The Government’s ‘Together for Better’ funding model for Childcare which includes a new Core Funding element will begin to ease the burden of childcare costs for parents, a Fine Gael Minister has said.
Minister for Special Education and Inclusion and Dublin Rathdown TD Josepha Madigan has encouraged all childcare providers to sign up.
“This new Core Funding model provides certainty to parents as it ensures that their childcare fees will not increase next year. Cutting the cost of Childcare is one of Fine Gael’s top priorities in Budget 2023.
“We know that childcare is like a second mortgage to many parents across the country which is putting families under huge stress. Ensuring that there is no rise in childcare costs next year is crucial to help parents and guardians with the cost of living crisis.
“Childcare Providers must play their part in making childcare more affordable and commit to helping to ease the financial burden for parents.
“All childcare providers should be encouraged to sign up to the core funding model as it will give providers a stable income and provide certainty which will significantly increase income for the majority of Childcare providers.
“At the moment, over 90% of Early Learning and Care (ELC) and School Age Childcare (SAC) providers have signed up.
“In my own constituency in Dublin Rathdown, 144 out of 178 (81%) of providers have signed up which is the lowest in the country.
“I want to thank the nearly 4,000 services who have now signed contracts for Core Funding, committing to working in partnership with the State for the public good, and to an effective fee freeze on parental fees.
“Fine Gael’s Policy Lab produced its Care of the Child Policy paper last year which called on Government to reduce the cost of childcare for parents. The Policy Lab process is a new way of creating policy.
“Core to the thinking of the Policy Lab is the involvement of as many people as possible in order to gather diverse and representative views. The Policy Lab met with parents, childcare professionals and childcare providers which all contributed to the outcomes within the policy papers.
“We know that we must invest more in our ELC and SAC sector. Last year the government invested €221 million in the Core Funding model.
“Together for Better commits to increasing funding to €1 billion by 2028 to improve quality, affordability, accessibility and sustainability.
“Fine Gael’s Policy Lab stated that there is clear evidence that the return on investment in early childhood care is substantial and yields a greater dividend than at any other point in life.
“This must be the first step in ensuring that we make childcare more affordable and accessible for parents,” Minister Madigan said.