Fine Gael TD, Neale Richmond, has welcomed the inclusion in the Programme for Government of a commitment to introduce Baby Boxes for all new parents in Ireland.
Deputy Richmond said: “After campaigning for Baby Boxes for over a year, I am delighted to see that the nationwide roll out of the Baby Box programme is included in the Programme for Government for the very first time.
“I worked closely with the Minister for Children, Katherine Zappone over the course of the outgoing Oireachtas term, to ensure that the successful pilot programme in Limerick and Wexford be extended and that all families be given a Baby Box upon the birth of their child.
“The Boxes provide parents of new-borns with all the essentials they require to welcome their new arrival into their home. Boxes include blankets, nappies, thermometers, clothes and more. The Box also contains a mattress and can even be used as a cot for new-born babies.
“We can now follow the example of Scotland in ensuring that all parents are well equipped when they bring a new member of their family home. In 2019, Scotland delivered 45,000 baby boxes with a 100% satisfaction rate among parents. I am certain that we will see similar levels of support in Ireland.
“I’m sure parents will remember the slight panic when shopping for clothes and necessities before a new arrival. This programme will ensure that regardless of their means, all parents can rest assured that their babies will have what they need. A really important element of the Baby Box concept is equality; ensuring that all children born in Ireland start life with the same basic essentials.
“To have this project confirmed in the Programme for Government is a huge step forward for Irish families and parents.
“The forthcoming Government is committed to a new care deal from the cradle to the grave and this project is a clear example of this. All babies born in Ireland will be given an equal start in life.”