June 9, 2020
Childcare providers left in the dark as a result of empty government promises – Mary Lou McDonald TD

Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald TD has criticised the government’s failure to meet its own deadline to give childcare providers information about funding supports.

The government had previously said that they would inform childcare providers by 5th June about the financial subsidies and grants which will be made available to them. Four days on from this deadline, childcare providers say they still have not received this information.Teachta McDonald said: 

Childcare providers need urgent clarity about how they can open their doors again in a way that is safe for staff and children alike.

“Childcare providers have been warning for months that they worry they may be unable to reopen their facilities due to ongoing lack of support from the government. Clarity and support is needed, not empty talk and broken promises.

“Providers had been told that by 5th June they would be informed about what support they would receive. This deadline has come and gone, with childcare providers still in the dark.

“Without knowing what funding supports they will have, many are unclear how many children they will be able to have on their premises, how they will pay their staff or what fees they will need to charge parents.

“Childcare providers and families are understandably growing increasingly frustrated and disappointed by this response, which has failed time and time again to acknowledge how important childcare will be as the lockdown restrictions ease.

“We are now just weeks away from the date that creches are due to open, yet many vital questions remain unanswered.  

“Childcare is a fundamental service that should have been hardwired into the public health strategy to ease the lockdown as it is essential for many parents as they return to work. Workers and families are rapidly losing confidence in the government’s ability to grasp this fundamental fact.”

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