Minister confident childcare services will reopen after 90% of sector applied for grants

90% of existing childcare services have applied for a re-opening grant.
Minister confident childcare services will reopen after 90% of sector applied for grants
€18m has been provided to help the sector. File picture.

90% of existing childcare services have applied for a re-opening grant.

The government has set aside €18m to help providers re-open later this month.

The Federation of Early Childhood Providers said thousands of children are being let down by a lack of supports for creches.

But Minister Roderic O'Gorman said the indications are that most childcare services will be able to operate again. 

Mr O'Gorman said: "What we are seeing that 90% of those services that are existing at the moment have applied for the reopening grant.

"And that gives us the clearest indication that we are going to see the vast majority of services reopening."

Government plans and support for the sector have come under significant scrutiny in recent weeks.

The potential for Covid-19 clusters to develop in childcare settings was thrown into sharp focus as well recently with a Dublin creche worker testing positive for the virus.

Minister O'Gorman said after the case was confirmed that public health guidelines were successful in containing a Covid-19 case in the creche.

Last week another creche in Co Limerick was forced to temporarily close just three weeks after reopening, as it did not have enough employees to cover Play Pods, introduced at early learning centres under Covid-19 requirements.

 

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