Sinn Féin spokesperson on Children, Kathleen Funchion TD, has today published the party’s childcare policy that sets out how childcare fees can be cut by two thirds for families.
The document sets out Sinn Féin’s vision for the early years sector. It is a plan that will deliver affordable, good quality childcare, well paid careers for highly qualified professionals and sustainable services. Sinn Féin will invest in services so that fees can be cut considerably and ensure families hit by the cost of living crisis get a much-needed break.
Speaking today, Teachta Funchion said:
“For years Sinn Féin has been demanding action to reduce the costs of childcare. Parents cannot wait any longer. Today I am launching Sinn Féin’s childcare policy proposals that set out how we can cut fees so that they are affordable for families. Childcare fees are currently far too high and parents simply can’t afford them.
“Sinn Féin would cut childcare fees by two thirds to make childcare affordable for parents. This can easily be done. We would create a scheme where the government would provide significant additional funding to the sector, in exchange for the providers cutting fees by two thirds.
“We are acutely aware that highly skilled staff are struggling financially to remain in jobs they love and services are equally under enormous financial pressure to remain viable. Our proposal would cut fees for parents, but also ensure providers receive crucial funding to invest in their services. It would also ensure fairer pay for the highly educated workforce, many who are on very low wages with poor conditions.
“We will deliver this through €270m additional public investment. This would be an important investment in our children’s futures and a major step in helping families hit by the cost of living crisis.
“Childcare fees in Ireland are some of the highest in the EU. For many families they amount to another mortgage or rent each and every month. Many parents, especially women, are forced out of the workforce as they simply cannot afford to go back to work due to these crippling costs.
“Families are under huge financial pressure due to the cost of living crisis. From paying high rents and mortgages, to the spiralling cost of petrol, energy and groceries, families are struggling to keep on top of their bills. They need a break from the cost of living crisis urgently.
“The government has failed to act on these spiralling fees and they are at crisis point. It’s time to act now to cut childcare fees and ensure families get a much-needed break from these unaffordable costs.
“Families can’t keep waiting for the government to take this crisis seriously, it’s time to deliver this important change now.”