Fianna Fáil TD for Cork North West Aindrias Moynihan has expressed concern about a lack of childcare places in growing communities across Cork North West.

He has called for additional funding to ensure that enough places are available in naíonra, Montessori’s and crèches in towns and villages where populations are increasing.

Deputy Moynihan explained, “The Children’s Minister allocated €9m for the childcare sector, which is specifically for the early learning and care and the school-age childcare capital programme.  However, I have been contacted by parents in many communities including Ballyvourney and Ballincollig who are worried that they will not be able to secure a place for their children because of the population increase locally.

“The population growth in Ballincollig over the past few years has led to fears that there will be a lack of places locally and that parents will be forced to travel to secure a place for their children.  The situation in Ballyvourney is slightly different – there’s a need for a custom built facility and there must be funding available to allow it to proceed.

“The €9m allocation is too small – if it’s broken down, each county will receive approx. €200,000.  For a county the size of Cork that allocation simply does not go far enough.  In fact it will barely cover the two places I have mentioned.  I raised the issue with Minister Zappone directly and she has assured me that the will bear the size of counties in mind when allocating money in the future.

“I have also called on the Minister to target funds to fit in with the Straitéis 20 Bliain don Ghaeilge 2010-2030 to provide additional support for naíonra positions.  She accepted that there are more applications than money available and I have urged her to examine how additional money could be found to support that strategy further”.