Minister O’Gorman announces €25m in capital funding to deliver thousands of additional early learning and childcare places.

  • New Building Blocks Extension Grant Scheme to open for applications in autumn.
  • Grants for early learning and childcare services to increase their capacity by means of large
    scale extensions.
  • Funding to also be made available for community services to purchase or build new
  • This builds on previous Expansion Grant Scheme in 2024, with 23 services provisionally
    approved for funding to deliver over 300 new places.


Projects with a value between €100,000 and €650,000 will be eligible and can include:

  • Extensions to existing premises.
  • Installation of modular buildings or buildings built using modern methods of construction.
  • Purchase of early learning and childcare premises (community services only).
  • Purchase of premises that could be easily adapted for use as early learning and childcare premises (community services only).
  • Construction of building to house a new early learning and childcare service on ‘greenfield’ or ‘brownfield’ site (community services only).


Key elements of the scheme

  • Applications to open in autumn 2024, funding to be available from 2025.
  • Total funding available for this Scheme will be €25m.
  • Scheme is open to Core Funding partner services only.
  • It is anticipated that the Minister will employ the use of liens over capital assets delivered through this funding programme in order to protect substantial public investment over the long
    term. For this reason, access to the scheme will be limited to services who own their own premises (which is not also a private residence) or services who have a long term lease.
  • All projects must deliver net increases in full-time or part-time places for one to three-year-olds.
  • A maximum fee threshold will apply.
  • Funding will be prioritised in areas of identified undersupply (using a relative demand model) and for services that have an Equal Start priority designation.
  • Project proposals will require detailed professional reports to be submitted as part of the application process. Applications will be reviewed by specialists appraisers in order to quality assure the buildings that are delivered under this scheme.
  • Application of the Universal Design Guidelines will be key feature of the appraisal process.
  • The scale of funding available for different types of projects is outlined below.


▫ Grants for extensions available to both private and community services.
▫ Project costs of between €100,000 and €650,000.
▫ Community services will be fully funded up to maximum of €500,000, any project costs
between €500,000 and €650,000 must be self-funded.
▫ Match funding will be required of private services for all projects, with a maximum
contribution by the Department of €250,000 or 50% of total project costs, whichever is

Purchase or construction
▫ Grants for purchase or construction available to community services only.
▫ Grants of between €300,000 to €650,000 will be available to purchase an additional
space or construct a new premises to cater for additional capacity.


Read the full Press Release here Press Release