Sinn Féin spokesperson on Children, Kathleen Funchion TD, has said results published in the childcare affordability survey today clearly shows that the government did not act quickly enough in September’s budget to bring down childcare costs.
Teachta Funchion said:
“The lack of imagination or vision in the budget has been borne out in the Department’s own Ipsos survey, which shows that a staggering 70% of parents still find it difficult to pay for their monthly childcare fees.
“This survey clearly shows the Department and Minister have a lot of groundwork to do in raising awareness of, firstly, the National Childcare Scheme and, secondly, ensuring that all families reach the threshold to receive supports.
“While 91% of parents knew about the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) Programme, only 48% had any knowledge of supports available under the National Childcare Scheme to help to pay for full-time or part-time childcare and afterschool.
“Most parents continue to prefer the option of minding their younger children in the home, however, childminders remain a very popular option for many families.
“Childminding, despite its appeal for parents, remains a wholly inadequate arrangement in terms of regulation and support; fewer than 100 are registered with Tusla and parents unable to access subsidies.
“I proposed an additional €270 million in my alternative budget to cut the cost of childcare; over two years we would reduce fees for parents by two thirds. This is achievable and this is the type of ambitious plan needed from government.”