January 5, 2024
Expensive Childcare continues to stop women entering workforce – Kathleen Funchion TD

Sinn Féin Children’s spokesperson Kathleen Funchion TD, has said today’s findings by Chartered Accountants Ireland that childcare remains the number one barrier to women re-entering the workforce clearly demonstrates the Government has not done enough to tackle sky high childcare fees. 
Teachta Funchion said:
“Childcare costs are far too high and are simply unaffordable for families. Today’s policy paper shows the cost and availability of childcare continues to create barriers to greater female participation in the workforce, of their 33,000 CAI members, one-third are paying between €1,000-€2,000 per month of their childcare.  
“We know however these sky high fees are being replicated throughout the economy, with many working families paying up to €1350 per child per month. In the middle of a cost of living crisis with record energy costs and housing costs, it is pushing families to the brink.
“Again, I am calling on the government to do more and act to ease the burden on parents. Making parents wait till September 2024 for a 25% reduction pledged in last year’s Budget, is not addressing high childcare fees in a satisfactory manner. 
“Issues facing the sector are three pronged; fees need to reduce, staff need to be guaranteed better wages and services need to be sustainable. These calls are backed up the CAI, who correctly point out a series of a measures are need to increase the volume of places and more capital funding and investment.   
“These findings back up my assertion that childcare has become luxury rather than an economic necessity.
“Parents want affordable, local and high-quality childcare – and they want it now. They were promised that fees would decrease by 25% in budget 2024, and the government must keep its word.
“In Budget 2024, Sinn Féin called for the government to give families a break by cutting the cost of childcare by two thirds from 2022 levels, and to allocate additional funding to provide fair pay for professionals working in the sector. Government should implement Sinn Féin’s plan to cut childcare costs without delay.”

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