The purpose of the Building Blocks – Improvement Grant is to improve the energy efficiency standards of facilities and to support the continuous improvement of the physical environment in services. The programme supports the Government’s ambitions as laid out in the National Development Plan.
The Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth (DCEDIY) has allocated a budget of €10m for the Building Blocks – Improvement Grant, split between two strands. A minimum of €35,000 and a maximum of €75,000 will be awarded.
Strand A – Green/Energy: For costs associated with improving the energy efficiency of a building.
Strand B – Retrofit: For costs associated with retrofit and accessibility of an existing building.
Services may apply for either Strand A or Strand B. The application form will open and close on the same dates for Strand A and Strand B.
Successful applicants will be required to complete their projects before 31st December 2023. Grantees will receive 90% of their approved funding on completion of the contracting process which includes agreeing to their Grant Agreement. Once the project is completed, and 100% of funding is
spent, the service should submit their financial return, including documentary evidence and proof of work undertaken (i.e. bank statements) to Pobal.
Upon receipt and review of the financial return the service will be reimbursed the balance of funding spent on their project costs. If on submission of your financial return you did not spend 100% of the grant award, the unspent balance will be decommitted, with underspend being recouped from the
final payment due. We recommend service providers submit their financial returns once the project is completed or by 30th November 2023, which ever is sooner.
Applicants can commence where applicable, seeking planning permission, obtaining professional advice and e-tendering from the date of the first notification of the programme. Professional fees will only be reimbursed for successful applications and to a maximum of 10% of the capital costs awarded.
Maximum overall costs awarded (capital costs + professional fees) will not exceed €75,000 (inclusive of VAT).
Strand A Green/Energy Strand B Retrofit
Priorities To improve the energy efficiency of ELC and SAC facilities.
To support the continuous improvement of the physical environment of the service for children and staff attending ELC and SAC services. To upgrade the existing ELC and SAC infrastructure, which may or may not have previously been funded by large scale capital programmes and is now in need of upgrading and modernisation.
Improving the Building Energy Rating (BER), utilising renewables, solar panels, heat pumps, water conservation, insulation, solar thermal collectors etc.
Works requiring planning permission are only permitted where required for solar panels. Proof that a planning application has been applied for must be submitted as part of the application if required. Applicants should contact their local planning authority for information on planning permission requirements.
Works on electrical, plumbing, gas and heating appliances; the installation, replacement and upgrade on areas which form an integral part of the building; static wheelchair ramps, stairways, automatic doors, installation of lifts etc.
Works requiring planning permission are not permitted.
€35,000 to €75,000
For further information on this Grant contact email@example.com
The Learner Fund was introduced in 2013, and since then has provided financial assistance to thousands of Early Years practitioners in upskilling to a Level 5/6 in Early Childhood Care and Education. This has assisted in further professionalising the sector. The Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth recognises that there are a number of practitioners who have upskilled to a Level 7/8/9 in Early Childhood Care and Education during the same period and have not received any financial support.
Therefore, in recognition of this commitment to further professionalisation, DCYA plan to pay a Bursary (of approx. €750) to practitioners who have completed a major award in Early Childhood Care and Education at Level 7, Level 8, or Level 9 qualification on the National Framework of Qualifications since the inception of the Learner Fund. This qualification must be on the DCEDIY Early Years Recognised Qualifications list. The Learner Fund Bursary is expected again in 2021 and details should be available once this is confirmed.
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