Twenty six pre-school facilities in Co Clare have received capital funding to the value of €156,000.
€10,000 each has been awarded to three different pre-school providers in the County. They are Hunni Bunnies (Ennis), Stepping Stones Pre-School (Newmarket-on-Fergus) and Teach Abhaile (Ennis).
Other successful Clare applicants securing a high amount of funding include; Lissycasey Laugh & Learn (€9,977), Mary K’s Childcare Preschool & Montessori (€8,990.78), Doodlebugs Daycare (€5,000), Teach Spraoi (€9,765), Ms Gráinnes Holy Family Montessori School (€7,889.35), Little Acorns Ltd (€8,350.97), Kids (€5,000), Clare Family Resource Centre (€5,203.25), Rockmount Montessori (€5,000), Scribbles (€5,000).
Clare’s remaining fourteen services recognised by the Department of Children & Youth Affairs and Pobal were Naionra Ceimeanna Beaga (€4,996.14), Bridge Hurlers Cross Playschool & Afterschool Care (€4,079), Loughraney Kids Corner Ltd (€4,573.24), Ladybird Lane Crèche (€4,976), Woodstock Montessori Centre (€3,364.55), Jitterbugs Montessori (€3,371.92), Crusheen Playgroup (€3,266.93), Little Dreamers Pre-school (€4,999.77), Kidz Haven Crèche (€4,960.86), Liscannor Childcare Services (€4,999.99), Clarecastle Community Playgroup (€3,052.36), Glór na nÓg (€4,495.62), Ladybird Lane Crèche (€4,976) and Room to Bloom Kids Care (€4,088),
The funding is specifically for pre-school providers, both community/not-for-profit and private providers who want to expand their services to cater for more children from September 2016. The grants may be used to cover the build/fit out or refurbishment of an additional room or extension. They can also be used for minor building alternations and costs for additional play equipment to facilitate an increase in childcare places.
The Department of Children and Youth Affairs, with the assistance of Pobal, invited applications from all services contracted to deliver its various childcare programmes. All submitted applications were considered in order to find those that most closely and completely met the criteria and objectives of the programme. The announcement of the Clare grants is part of a €6.5m investment in capital funding announced by the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Katherine Zappone, TD.
Independent Clare T.D. Dr. Michael Harty was very pleased with the annnouncement. He told The Clare Herald “I also welcome the extension of the Early Childhood Care and Education pre-school scheme so that every child will be able to access free pre-school from the age of three until they start school. The enrolment which will start in September is good news for children, parents and Early Years providers and will see more than 60,000 additional children enrolled nationally in the programme by April 2017.”