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17 May 2022

'Desperate situation' developing due to shortage of childcare in Laois town

'Desperate situation' developing due to shortage of childcare in Laois town

A “desperate situation” is developing in relation to the availability of childcare in Stradbally, a recent council meeting was told. 

Cllr Paschal McEvoy said “there is an absolutely massive waiting list for childcare in Stradbally at the moment. The problem is there’s no buildings available. There’s plenty of people prepared to take on the work.”

"We really are in a desperate situation in Stradbally in relation to places for these children and it is only going to get worse, 60, 70 up to 100 houses going to be there in the next three or four years,” he remarked.   

He noted there are 31 turnkey houses and plans for 72 houses in one estate in Stradbally.   

Cllr McEvoy put down a motion asking: “That this Council consider building a creche as part of the social housing development at Carraig Glas, Stradbally.” 

In response, Assistant Senior Engineer of Council’s Housing Section, Trevor Hennessy stated: “Part VIII planning approval was granted in September 2021 for the construction of 26 units in Carraig Glas, Stradbally. Inclusion of a crèche was not part of this Part VIII approval. A needs assessment in relation to Childcare provision in Stradbally would have to be carried out in advance of any decision in this regard.”

However, Cllr McEvoy insisted it was going to get worse if no action was taken. “We will have to consider putting a creche there,” he said.

Cllr Aidan Mullins said he fully supported the motion and he predicted “major problems for young families”  if no action is taken. 

Senior Executive Engineer Philip McVeigh told the meeting that a needs assessment would need to be carried out by the planning section. 

Cllr Aisling Moran said the council needs to start planning for the growing demand. She noted demand on services will grow with the arrival of refugees from Ukraine.    

Cllr Ben Brennan supported the motion and said  “it is very important to have creches in housing estates.” 

The issue was discussed at the recent Portarlington Graiguecullen Municipal District meeting. 

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