Monday 26 November 2007

Council to stop funding childcare facilities

Just 18 months after it announced it would begin playing a role in providing childcare in the city, Dublin City Council is to stop funding creches.

City manager John Tierney has warned that pumping €1m a year into city-centre creches is "not sustainable" and that other state agencies should pay for the service.

In his draft budget report, to be presented to councillors today, Mr Tierney says the council has funded services "that are properly provided and funded by other state agencies", and that it would pull out of childcare provision over the next three years.

Faced with increasing budget constraints, the council says investing in childcare leads to "fewer resources for core services", and will take steps to ensure that other agencies take responsibility.

In April last year, the council announced it would run its first childcare facility in the inner city at Buckingham Street.


At the time, the council said no community group would take on management responsibility for the creche, and it subsidised places for the lower-paid or those seeking employment.

But the budget for next year shows €540,000 is earmarked for operational costs at four community creches in the city. Another €460,000 is earmarked to progress other creches.

But Mr Tierney said over the next three years the council will seek to reduce its resource allocation to such areas. However, there is no suggestion that any of the facilities will be closed.

Paul Melia
Irish Independent

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