Fine Gael TD for Dublin Fingal and Chairman of the Oireachtas Committee on Children and Youth Affairs, Alan Farrell, said that as of today (Friday), extra childcare supports are available for up to 70,000 children and their families.
“Today the additional childcare supports introduced by Government have come into effect and will benefit up to 70,000 children and their families.
“The number of childcare providers who have already signed up to deliver these supports now stands at 2,805, which represents 76% of services nationwide. I am confident that this number will continue to rise.
“These childcare subsidies are an important step in providing more affordable and more accessible childcare services to families across the country.
“For too long childcare costs have essentially acted as a second mortgage payment for families, and the introduction of these additional childcare supports is testament to this Government’s commitment to tackling the burden of childcare costs.
“The supports which have now come into effect are:
· A universal subsidy for all children between 6 and 36 months, worth up to €1,040 per year and;
· A targeted subsidy for the families who most require it, which is worth up to €7,500 per year.
“Parents and families will be able to access information on which childcare services have signed up for these new childcare supports at AffordableChildcare.ie and this will be updated regularly.
“Further information on these supports is also provided on this dedicated website.
“Childcare should allow parents to return to work or education should they wish, not as a barrier to employment and personal fulfilment.
“I wish to commend An Taoiseach and Minister Katherine Zappone for their work in delivering these much needed supports for children and families across the country.
“Early indications have shown that the vast majority childcare providers are not increasing their fees as a result of this investment in our childcare system.
“I am pleased with this; however, it is something that the Department of Children and Youth Affairs will continue to monitor.
“If childcare providers do begin to abuse the subsidies being provided by Government, action will be taken. However, with no evidence of this thus far, I hope that such action will not be necessary in the future.
“I will continue to work with Minister Zappone, her Department, and my colleagues on the Oireachtas Children and Youth Affairs Committee to deliver real and tangible results for children and families nationwide in relation to the costs of childcare.”