Journey Towards Affordable Childcare Alleviates Pressure on Families
The Children’s Rights Alliance has welcomed today’s announcement by Government of its next steps towards making childcare more affordable for all families from this September, including a public information campaign to inform families of their entitlements.
Tanya Ward, Chief Executive of the Children’s Rights Alliance: “Families in Ireland are crippled with the cost of childcare which is among the most expensive in Europe. This is an important step by the Government in following through on its commitment made in Budget 2017 and this plan will go some way towards addressing this problem as it aims to make childcare more affordable to families at all income levels. We welcome that Minister Zappone anticipates that approximately 70,000 families will receive a childcare subsidy, as compared with just over 30,000 families now.
The new universal childcare subsidy, available to families regardless of parental income will benefit children from six months up to 36 months. This will help to tackle the expense of the earliest years of childcare, which are often the most costly, often equating to a kind of second mortgage for families.
The second positive element to the subsidy will benefit children aged from six months through to 15 years living in families with lower incomes. These children will benefit from higher childcare subsidies which is an important way to break the barrier for parents in getting back to work and provide access to childcare services for families experiencing poverty.
To ensure children are fully protected from ill-treatment and potential danger, it is critical that these subsidies are only provided to Tusla -registered providers and childminders. Without enforcing this minimum benchmark, the State risks giving public funds to childcare services that potentially jeopardise children’s safety and welfare.
Poor quality childcare is harmful to children. The ultimate goal must be to ensure that all childcare and education services are high-quality. This is the best way to ensure that all our children get the best service that meets their needs and helps them reach their potential.”
For further information, please contact:
Emma McKinley, Communications & Development Manager
01 662 9400 / 087 655 9067
Note for Editors
· Saoirse Brady, Legal and Policy Director is available for interview.