A total of 80 childcare providers in Galway City and County are to receive funding of more than half a million euro to help them take on more children in September.
The capital grants, which have been revealed to Independent TD Noel Grealish, are to enable private and community-based providers in the city and county offer extra places to pre-school children.
The grants are for sums up to €10,000, with the average payment to the Galway creches, Montessoris and pre-school centres amounting to more than €6,500.
They are part of the rollout of the Free Pre-School Year in Early Childhood Care and Education under the control of the Department of Children and Youth Affairs
To qualify for the grants, the applicants must provide additional pre-school childcare places from September and have a current contract for the scheme with the Department.
The Galway grants come to a total of almost €523,000.
Maximum payments of €10,000 were available towards the cost of expanding services by building, fitting out or refurbishing of an additional room or extension, or minor building alterations.
A maximum of €5,000 was available in grants towards the costs of additional play equipment to facilitate an increase in childcare places.
Deputy Grealish welcomed the allocations: “These grants will help existing childcare centres expand to take on more pre-school children in September and centres all over the county and city are to benefit.
”It’s a condition of the grants that all the money is spent during 2016 and I hope the Department will move quickly to get the money into the hands of these centres so that they can get the work done during the summer,” he added.