Sinn Féin have launched the party’s 2023 Alternative Budget for Childcare, setting out how childcare fees can be cut by two thirds. The proposals are fully costed and would deliver a much-needed break to families hit by unaffordable childcare costs.
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Children, Kathleen Funchion TD, said that Sinn Féin is committed to tackling astronomical fees and that the upcoming Budget must deliver on this for families.
Teachta Funchion said:
“Childcare fees are far too high, and families simply cannot afford them.
“A Sinn Féin government will cut the cost of childcare, so that families can get a break from unaffordable fees. In this Alternative Budget proposal, Sinn Féin are setting out our fully costed and deliverable plan which would deliver affordable childcare for families by cutting fees by two thirds.
“The cost-of-living crisis is putting huge pressure on families across the state. The upcoming Budget must be a cost-of-living Budget that ensures families get a much-needed break from sky-high childcare costs. A key part of this must be delivering substantially reduced childcare fees, so that fees are affordable for families.
“Families are under huge financial pressure as they struggle with the cost-of-living crisis, which has already seen energy bills, fuel costs, rent and groceries prices soar. Cutting childcare fees will put money back in parents’ pockets to deal with this crisis.
“Successive governments have not tackled this issue; they have ignored the sector and both underfunded and underappreciated the crucial role an affordable and accessible childcare sector has for the wider economy.
“As part of this budget we are focusing on reducing fees for parents, ensuring staff are encouraged and supported to remain in their chosen careers, and providers can continue to remain viable.
“We welcomed the new pay deal and are acutely aware that this was a hard-fought victory for many who have spent decades fighting for better pay conditions. This must be a starting point to build on.
“I know providers throughout the state are committed to the families and children that use their services and have maintained a clear commitment to their highly qualified workforce. Sinn Féin would introduce an attractive opt-in scheme whereby service providers can avail of additional funding ensuring public investment can cover the majority of their costs.”