Irene Gunning CEO and Teresa COO recently met with the Minister Phil Hogan from the Department of the Environment, to discuss commercial rates on childcare facilities.
Minister Hogan agreed to investigate the classification of properties under the 1970 Act as there may be scope therein for Minister Hogan himself to reclassify early childhood care and education services.
Reclassification under the 1970 Act could give Minister Hogan the facility to instruct a waiver for early childhood care and education services.
Minister Hogan advised Early Childhood Ireland to get legal Advice on the Heads of the new Valuation Bill which has been recently published by Minister Howlin. Early Childhood Ireland agreed to get our own legal advice and to follow up thereafter with the Minister.
Before ending the Meeting Early Childhood Ireland also addressed the issue about potential planning issues arising from the revised ratios for the Free Pre School Year. Minister Hogan agreed to discuss this with Minister Fitzgerald and the HSE . He agreed to consider issuing a guidance from his Department to local planning authorities instructing a waiver on any requirement for revised planning permissions arising from the Free Pre School Year ratio changes.
We will continue to keep members fully updated on these important issues.