Sinn Féin spokesperson on Children and Youth Affairs Kathleen Funchion TD has said that the cancellation of the government’s childcare scheme for frontline health workers is ‘inexcusable’.
She said that the government’s refusal to indemnify childcare workers for Covid-19 related claims is a significant contributing factor in the cancellation of the scheme.
“Last week, Pearse Doherty and I raised significant issues relating to the failure of the government to provide an indemnity to workers providing childcare to frontline healthcare staff during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“This came after the main underwriter in the sector, Allianz, told childcare providers that they would not provide cover for Covid-19 related claims.
“The broker Arachas Insurance engaged with the government on this issue, calling on them to indemnify providers and workers offering childcare to frontline staff – but the government refused to do so.
“The failure to address this issue fatally undermined the scheme, and it has now been cancelled. This is inexcusable.
“The Department of Children and Youth Affairs had been planning this emergency childcare service for some time and has known about this issue. It is incredible that this could not be resolved and that the Minister has now cancelled this scheme.
“It beggars belief that over eight weeks into this pandemic, the government still has not found a solution to this issue – despite repeated announcements that they would – and both childcare workers and frontline health workers have been left in limbo once again.”