Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Roderic O’ Gorman TD, today announced that €250,000 will be available in grants for Parent and Toddler Groups, as part of the Summer of Play initiative.

The grants will be allocated to Parent and Toddler groups nationwide through local City/County Childcare Committees (CCCs). Parent and Toddler Groups are invited to make an application for funding under this scheme through their local CCC. This funding will be available to all Parent & Toddler Groups that are organised on a not-for-profit basis and who actively involve the participation of parents in the local community.

Commenting on the launch of the Parent and Toddler Grant for 2021, Minister O’Gorman said:

The last year and a half has been challenging for all of us, but particularly for children and their parents. That’s why my Department launched the Summer of Play Initiative, to provide supports for children and families to get outside and play safely this summer.

I hope this grant will encourage the development of new Parent and Toddler groups, and will help existing groups to start up again.  Parent and Toddler Groups provide much needed opportunity for children and parents to socialise, and I am delighted to be able to support them.

Grants will range from €100 to €1250. Existing Parent and Toddler Groups can apply for a maximum of €800 while new start up groups may apply for maximum grant of up to €1250.  The funding can be used for expenses including play equipment, activities for the children and training for parents.

Parents or non-for-profit community groups who wish to apply for funding for a new or existing Parent and Toddler group should contact their local CCC for details on the programme and the application process. Contact details and links to websites of all local City/County Childcare Committee can be found here.

While the grants are intended to support Parent and Toddler groups to safely meet again, all groups should be aware of and follow current Government guidelines on Covid -19.

Information on grants available:

Applications for funding under this scheme should only be made by Parent & Toddler Groups that are organised on a not for profit basis and involve the participation of parents in the community.

Grants will normally range from €100 to €1250 Existing Parent and Toddler Groups can apply for a maximum of €800.  

New start up groups may apply for maximum grant of up to €1250.

Funding will be available for:

  • Toys, equipment and books for indoor and outdoor activities
  • Storage for equipment
  • Training for parents, e.g. paediatric first aid, committee skills, parenting courses
  • Children’s activities, e.g. arts and crafts, music
  • Limited funding will be available towards insurance, rent or minor refurbishment, up to a maximum of 30% of total funding for existing services.
  • Limited funding will be available towards insurance or rent, up to a maximum of 70% of total funding for new services.

Summer of Play Initiative

In June this year, the Summer of Play initiative was launched to support and encourage children and their families to get outside and play as restrictions ease in the coming months. The initiative includes grants, supports and information resources that are being rolled out over the summer months, creating opportunities for children and their families to enjoy a summer of play.

A key resource that was launched as part of the initiative was Let’s Play Ireland 2021, an online information resource for parents and children. On gov.ie/letsplayireland, families can find information and ideas on how to support and encourage children in their play, as well as ideas on how to play safely this summer.

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