EIGHTY CHILDCARE providers in Galway city and county are to receive funding of more than half a million euro to assist with creating extra places for pre-school children.
However a Galway TD has called on the Department of Children to ensure the money is made available soon to schools so work can be completed before the new term starts in September.
The grants are for sums up to €10,000, with the average payment to the Galway creches, Montessoris, and pre-school centres amounting to more than €6,500. Payments were available for building, fitting out or refurbishing of an additional room, extensions, minor building alterations, or for additional play equipment.
The Galway grants come to a total of almost €523,000, and are part of the rollout of the Free Pre-School Year in Early Childhood Care and Education, under the control of the Department of Children. To qualify for the grants, applicants must provide additional pre-school childcare places from September and have a current contract for the scheme with the Department.
Independent Galway West TD Noel Grealish has welcomed the grants. “These grants will help existing childcare centres expand to take on more pre-school children," he said. "It’s a condition of the grants that all the money is spent during 2016 and I hope the Department will move quickly to get the money to these centres so they can get the work done during the summer."