Joe O’Brien TD & Cllr Karen Power welcome capital funding for “greener, warmer” early learning and childcare services in Skerries

5th April, 2023

  • Green energy and retrofit upgrade grants of €35,000 to €75,000 announced under the Building Blocks – Improvement Grant.
  • Popcorn Childcare & Little Rugrats to receive grants.
  • Building Blocks – Improvement Grant is part of a wider Building Blocks Capital Programme for early learning and childcare services under the National Development Plan.

Joe O’Brien TD & Councillor Karen Power have today welcomed significant capital funding for 2 early learning and childcare services in Skerries under the Building Blocks – Improvement Grant.

Grants range from €35,000 to €75,000 across two separate strands: Green Energy and Retrofit.

Under the Green Energy Strand, grants are being provided for improvements to increase energy efficiency, utilising renewables where feasible, such as the installation of solar panels and heat pumps, insulation, and water conservation measures.

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

The Retrofit Strand will support existing services in need of upgrading. Eligible works include kitchen works and refurbishment, upgrading of sanitary facilities for children and adults, roof repairs/replacement, and upgrading of flooring.

Welcoming the announcement, Joe O’Brien said:

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 in Skerries 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. I am pleased that so many early learners in Skerries will benefit directly from the improvements these grants will make possible.

“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.”

Cllr Karen Power said:

“This funding will allow two vital Skerries childcare providers to carry out works that will help reduce their running costs. Little Rugrats and Popcorn provide a home from home for many little ones in Skerries, so this news is very welcome.”