 figures, the estimated cost of introducing this measure in September 2018, would be €20 million with increases of €3 million annually for every additional 1% of children paid at the higher capitation rate.
Based on 2016/...

1438. Deputy Martin Kenny asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if the criteria have changed for the local youth club grant scheme to prioritising groups in which 75% of the youth members are between ten and 21 years of age and requiring 75% to be between ten to 21 years of age. (Question 35822/17 asked on 26 Jul 2017 - Youth Services Funding)

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): I propose to take Questions Nos. 1438 and 1439 together.
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. The funding schemes support national and local youth work involving approximately 1,400 youth work staff working in youth services and communities throughout the country. 
I am...

1439. Deputy Martin Kenny asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs her views on whether scout groups could be disadvantaged by the change to the local youth club grant scheme which requires groups to have 75% of youth members between ten and 21 years of age (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 35823/17 asked on 26 Jul 2017 - Youth Services Funding)

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): I propose to take Questions Nos. 1438 and 1439 together.
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. The funding schemes support national and local youth work involving approximately 1,400 youth work staff working in youth services and communities throughout the country. 
I am...

1440. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs further to Parliamentary Question No. 402 of 12 July 2017, if she will refer to the submission from a charity (details supplied) as mentioned in a previous parliamentary question. (Question 35835/17 asked on 26 Jul 2017 - Children and Family Services Provision)

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): The Department notes that you have requested clarification regarding a specific proposal to establish a childcare and family support service in the Longford area. The Department can confirm that it has received the proposal you refer to, and has conducted a review of its contents.
The Department acknowledges the ambition and scope of the proposed project, which would involve the provision of childcare and additional support ser...

1441. Deputy Kathleen Funchion asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs further to Parliamentary Questions Nos. 835 and 837 of 7 March 2017 and 660 of 23 May 2017, the estimated full-year cost of paying ECCE workers the living wage of €11.50 per hour at the current 38 week term; and the estimated cost of paying ECCE workers the living wage of €11.50 per hour for 41 and 44 weeks of the year, respectively. (Question 35905/17 asked on 26 Jul 2017 - Early Childhood Care and Education Staff)

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): My Department provides standard capitation of €64.50 per week and higher capitation of €75.00 per week for childcare places under the ECCE Scheme. Given that it is a matter for each individual employer to determine the allocation of staff, resources and ratios (subject to the governing provisions with regard to ratios) from this capitation rate, it is not possible to estimate the full cost of paying all ECCE workers the living ...

1442. Deputy Kathleen Funchion asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs further to Parliamentary Question No. 660 of 23 May 2017, the estimated cost per year of the ACS in the event that the wage rate for educators is revised from the current proposed wage rate for level 5 educators to €10.60 an hour; and the corresponding increases for level 6 and 7 educators. (Question 35917/17 asked on 26 Jul 2017 - Affordable Childcare Scheme Expenditure)

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): I propose to take Questions Nos. 1442 to 1450, inclusive, together.
The detailed information sought by the Deputy is not currently available in the format requested. Officials in my Department are compiling this information, which will be supplied to the Deputy in no later than 10 working days.
 ...

1443. Deputy Kathleen Funchion asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs further to Parliamentary Question No. 660 of 23 May 2017, the estimated cost per year of the ACS in the event that the wage rate for educators is revised from the current proposed wage rate for level 5 educators to €10.70 an hour; and the corresponding increases for level 6 and 7 educators. (Question 35918/17 asked on 26 Jul 2017 - Affordable Childcare Scheme Expenditure)

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): I propose to take Questions Nos. 1442 to 1450, inclusive, together.
The detailed information sought by the Deputy is not currently available in the format requested. Officials in my Department are compiling this information, which will be supplied to the Deputy in no later than 10 working days.
 ...

1444. Deputy Kathleen Funchion asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs further to Parliamentary Question No. 660 of 23 May 2017, the estimated cost per year of the ACS in the event that the wage rate for educators is revised from the current proposed wage rate for level 5 educators to €10.80 an hour; and the corresponding increases for level 6 and 7 educators. (Question 35919/17 asked on 26 Jul 2017 - Affordable Childcare Scheme Expenditure)

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): I propose to take Questions Nos. 1442 to 1450, inclusive, together.
The detailed information sought by the Deputy is not currently available in the format requested. Officials in my Department are compiling this information, which will be supplied to the Deputy in no later than 10 working days.
 ...

