Sinn Féin spokesperson on Children, Kathleen Funchion TD, has called on the Government to increase funding in Budget 2022 and reform the childcare sector in a way that is fairer for parents, providers and staff.
Teachta Funchion said:
“The cost of childcare has been allowed to spiral to eye-watering levels which simply aren’t affordable or sustainable for working families. For many parents, it is equivalent to having to pay for a second mortgage every month.
“Ireland has some of the highest childcare costs in the EU. This is unfair and unsustainable.
“The absence of a proper childcare system is economically damaging as it forces parents, especially mothers, out of the workforce.
“Reports this week suggesting that pregnant parents put their children’s names down in local creches before their child is born is extremely worrying for the viability of this sector. I called for a sustainability fund for providers last year, which was voted against by Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael.
“Childcare workers are often on little more than minimum wage, this isn’t fair and it isn’t sustainable, and it’s reason the sector is haemorrhaging highly qualified staff.
“Our childcare system simply isn’t fit for purpose. Fees are far too high and wages are far too low. The system doesn’t work well enough for parents, staff or providers.
“I fully support calls by those working in the sector for a serious increase in Government spend, Budget 2022 is an ideal opportunity to address the gross underspend in this sector.”