James Reilly 'confident' there will be enough pre-school places next year

Children's Minister James Reilly has said he is confident there will be enough pre-school places provided next year and in 2017.

James Reilly 'confident' there will be enough pre-school places next year

Children's Minister James Reilly has said he is confident there will be enough pre-school places provided next year and in 2017.

However, Minister Reilly admits there will be challenges as a result of the Coalition's decision to double the free childcare hours to two years.

Currently 67,000 places are offered, but 127,000 places will be needed by April 2017.

Minister Reilly told the Dáil that extra providers should have incentives to offer the service.

"Every year a significant number of new pre-school providers apply to participate in this program and this increased demand for additional investment in pre-school provision should encourage a greater number of applicants," he said.

"The restoration of capitation rates to pre-2012 levels from September 2016 should also encourage a greater number of new applicants and encourage existing preschool providers to expand."

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