The Early Years – Sure Start Team within the Department of Education (DE) has made available funding to assist in improving the current infrastructure for the Early Years sector by matching the quality of the infrastructure to the range of services already provided. To be eligible to apply for funding your organisation must be:
- an existing Sure Start project;
- a playgroup provider currently within the Pre-School Education Programme.
Grant-aid can assist with the costs of refurbishing premises including outdoor play spaces, to improve premises to bring the property up to current health, safety and fire authority standards etc. Priority is given to:
- Improvements which address matters of Health & Safety; Fire Authority standards;
- Proposals as a result of recommendations of the Education & Training Inspectorate and /or Health and Social Care Trusts in line with inspections of Sure Start and or Playgroup;
- Services in areas of social disadvantage;
- Proposals to improve access for children with additional/ special needs;
- Proposals which include addressing access to or improvement of infrastructure of services in rural areas, improvement to the quality of rural childcare, improvement to the sustainability of rural childcare provision and
- Improvement of opportunities for integration of services and building of community relations from an early age.
- Exclusions include major works, to pay back loans and IT.
The Childcare Partnerships administer the grants on behalf of DE.