1445. Deputy Kathleen Funchion asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs further to Parliamentary Question No. 660 of 23 May 2017, the estimated cost per year of the ACS in the event that the wage rate for educators is revised from the current proposed wage rate for level 5 educators to €10.90 an hour; and the corresponding increases for level 6 and 7 educators. (Question 35920/17 asked on 26 Jul 2017 - Affordable Childcare Scheme Expenditure)

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): I propose to take Questions Nos. 1442 to 1450, inclusive, together.
The detailed information sought by the Deputy is not currently available in the format requested. Officials in my Department are compiling this information, which will be supplied to the Deputy in no later than 10 working days.
 ...

1446. Deputy Kathleen Funchion asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs further to Parliamentary Question No. 660 of 23 May 2017, the estimated cost per year of the ACS in the event that the wage rate for educators is revised from the current proposed wage rate for level 5 educators to €11 an hour; and the corresponding increases for level 6 and 7 educators. (Question 35921/17 asked on 26 Jul 2017 - Affordable Childcare Scheme Expenditure)

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): I propose to take Questions Nos. 1442 to 1450, inclusive, together.
The detailed information sought by the Deputy is not currently available in the format requested. Officials in my Department are compiling this information, which will be supplied to the Deputy in no later than 10 working days.
 ...

1447. Deputy Kathleen Funchion asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs further to Parliamentary Question No. 660 of 23 May 2017, the estimated cost per year of the ACS in the event that the wage rate for educators is revised from the current proposed wage rate for level 5 educators to €11.10 an hour; and the corresponding increases for level 6 and 7 educators. (Question 35922/17 asked on 26 Jul 2017 - Affordable Childcare Scheme Expenditure)

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): I propose to take Questions Nos. 1442 to 1450, inclusive, together.
The detailed information sought by the Deputy is not currently available in the format requested. Officials in my Department are compiling this information, which will be supplied to the Deputy in no later than 10 working days.
 ...

1448. Deputy Kathleen Funchion asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs further to Parliamentary Question No. 660 of 23 May 2017, the estimated cost per year of the ACS in the event that the wage rate for educators is revised from the current proposed wage rate for level 5 educators to €11.20 an hour; and the corresponding increases for level 6 and 7 educators. (Question 35923/17 asked on 26 Jul 2017 - Affordable Childcare Scheme Expenditure)

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): I propose to take Questions Nos. 1442 to 1450, inclusive, together.
The detailed information sought by the Deputy is not currently available in the format requested. Officials in my Department are compiling this information, which will be supplied to the Deputy in no later than 10 working days.
 ...

1449. Deputy Kathleen Funchion asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs further to Parliamentary Question No. 660 of 23 May 2017, the estimated cost per year of the ACS in the event that the wage rate for educators is revised from the current proposed wage rate for level 5 educators to €11.30 an hour; and the corresponding increases for level 6 and 7 educators. (Question 35924/17 asked on 26 Jul 2017 - Affordable Childcare Scheme Expenditure)

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): I propose to take Questions Nos. 1442 to 1450, inclusive, together.
The detailed information sought by the Deputy is not currently available in the format requested. Officials in my Department are compiling this information, which will be supplied to the Deputy in no later than 10 working days.
 ...

1450. Deputy Kathleen Funchion asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs further to Parliamentary Question No. 660 of 23 May 2017, the estimated cost per year of the ACS in the event that the wage rate for educators is revised from the current proposed wage rate for level 5 educators to €11.40 an hour; and the corresponding increases for level 6 and 7 educators. (Question 35925/17 asked on 26 Jul 2017 - Affordable Childcare Scheme Expenditure)

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): I propose to take Questions Nos. 1442 to 1450, inclusive, together.
The detailed information sought by the Deputy is not currently available in the format requested. Officials in my Department are compiling this information, which will be supplied to the Deputy in no later than 10 working days.
 ...

1451. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the specific funding her Department or Tusla provides for mental health supports for children and young persons; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 35930/17 asked on 26 Jul 2017 - Mental Health Services Funding)

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): My Department does not directly fund mental health supports for children and young persons. Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, which is funded by my Department, provides specific funding for mental health supports for children and young persons. I have referred the question to Tusla for direct response to the Deputy. 
 ...