Childcare facilities awarded grant to provide ‘greener & warmer’ services

A number of childcare services will receive a new ‘green energy’ grant under the Building Blocks Improvement Scheme.

Earlier today, Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth Roderic O’Gorman confirmed the successful applicants to the €9 million Building Blocks Improvement Grant 2023.

In total, 151 services nationwide have been awarded grants under the scheme.

The grants that will be awarded range from €35,000 to €75,000 across two separate strands. These are the Green Energy and Retrofit strands.

The Green Energy Strand supports the Climate Action Agenda and the Programme for Government. They aim to transition to a carbon neutral economy by the end of 2050, and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 51% by 2030.

Under this strand, the grants are being provided to help childcare services increase their energy efficiency by utilising renewables, where possible, through the installation of solar panels, heat pumps and insulation.

The Retrofit Strand is supporting existing services that are in need of an upgrade. Work that is eligible to be carried out includes kitchen refurbishment, upgrading of sanitary facilities for children and adults, roof repairs, and the replacement and upgrading of flooring.

Minister O’Gorman released a statement about the funding to say, “As every sector aims to reduce carbon emissions, in line with Ireland’s Climate Action Plan, I am delighted that early learning and childcare providers across the country will be using these grants to install solar panels, insulate buildings and improve energy efficiency. This will mean greener, warmer buildings, with the added benefit of lower running costs for providers”.

“In addition, through the retrofit grant, providers will now have an opportunity to make small changes that can have a big difference, such as new floors, doors and kitchens”.

He continued, “The Building Blocks – Improvement Grant is part of a wider Building Blocks Capital Programme for early learning and childcare under the National Development Plan designed to meet current and long-term early learning and childcare infrastructure needs. Some €69 million has been allocated to my Department over 2023-2025 through the revised NDP for the Building Blocks Capital Programme”.

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