€75m package announced for childcare sector

A €75m package for reopening Early Learning and Childcare Services has been announced.

Minster for Children and Youth Affairs, Katherine Zappone, made the announcement today.

The new funding model is broken down into 4 different sections;

A once off reopening grant of €18m is going towards centre based providers that can reopen on June 29th and will help with additional staff costs, cleaning and hygiene products, training, and additional books and toys.

The amount of the grant for each indidual provider will be based on the number of children pre the pandemic, up to a total of €10,000 and who will be open for 6 of the 8 weeks until Agust 23rd.

€14.2m will go towards all centre based services to improve hygiene, buy outdoor equipment, additional handwashing and toilet facilities, purchase partitions and room dividers and for the installation of screens in reception areas up to a maximum of €6,000.

And all Department of Children and Youth Affairs schemes will be availabe again from June 29th including universal subsidies and targeted subsidies for parents.

Sligo Fine Gael Councillor, Thomas Walsh is welcoming the news.

Speaking to OceanFM News, he says it’s a ‘streamlined package.’

The Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme will also continue until the end of August for services that reopen on june 29th, providing upwards of 85% contribution towards wages.

Councillor Walsh says this is something the sector had been calling for.