Sinn Féin Children & Youth Affairs spokesperson Kathleen Funchion TD has welcomed that the Government and Minister Zappone heard Sinn Féin’s calls for a support fund to be given to crèches and childcare providers who are in financial crisis.
Minister Zappone last night announced a one-off payment of approximately €1,500 to childcare providers who are faced with breathtakingly high insurance premiums, following the departure of Ironshore Europe from the market.
Deputy Funchion said:
“It is welcome that Minister Zappone didn’t listen to Leo Varadkar yesterday when he accused Mary Lou McDonald of ‘recklessness’ after she proposed this interim solution yesterday.
“I asked the Minister for assurances that these payments would be paid directly, and that childcare providers wouldn’t be landed with additional administrative burdens as a result over the Christmas period.
“The Minister told me that childcare providers should ensure they are getting their new insurance quote from Allianz Ireland – at €60 per child per year in full time service, and €25 per child per year for those on the Early Childhood Care and Education Programme.
“I would recommend that if any service provider experiences difficulties in receiving their allocation via the Programme Support payment, that they should contact the Department immediately.
“This will make a difference to childcare providers, to workers and to parents heading into the new year, but it shouldn’t have gotten to this stage and there needs to be a plan to prevent this in future.
“This crisis is yet another feature of a childcare system that is fractured and doesn’t work for parents, children or for childcare professionals. We need to move away from the for-profit model of childcare to one of public service.”