Sinn Féin spokesperson on Children, Kathleen Funchion TD, has said that the government can and must act to ease the cost-of-childcare burden on parents.
Speaking ahead of her party’s Dáil motion on the issue, to be debated on Tuesday, Deputy Funchion added that Sinn Féin is calling for the government to give families a break by cutting the cost of childcare to two thirds from 2022 levels.
Teachta Funchion said:
“Childcare fees are still far too high. Paying between €800 and €1350 per child per month in the middle of a cost of living crisis with record energy costs and housing costs, is pushing families to the brink.
“The government can and must act to ease the burden on parents.
“The rising cost of living is making childcare a luxury rather than an economic necessity.
“At present, Irish parents cannot avail of affordable childcare, it is forcing women in particular, from entering the workforce and further education.
“On the reverse side, poor pay is driving highly qualified childcare staff out of their careers, we have seen this particularly since covid.
“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.
“The reality is the 25% decrease in fees in budget 2023, while welcome, only slightly eased the financial burden on parents, given that many families continue to pay sky-high childcare fees.
“Sinn Féin is calling 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.
“We urge the government, and TDs from all parties, to support our motion this week, and to make childcare genuinely affordable for working families.”
Sinn Fein’s motion can be read here.