Family Resource Centres, toddlers attending childcare and vulnerable families will benefit directly from budget measures announced by Dublin South West TD and Independent Minister, Katherine Zappone. Minister Zappone says the steps she is taking are a direct result of representations made to her by young people, parents and community workers in Dublin South West. Family Resource Centres in Ballyboden, Killinarden and at St Kevins Girls School are set to receive up to €10,000 each in extra funding. While other communities in the South County Dublin area are being invited by the Minister to apply to establish new resource centres.

The Children’s Minister has also confirmed that every child from the age of three will receive a full two-years of free pre-school, a move which is expected to benefit over 20,000 toddlers. There will also be extra care and social workers in communities from the child and family agency, Tusla, with funding set to pass €750m for the first time ever.  Speaking about the Budget Minister Zappone added: “Children, young people and families are my top priority. Delivering real change which will benefit all who live in Dublin South West was the ambitious goal I set for the budget. I am satisfied with what has been achieved.

Family Resource Centres are the lifeblood of local communities. We see that in Ballyboden, Killinarden and St Kevins. They provide information, advice as well as activities to improve health and well-being. We need more of this. Every resource centre is to receive up to €10,000 extra in 2018. In addition new centres will be opened, I am hoping that more communities in Tallaght, Citywest and Rathfarnham will consider applying.  The transformation of Irish childcare continues. This year we are investing over €30m to make sure every toddler gets two free years of free pre-school. By guaranteeing this we will see some three and four year olds get an extra 15-weeks of free childcare.

Protecting and supporting children and families during times of personal crisis is the main mission of my office.   By providing unprecedented funding to Tusla we will pave the way for more care and social workers in our communities.  As an Independent TD and Minister I am satisfied with our achievements in this budget. But I am aware too that there are other concerns which must be addressed. Already my office and my Department have commenced preparations for Budget 2019.  We must continue the levels of investment secured for our young people in the past two budgets and put in place services which are amongst the best in the world and will deliver for generations to come.”