QUESTION to the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Dr. James Reilly, TD)
For WRITTEN ANSWER on 16/12/2014
To ask the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs his plans for investing in the early childhood care and education sector; and if he will make a statement on the matter. – Jerry Buttimer
Approximately €260m is invested annually by the Government to support the provision of early childhood care and education through three childcare support programmes, the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) programme, the Community Childcare Subvention (CCS) programme and the Training and Employment Childcare (TEC) programmes. This funding supports the provision of early childhood care and education to more than 100,000 children who enroll in approximately 4,300 childcare services throughout the country.
Despite the difficult budgetary position that has prevailed in recent years, the Government has maintained the investment in these childcare support programmes. I am committed to maintaining this level of support and, as the economy improves and the public finances recover, consideration will be given to increasing the level of funding for all of the childcare support programmes.