03 Jul 2022

Laois Minister outlines new Covid-19 supports for childcare sector

Kildare Council refuses permission to scrap creche at Newbridge house development

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Early learning and childcare operators in Laois can tap into a €10 million fund for ventilation to reduce the risk of Covid-19 infections, according to Laois Offaly TD and Minister Sean Fleming.

The Minister of State at the Department of Finance confirm that new measures to support the early learning and childcare sector include the grant programme for improved ventilation and other measures to reduce transmission.

"I would like to acknowledge the great work and achievements of all childcare providers in making their services safer for children and their families throughout the COVID -19 pandemic," said the Fianna Fáil Minister.

He said this fund is being made available to support services to improve ventilation, given the need to mitigate risks associated with Covid-19 in line with the current National Public Health guidance.

Meanwhile, he said that, on a temporary basis further and higher education institutions will, where possible, facilitate the temporary release of students (until end January 2022) who are undertaking relevant studies and who meet eligibility criteria to work in early learning and childcare settings.

Another measure outlined by the Laois Minister is an updated Covid-19 Resource Pack. He said this would be disseminated to support early learning and childcare providers, including childminders to raise awareness among staff and parents of the current public health guidance.

He said the breakdown of the allocation to early learning and childcare services is as follows and is available to registered services that are in receipt of funding from the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth.

He said funding is granted based by number of children registered with each provider:

1-49 Children:    €1,500

50-100 Children: €3,000

100+ Children:  €4,500

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