Warmer and healthier childcare facilities on the way with €10m in retrofitting grants
Green Party Minister Roderic O’Gorman has announced the ‘Building Blocks – Improvement Grant’. Grants from €35,000 to €75,000 will be available to eligible childcare providers to upgrade facilities through retrofitting and green energy works.
This is part of the wider Building Blocks Capital Programme for Early Learning and Childcare under the National Development Plan.
Minister for Children, Roderic O’Gorman TD said;
“These grants will very much improve the learning environment for many children. It’s important that our childcare facilities receive the benefit of government investment to retrofit buildings and increase energy efficiency. This scheme has multiple benefits. It creates warm, healthy spaces for children, it reduces costs for providers, and it helps reduce our carbon emissions.”
Green Party Spokesperson for Education, Senator Pauline O’Reilly added;
“This is a really important grant for the childcare sector. These facilities are where our children spend many hours in the day and it is critical that they are energy efficient. This will help provide a warm and healthy environment for children throughout the day and also reduce the cost of heating and energy for providers which is all very welcome. The Green Party wants to make Ireland the best country in Europe to raise children. Today's announcement is part of a building block approach to achieving this, along with cuts to childcare costs, which we are calling for in this year's budget.”
There are two parts to this scheme – the Green Energy Strand and the Retrofit Strand.
Under the Green Energy Strand, grants will be provided to increase energy efficiency and the use of renewables where possible. This could include, where feasible, installation of solar panels, heat pumps, insulation, and water conservation measures.
They are aimed at meeting the government’s Climate Action Agenda which aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 51% by 2030 and reach carbon neutrality by 2050.
The Retrofit Strand will provide grants to services in need of improvements. This can include kitchen works and refurbishment, improving bathroom and cleaning facilities, roof repairs and flooring upgrades.
Those who are eligible can apply in Q4 2022 and successful applicants will be informed in early 2023.
The Green Party wants to make Ireland the best country in Europe to raise children. Today's announcement is part of a building block approach to achieving this, along with cuts to childcare costs, which we are calling for in this year's budget. - Senator Pauline O'Reilly