Deputy Steven Matthews, Green Party TD for Wicklow, has said that new grants from between €35,000 to €75,000 for childcare providers to undertake energy efficiency upgrades will reduce costs, lower carbon emissions, and ensure a warm and healthy environment for children and adults.
Speaking following the announcement of the Building Blocks – Improvement Grant by his Green Party colleague Minister Roderic O’Gorman, Deputy Matthews said:
“I am delighted to welcome this funding which will support retrofitting and green energy upgrades in childcare centres across County Wicklow. Grants from €35,000 to €75,000 will be available for a range of works including the installation of solar panels, the insulation of roofs, walls, attics and floors, the upgrade of sanitary facilities for children and staff and the installation of EV charging points.
“Improving the energy efficiency of our childcare facilities will ensure a warm and healthy learning environment for children throughout the year, lower costs for childcare providers and lead to reductions in our carbon emissions. I would encourage all eligible childcare providers across Wicklow to consider applying for one of these grants when the portal opens later this year.
“The Building Blocks – Improvement Grant is part of a suite of measures to transform supports for Early Years and Childcare in Ireland. The Green Party has secured €221 million in Core Funding for childcare providers, introduced a national fee freeze for parents and committed to increasing wages and improving working conditions across the sector.
“Ultimately, our objective is to make Ireland the best country in Europe for raising children. We are seeking to halve childcare fees by 2024 and ensure a sustainable system of childcare that is fit for purpose for the next generation. If anyone has questions about the Building Blocks – Improvement Grant or the Green Party’s childcare policies, I would encourage them to get in touch with me directly and I will offer any support I can”, Deputy Matthews concluded.