Question to the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Ms Francis Fitzgerald, TD)
To ask the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if she will provide a report on her Departments capital programme for 2013; and if she will make a statement on the matter. – Jerry Buttimer T.D.
For WRITTEN answer on Tuesday, 2nd July, 2013.
A sum of €25.760 million has been made available to my Department in 2013 to support capital developments. This includes:
National Children Detention Facilities (Subhead A.7)
Just over €20 million is being made available in 2013 to undertake the National Children Detention Facility Project at Oberstown. My officials in the Irish Youth Justice Service continue to work closely to progress this project with the Office of Public Works (OPW) which is providing the relevant project management services for my Department. The tender process for the award of a contract for the project is currently ongoing and the current projected timeline estimate from the OPW indicates that the first new residential units, to provide sufficient capacity to end the practice of sending 17 year old boys to St. Patrick’s Institution, will be available for use by mid 2014. The overall project for the campus, which will also replace some existing outdated buildings and deliver education, visiting and other ancillary facilities, is currently scheduled for completion by mid 2015.
2013 Childcare Capital Programme (Subhead B.4)
A sum of €3.25 million is being made available to support the ongoing improvement of the childcare sector. The 2013 funding programme, which is being implemented by Pobal on behalf of my Department, covers four strands as follows:
Strand 1: small grants to purchase equipment or carry out small maintenance work;
Strand 2: grants to improve accessibility of services for children with disabilities;
Strand 3: grants to provide natural outdoor spaces that promote active outdoor play; and
Strand 4: grants towards critical works to ensure that buildings are fit for purpose under the Child Care (Pre-School Services) (No.2) Regulations (open to community/not-for-profit services only).
Community/not-for-profit and commercial childcare providers/childminders that are currently providing services under one or more of the Department of Children and Youth Affairs’ funding programmes – the Community Childcare Subvention (CCS) programme, the Childcare Education and Training Support (CETS) programme and the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) programme – were eligible to apply and the closing date for applications was 30th April. The appraisal process is almost completed and it is expected that all applicants will be advised of the outcome this week.
Youth Programmes and Services (Subhead B.5)
A sum of €1.75 million is being made available under a capital programme that will include the allocation of €1 million to support the provision of new Youth Cafés. The programme is being administered on behalf of my Department by Pobal and the funds will include support for fit-out, refurbishment works or building enhancement projects for the startup of new Youth Cafés. In addition, resources amounting to €500,000 will be made available to youth projects for small refurbishment works or the purchase of equipment and a further €250,000 towards play and recreation facilities.